A person with a social media cartoon head.

Qualifications for a Social Media Professional

Over the past 10 years, social media has gone from being a casual recreational activity to big business. In 2014, a staggering $16 billion was spent worldwide on social media marketing (cmocounsil.org). This dollar amount represents an equally stunning shift in how people consume information. Users engage with social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to learn about everything from restaurant reviews, to election results, to career opportunities, and businesses are eager to portray themselves positively.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies have an opportunity to take advantage of this environment by engaging consumers in new ways through various social media platforms. However, creating a strong social media presence is a full time job requiring unique skills VR counselors may not have.  Even if there is somebody in your agency ready to take on this task, creating a social media presence takes substantial time and effort. It should not simply be added to the responsibilities of an already overworked counselor. As a result, you may consider creating a new position focused on this task. Below we discuss some suggested qualifications for your agency’s social media expert.

Suggested Qualifications:

  • Education: Experts do not necessarily need to have a VR background. People effective in this position may have education in communication or marketing.
  • Interest: It seems obvious, but experts should be knowledgeable about social media platforms and interested in staying up to date as platforms evolve. They should understand what content fits best on each social media site as well as the demographics of platform users.
  • SEO: They should understand search engine optimization and how to write social media posts to increase your website’s ranking (Fontein, 2016).
  • Creativity: Videos and pictures increase the likelihood of other users engaging with your content. Being able to create content that is visually pleasing is important (Fontein, 2016).
  • Copywriting: Finally, they will need to be able to create engaging content representative of your agency’s mission (Fontein, 2016).

Once you’ve committed to hiring a full time social media person, don’t expect results overnight. It takes time to build a positive social media presence, but your efforts will likely be rewarded.

References

Fontein, D.  (2016, January 7).  6 Essential skills you need in a social media manager job description.  Hootsuite.com.  Retrieved from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-manager-job-description/

Photo credit: clasesdeperiodismo via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

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