Social media as we know it has been around for some time now and has gained plenty of mainstream acceptance, but the idea of working in the field full-time is still a mystery to many. Short of inventing the next Facebook, how can one earn a living in social media alone?
Today, the world of social media is a rich, thriving industry, and thus relies on a broad range of experts to sustain itself. Below are a few of the most important social media positions to look out for.
Given the sheer volume of interesting content that’s available on the Web today, it’s easy to take for granted one simple fact: the posts and articles you read on the Internet were written by people. Somewhere in the world, someone sat down and took the time to put that content into words. Naturally, the article you’re reading right at this very moment is no exception!
Social media sites and the technology behind them may radically evolve over time, but as long as they stay an important piece of modern culture, the need for smart, effective written content will continue to exist. Working as a blogger or online writer means managing a varied workload and keeping track of plenty of deadlines, but it’s hard to argue with the convenience of working from your home computer. You'll spend quite a bit of time job hunting, but once you start writing for a certain site, you'll hope that you'll never have to go to an office to work again!
Social media has come a long way since the formative years of MySpace and Facebook, and will surely continue to evolve to meet the needs of growing user bases and fill in unexplored niches. These changes can’t happen by themselves, though—the social media industry constantly needs bright, motivated programmers and developers with fresh ideas and perspectives.
App development is typically a humble field but offers a significant potential for success. A great idea, if given enough effort and exposure, can grow a tiny start-up into a wildly popular social media giant. At the very least, though, developers can be satisfied knowing that their work is making the Internet a better, more diverse place.
A great idea for the Next Big Thing in social media may be technically sound, but it won’t do much good unless it’s presented in an accessible, user-friendly package. This is where the web designer comes in. Designers create the layout and aesthetic of a site, essentially building a bridge between the code that makes the site work and ordinary users.
The Hollywood depiction of a hacker may be glamorous, but isn’t exactly a job you’d apply for, or put on a resume—it’s generally more about stealing and destroying top-secret files, extorting money from large corporations and government institutions, and, more often than not, flying through wire-frame environments. The reality is a lot less fantastic, but real-world hacking is invaluable to today’s social media and is an honest, paying job, to boot.
Hackers, like programmers, deal with the code and technical aspects of a site. Particularly, they focus on finding bugs and security vulnerabilities in the system. Whereas a Hollywood hacker might use this knowledge for criminal gains, a real-world security specialist makes the Internet a safer place by helping to fix these errors.
Thanks to the people working the above jobs, a site may have compelling content, efficient code, appealing design, and tight security, but something’s still missing. All of these qualities will only be effective if users visit the site in the first place. In recent years, this has led to a demand for specialists in digital marketing.
Digital marketers focus on the critical task of studying Internet trends and using them to cleverly draw traffic to a particular site. As social media's influence on society has grown, more and more businesses have recognized the importance of building their Web presence, so opportunities for digital marketers are more widespread than ever.
A job in social media is likely to be fast-paced and challenging, but it can be quite rewarding, monetarily and otherwise. If you know what kind of position to look for, social media could just be the source of your dream career.