What Does It Take To Be a Social Media Strategist?

Since the launch of the terminology Web 2.0 in 2001, there has been a change in the way people are able to use the Internet. Web 2.0 is an upgraded platform from Web 1.0 that ties everything together on the World Wide Web. The major aspect of Web 2.0 is the many social media networking sites that are available to almost anybody. However, when social media is being used in a professional manner, it is important for it to be used properly, which is where a social media strategist comes in.

Social media gives the opportunity for contact with others through the web. Positive characteristics of social networking sites is that it can reach out to an infamous amount of people at a single time. It gives the chance to meet people who may have the same interests in a particular field. It’s an opportunity to share ideas and receive feedback. For a social media strategist, it give the chance to market a company and/or agency and build a relationship with its customers.

When working as a social media intern, I was able to learn many interesting things about social media. My first project that was handed over to me was to figure out how financial advisors are using social media. After figuring out what they do in order to gain attention and show-off their skills to other or interested financial advisors, I was able to learn that they network on their own social sites such as Seeking Alpha and Covestor. In other projects, I was able to find out how hospitals, sports teams, insurance companies, and retailers all use social media.

The difficulty in trying to get a business or organization to add social media as a tactic is the lack of definite statistics that will prove that social media will help derive customers or consumers. It’s not necessarily a risk to expand to social media; it’s just a change. There are subscribers such as Radian 6,which is a web platform that is able to measure, analyze, and report social media efforts for businesses and organizations. Radian 6 is a step into figuring out what people are saying on the Internet.

Another major difficulty in getting people involved in social media is proving that people are involved! This may seem a little confusing at first, but with examples, it won’t. For instance, hospitals in social media; some people may believe that hospitals are inactive in social media, when in doubt, they are very active. Every year there are non-profit organizations that list the top hospitals in the country such as The LeapFrog Group. The LeapFrog Group has a list of forty-five top hospitals in the U.S. for the year 2009 in which forty of the forty-five are active in social media.

I am not trying to argue that all businesses and organizations should be a part of a social networking site, but for them to consider it and to try to weigh out the pros and cons.

With the digital shift in communicating, it may be of importance for businesses and organizations to have a social media strategist to start the process of getting “involved” on the Internet. The advantage of having a social media strategist is that they have the knowledge and skill to properly start communicating through social networking sites.

So what does it really take to become a social media strategist?

Patience: Have to be willing to educate and explain others on the different types of social media sites and how it may be a benefit.

Determined and Passionate: Have to be able to argue through research that people are using social networking sites and how social media factors of into advertising, marketing, public relations, and many other communication fields.

Creative: Have to come up with different ways of utilizing a social networking site that may best market an organization and/or event.

Knowledgeable: Know the characteristics of Web 2.0 and how it is a major factor of introducing many social networking sites.

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