Small business owners are not only accelerating their usage of social media platforms in their online marketing strategies, many are even creating full- and part-time positions dedicated exclusively to online and mobile marketing via Twitter, Facebook, and an expansive but still growing list of social media outlets.
Social Media Facilitators: The Hottest New Jobs in Small Business
Based on the findings of a new study by Borrell Associates, two-thirds of the 2,872 small and mid-sized business owners surveyed indicated that they use social media on a regular basis to communicate with customers. Whats more, an additional one-third revealed plans to significantly boost their social media spending this year.
A substantial portion of the increased expenditure, says business analyst Mike Randazzo, will be used to create a full slate of job opportunities for professional, freelance, and fresh-from-college marketing mavens versed in contemporary social media marketing and advertising.
“Small business owners have an incredible opportunity to pluck talent in today’s less than ideal job market,” Randazzo says. “It’s a tough economy and there are lots of smart, talented people who have marketing and web savvy. And they’re looking for employment. Best of all, they can work from home or some remote location. A diner in Buffalo can be pushing out tweets round the clock from a freelancer’s home in Boise.”
“Business owners have a variety of options at their disposal for compensating social media employees,” he adds. “They can be paid per post, tweet, or blog. Or, if the business has a product whereby commission is possible, the owner can offer performance-based pay, which remains highly attractive to a lot of skilled marketing and sales professionals.”
Is Social Media Really Worth Dedicated Employees?
Social media gives small businesses “a method of promotion that doesn’t cost very much,” says Kip Cassino, executive VP at Borrell Associates. “And if you know how to use it right, you can get your message to everybody who would have an interest in coming by your local store. So it is a leveling field.”
According to Mike Randazzo, “social media facilitators” have the potential to become the hottest new jobs in small business for the next decade. “Everywhere you turn,” Randazzo says, “there are case studies of social media paying substantial dividends.” One such case study is Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media fanatic who helped bolster earnings for his father’s quaint New Jersey-based liquor store “from $4 million to $50 million through social media” alone. Vaynerchuk admitted to spending 12 hours a day engaged in online marketing during the period in which he boosted the bankroll of his old man’s small business tenfold. Now, of course, he’s a household name in the wine business.
Does Your Business Need a Paid Social Media Facilitator?
“Not every business or organization requires a full or even part-time social media facilitator,” cautions Randazzo. “Whether you need to create a position largely depends on your needs and your present efforts. If you don’t have time to utilize social media yourself, you should either find the time or find a person who can give your business the type of exposure that only social media can provide. What’s more, even if you do have the time, it may still be worth the investment in skilled manpower if you lack the social media savvy it takes to monetize your business via online marketing opportunities.”