Social Media 2.0—Bigger and more Mainstream

The perception of social media has changed a lot in the last few years. What was once ignored and even attacked is now a multi-billion dollar industry used by a growing number people worldwide. Diverse groups ranging from politicians, athletes, business executives, and church leaders are tweeting, posting, and hashtagging their way to online social prominence. In fact, social media managers are some of the freshest jobs available for tech-savvy grads, as we highlighted in the Fall 2013 issue.

Seventy-three percent of Fortune 500 companies actively engaged their publics on Twitter in 2012, and more than 80 percent of executives trusted that social media interaction led to higher revenues for their company, according to Forbes.com. Forbes also cited the growing use of social media command centers, where companies like Gatorade, Dell, and the Red Cross employ teams of people to track their brand on all social media platforms. These companies are monitoring brand sentiment, complaints, and everything in between. Don’t think, though, that since you have a Facebook or Twitter account you’re qualified to manage a brand’s online reputation. Successful social media managers typically have backgrounds in marketing or public relations. Although this isn’t required, other skills like strategic communications, copywriting, and understanding web analytics are must-haves.