The top social media pundits have been talking more about effectively using social media to increase engagement and educate your audience with more frequency of late. Much of this is happening because of the increase in social media adoption by companies – it’s only natural that once we start using a communication channel, we’d want to understand the way it works and increase its performance.
I believe that in the future, social media will be like air – it will be anywhere and everywhere we want and need it to be. We’ve already seen the progression of this over the past five years, with Facebook Platform and APIs enabling social media features and content to be embedded in any application, in any mobile device application. The result: the actual websites become repositories for all of your social activities. (Charlene Li, Altimeter)
A lot of work goes into creating a brand’s identity as it is, and companies are already facing more pressure to add a social layer to their online brand. People working in this industry do a number of activities that are designed to make the brand more social and increase its global competitiveness. Knowing how to address these needs and what skills someone needs to work in social media is, therefore, of great interest to companies who are starting to invest money in this area.
In our research on the subject, we identified 4 emerging roles that solve the difficult task of social media engagement.
The Social Media Roles Breakdown:
- The Data Junkie: gathers and interprets social information
- The Digital Strategist: creates measurable social media action plans
- The Social Evangelist: manages the followers community and works towards a social enterprise
- The Online Ambassador: supervises communication channels and improves the brand’s reputation
So why did we choose to highlight the most important activities of a social media professional using superhero archetypes? Social media skills and “powers” might not be quite out-of-this-world, but this type of job requires a mix of abilities coming from fields like marketing, PR or even journalism. A multidisciplinary background is extremely useful, if not necessary, when you have to interact with various types of communities and engage in a direct dialogue across multiple cultures.
Social media superheroes also have a moral code. That code is routed in the belief that the web should be more social and stands for building bridges between people and organizations. Their secret identity can sometimes be comprised of the fact that they represent the brand and speak on behalf of it, but that’s not mandatory, because they can use their own online identity to endorse the message.
Superheroes also have sidekicks (Web Analyst, Social Media Designer, Conversations/Listening Officer and Content Curator/Creator) that help them translate social analytics into strategies, guidelines and sales. Often times, a social media practitioner can encompass 2 or more personas of the 4 that we highlighted, so you shouldn’t be afraid to identify yourself with more than one superhero.
What type of social media superhero are you? Do you have the skills necessary to compete?