Friends Needed to Run Corporate Social Media

Social media’s impact on business will be the root of some heated and persistent discussions this year. So, an interesting question emerges: Are there any social media-related jobs within traditional IT groups?

Sure, says ITWorld’s Eric Bloom. He sees six areas in which the rush to embrace social media in business should generate new IT career paths. Does anything catch your eye?

Website Interaction

User/website interaction is not always considered a form of social media, but I like to think of it as one because aspects of many company Web sites are designed to be interactive with their customers.

That’s true, and many of those sites are terrible when it comes to communicating with customers.

Customer Interaction

Marketing and PR departments directly interact with the public via blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other communication mediums. These departments generally need internal IT support to help set up and manage the technical aspects of these social media tools.

And given how cost-effective this kind of marketing is, expect to see lots more of it.

Active Listening

Active listening is the art and science of collecting, analyzing, and reporting all of the Web-based chat and comments made about your company, its products, and its competitors.

This kind of constant feedback can be extremely valuable in terms of product development and customer service.

New Employee Investigation

HR and recruiting organizations are now doing Web-based and social media-based searches and analysis on people they are considering hiring. In many cases, the HR groups need internal IT support to conduct these activities.”

In other words, OMG, we can’t hire a guy who posts photos like that on Facebook.

Internal Employee Interaction

Companies also use social media tools like wikis and blogs internally to facilitate the communication of best practices, company success stories, project status, and other types of information.

The risk, of course, is that this kind of internal communication becomes just as distracting as Facebook and Twitter.

Training Augmentation

Best practices in the training world now incorporate social media tools such as wikis, blogs, and discussion boards as a way of maximizing training effectiveness by facilitating the interaction among students and between students and their instructors.

Again, a very cost-effective way to work.

By the way, a search for “social media” job listings at Dice yields more than 600 possibilities.

With Facebook heading toward 1 billion members, I think we can agree that social media in many forms is here to stay–not just at home but in the workplace as well.

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