What’s in a name?

Statistics from www.mediabistro.com

It has been unclear to me exactly what a social media specialist, coordinator, or director’s job description is. Why are there so many names to describe an occupation?  Each potential interviewee had a different job title but essentially the same responsibilities it seemed.  So what’s in a name?

It has been remarkable to observe how social media is not the once intended outlet for solely social networking; it’s more about work than fun. In fact, it’s a job title complete with it’s own description(s) and is an asset to any company big and small. Magnetic is an ad targeting agency in New York City. They help agencies and advertisers gather data to target a “relevant audience”. Sydney Campos, the Communications Manager at Magnetic, did not have an education that focused on social media. She stated that:  “I was surprised to find how advertising and marketing were a great fit to everything that she learned in her studies in political science and Latin American studies.” She continued, “social entrepreneurship and new media were actually built into majors during college; never imagining that I could tune into them through a career in marketing.” My sentiments about our studies thus far are similar to what Ms. Campos described to me.  I never expected to identify with, let alone find a connection with my professional goals, in what we have learned about globalization, public relations, and now media and technology. As I do not have a digital/social media background, I am now finding that, maybe I do.

It was also great to hear that due to the way that media and media technology is constantly changing, everyday and every project is different. Ms. Campos described her job as one with “changing projects, priorities, and challenges.”  As someone who embraces change and any opportunity to learn something new, the communications and media profession seems to be one that keeps you on your toes. Ms. Campos explained that to keep up with current trends she checks her preferred news feeds throughout the day. I breathed a sigh of relief, as I do the same, and thought to myself that I might actually be on the right track to somewhere and not just procrastinating on something else I should be doing.

She also said that recently she took an intensive InDesign workshop. We can all relate to the challenge factor, but, it was a personal step to supplement her work, and even though it was “a lot of information to absorb, it was super helpful”. While it was motivating to hear that a professional was learning the same thing that we are, it was also relieving to hear that she is still able to execute her writing skills. I would hate to think that we write all of these papers just for our sensational writing skills to go to the wayside. Ms. Campos is currently working on case study requests for their sales team, content for their corporate site, and brainstorming ideas for mobile marketing initiatives. Mobile Marketing I asked? Is that like when I get advertisements on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook? Well, let no market or media outlet go untouched. Ms. Campos, who has worked in digital media since 2010, said that, “the advent of social advertising has totally changed the way brands do business and communicate with customers. Advertisers now have so many options in terms of who they can reach and how/when- multi-channel advertising is exploding!” She gave me the example of Macy’s. This struck me as interesting because major department stores are not in the forefront of my mind when thinking mobile advertising. She provided me with this link to investigate their marketing plan for this year: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/strategy/17003.html

The article goes on to explain how they are aiming at personalization and image recognition. Essentially, they are aiming at a “holistic marketing strategy”. In reading this, it is an interactive approach, which seems the key for companies. The way that people identify with brands, personalization is the way to communicate with publics. Chris Malone and Susan Fiske collaborated on writing  “The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Places, and Companies”. They describe the correlation between how individuals deeply identify with brands and how human emotion is targeted, essentially driving our consumer behavior. Doesn’t it strike everyone else as odd when Facebook seems to know exactly what you want or want to look at? The analytic reports  that can be derived from social media is fascinating, and thanks to HootSuite, not entirely hard to produce.

Overall, conducting this interview was quite insightful in learning about productivity, branding strategies, and the communications/social media profession.  It’s intriguing, yet scary to think about social media professionals and the countless opportunities, skills, and projects at their disposal. Social media is not just for fun anymore; it is a necessary entity of the professional world.

The below infographic illustrates staggering numbers in how social/digital media jobs have evolved and developed by 1,357% in 2013! It’s hard for me, and I’m sure anyone, to wrap my mind around anything over 100%. It’s comforting to know that in times of trouble that media and technology professions are not going anywhere, but daunting to think that I could potentially be apart of these astounding statistics, no matter what job title I might end up with.

The Rise Of The Social Professional [INFOGRAPHIC]

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