Social media is not a robot. In fact, there could hardly be a more opposing idea to social media than that of robotic automation. I start this post by sharing that because the idea that any job could be "replaced" by social media is contentious idea. There are plenty of market forces displacing people from jobs ... do we really need to add social media to the list? Actually, the truth is that social media is already supplanting many jobs. Marketers, politicians, government officials, athletes and librarians are all using social media to varying levels to add context to what they do every day. Social media is a part of their new roles and will continue to be moving forward.
There are a smaller number of jobs, however, that I believe will very shortly REQUIRE SOCIAL MEDIA in order to be done effectively. These are not jobs where logging in online can help to add dimension or offer a useful outlet. In this category of social media enabled jobs, the people doing those jobs who are NOT using social media will find themselves falling behind. Here are a few of these types of jobs that come to mind for me:
1. Customer Service Representative: It is already a part of many customer service groups to allow people to interact with a company by email. More and more, social networks and social media tools are offering a chance for companies to offer proactive customer service. In some cases, like Comcast, there is an entire channel of customer service professionals who are responding to customers. In others, a company may be using a social media community through a service such as Get Satisfaction to offer this type of service. People are talking about their experiences online, and increasingly they will expect companies to be listening to them there. We are at the beginning of a large trend that in the next few years may become as ordinary and expected as being able to call a phone number to receive customer service.
2. Concierge. The sad fact of many hotels (even 5 star properties) is that the individuals they have sitting behind the concierge desk are little more than glorified order takers and bellman (or women). Think I'm being unfair? Unfortunately, my consistent travel schedule (more than 100 days a year) has led me to the truth that a good concierge who actually is an expert at knowing their own city and how to get just about anything done is few and far between. There are, of course, those concierges still available on occasion and nothing can replace their expertise. But for 95% of hotels in America (and perhaps even that percentage is too low), social media can offer the one thing that those concierges alone cannot. Through social media, you can have instant access to real restaurant reviews, shopping recommendations, direct connections with small businesses and more. All the things that a great concierge would spend years learning are now available through social media to the savvy web user.
Any other jobs come to mind that should make this list?
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