5 Things to Consider Before Jumping into the Social Media Workspace

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Written by Jerry Rizzo 

On September 30, 2012, Facebook announced that it has over 1 billion users in it’s network, Google plus now yields 400 billion registered users, and Twitter with 140 million tweeple. While the social space has emerged as a place for people to connect with other people, it’s also become a powerful tool for brands to connect to consumers/fans. Behind every brand’s Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, etc…, there is a staff member or members who are coordinating and managing on a daily basis.  Social media is undoubtedly a legitimate work space and will only become more valued as users consume more goods via social and analytic tools improve to help brands better determine ROI for their social media efforts.

So, you want to jump into the social media workspace? I don’t blame you. It’s awesome, but there may be a few things to consider before making the leap.

1. When does social media sleep?

Do I even need to answer that? I will. The answer is never. When considering a career working the social web, be prepared to monitor your streams from sun-up to sun-down and then some. As a social media pro you’ll be expected to be your brand’s social media watchdog. This requires frequently checking up on your pages, profiles, and communities. Yes, even on your “days off”. Managing a brand’s social presence isn’t for your typical nine to fiver, it’s hours outside the office your co-workers will never see.

2. Can you prove it?

One of the hottest topics in social media is “What’s the ROI for my brand’s social media efforts?”.  Are you prepared to prove to your organization that it’s worth it? How? Fortunately there are a seemingly endless surplus of social media analytic tools to help us along the way . Your job will be to determine your brand’s social goals, whether they’re purely focused on branding, increasing revenue or a healthy mix of both. It’s up to you to choose the right tools to measure and show that your Tweets and posts are making a difference.

3. Are you ready to be the expert?

Congratulations you are our new social media manager! You are now the point person on all questions related to Twitter, Facebook, and everything in between. It sounds a bit obvious, but it’s a task to stay at the forefront of all breaking social media news. Platform changes, enhancements, and best practices are your area of expertise now. Believe me when I tell you, social media platforms change a lot and it’s your duty to be sure your brand is effectively embracing and optimizing accordingly.

4. Can you fit in?

First day of your new awesome social media job rolls around, who is your boss? Whose goals are you trying to achieve? Marketing’s? Public relations’? Sales’? Customer service? Hmmm…this is a tough one to answer in any organization. Some organizations may have well established social media policies and practices when you begin. If not, be prepared to do a balancing act a bit of pioneering.

5. Are you okay with being the Twitter guy/girl?

If you want to work in social media, you don’t have a choice. When I tell folks my actual title, they often respond with, “So you pretty much play on Facebook and Twitter all day?”. I always remain polite, laugh it off and with a little explaining can gain a little more interest. Don’t take it personally, because it’s far from the truth.  What I’ve found is that social media folk are called on to work cameras, edit videos, integrate social with websites, create graphics on top of the daily content planning, posting and monitoring. All in all expect to function in a variety of roles and still be referred to as “the Twitter guy/girl”.

So you think you are still want to make the leap? Let me know. Tweet me your thoughts at @JerryRizzo on Twitter.

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