I have been seeing a lot of job postings lately that “label” time for a job. Must have 2-5 years experience in the field. When I see that, I say to myself “Okay, they don’t want someone entry-level.” As long as it’s not like 7-10+ as a senior director role, I would apply for something in that range. With my community management, I am not exactly at two years in the literal sense but I believe that I am doing work that is typical of someone who is entering an associate role as a community manager or maybe already at that level. I currently manage eight different platforms of social media in which some have multiple accounts. I have two different sets of interns that also work with me because of how busy I am. I create organic content for the different divisions of my company, I write and create blogs, I build campaigns from scratch, conduct outreach and publicity and even do work with analytics on Google.
I’m not saying that I am an expert in the field as I know that I am not. I still have a lot to learn but on the other hand, I have a lot of experience already. I was one of the students that when the Facebook platform first started to grow to different colleges, I was a sophomore in college. This was a unique website only available to college students and you could only get in with a registered college email. There was no marketing or promotions on Facebook yet and the way your friends were set up was separated by college traveling down the left side of the page. A person couldn’t even access other people’s profiles unless you were friends with them or went to the same school. If you saw someone you wanted to talk to in a different school, you had to become friends with them or else it wouldn’t allow you to even see more than just a picture.
My Facebook experience started in 2005. I call Facebook the first real social media to jump into the idea of social media marketing and management. This was only eight years ago at this point. Like I said, if you weren’t a college student, you couldn’t even access the site. So that brings me to my point about having 2-5 or 7-10 years experience. Social media today isn’t that old. There is no way you could have relevant social media experience older than eight years when using platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I understand that a person could have been doing other forms of digital media and it applies to social media management but I would think that a company would want someone who grew up and is a “child” of social media. My mom has a Facebook and there is so much she doesn’t know as opposed to me who can show her just about anything on there in a mere matter of seconds.
Everyday I see that there are new social media community manager jobs becoming available and a big reason is that most agencies are not outsourcing this to other companies anymore because they see the value in it. I completely respect that and I think that is the right step. The next step I think a company/agency needs it to have someone in house who is a “child” of this social media. We look at it much more differently then you do. We, as a generation, don’t really have any experience in the field before social media. We don’t know about sending press releases via the post office. Okay, bad joke but you understand what I mean. I’m not saying hire a college graduate straight out paying them $65k a year to run your social media; that’s absurd. Unless you are thinking of hiring me. In that case, please, I’m available in two weeks at that rate. I do think that we need community managers and strategists who view social media as everyday interaction not as something added. Take a look at my phone bill and check out the amount of time I spend using minutes as I do texting. I am a child of the digital age and I can be the next manager to take your social media to an entirely new level. And I didn’t need 7-10 years experience in the workfield to do it. I’ve grown up with this stuff, I understand that yes I am using it in a different platform and view but the basics and advanced knowledge of the media is already there. I would rather be judged upon my portfolio and the branding strategies I have created over the amount of time I have spent doing it.