Community Management, Content Creation And Curation: The Changing Face Of Social Media

By Amy @BubbleJobs

Here at Bubble we’re literally surrounded by job ads on a daily basis, we just can’t get away from them (even as I’m writing this I can spy two job specs on my desk that need to be turned into compelling, witty and oh-so-clever job adverts before I leave for the day – eek!).  Now, as you can imagine, our never-ending saturation in job adverts means we can’t help but notice when things shift slightly or go off on an unexpected tangent when it comes to digital jobs and over the last six months or so we’ve started to see one job group change completely… social media.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still shed-loads of digital employers and specialist recruiters that are looking for social media managers and executives in the “traditional” sense ie. to have online conversations with followers and share content, but these days we’ve noticed there’s also a new breed of employers that are looking for something… well, a bit extra when it comes to their social media employees.

What am I talking about? Well, we’re definitely starting to see a shift away from old-school social media and a move towards online community management, online content curation and online content creation – and that’s just for starters!

I’m going to use this exciting new Social Editor job for Diageo that’s just come on to Bubble to show you what I mean. Undoubtedly one of the most famous names in the alcoholic drinks industry, Diageo are looking for a Social Editor to represent their brands’ social channels across Western Europe. Hmm, nothing that different with that right? Well, here’s where it gets interesting. They want someone who can not only create “rich online conversations” but seek out engaging content and themes to build a great rapport with consumers in online communities.

What’s more, they also want someone to create and curate brilliant content that consumers want to engage with and someone that can act as a linchpin between the brand, agencies and in-community managers – building relationships “and evolving content based on in-country performance”. Ahh, you see; it’s definitely not a social media role as you or I know it.

But the thing is, this role isn’t a “one-off” – in fact, it’s just the latest social media job we’ve had on Bubble that doesn’t quite fit into the typical social media “box”. Over the last six months or so, we’ve started to see more and more social media job adverts that require candidates to create and curate content, manage in-house and external relationships and manage a brand’s complete online community – the line between community management, online content, copywriting and social media is definitely getting more blurred by the day.

The focus is definitely shifting away from just the typical “share offers and respond to consumers” image of social media and is undoubtedly moving more towards content creation and curation, strategy and data. Just like SEO, the old “Content Is King” mantra is starting to ring true for social media. But what’s caused this shift?

Well, with so many brands having a social media presence these days, it seems it’s simply not enough to tweet about the latest offers, photos of cupcakes or brand ethos. Consumers want a brand they can get value from online and they aren’t afraid to socially disassociate themselves with a brand if they’re not quite hitting the social media mark. This new demand for fresh, compelling engaging content seems to be forcing brands to employ social media editors and managers who can actively go and source alternative content that strikes a chord with their consumers – and if they can’t find it, well they’ll just have to create it themselves!

To be successful in the social media industry in 2012 and beyond, it seems candidates are going to need to possess a creative flair, great written communication skills, a lot of initiative and even some technical skills (Diageo want a candidate that has got experience of HTML build, Photoshop and video editing) – it looks like a relevant degree and experience of Twitter and Facebook just isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore.

And there’s nothing to say that this is how it’s going to stay – who knows what brands are going to require their social media employees to do in 2013!

At the end of the day, 2012 might have been a bit of a shaky year for some in the social media industry (mentioning no names *cough*Facebook!), but with a changing focus and a fresh demand for talent, it looks like the industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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