In recent blog posts to our job seeker community, we discussed the impact social media has on their careers, and how best to manage both personal and professional online networks. For employers, the same premise applies. With more and more business conducted via social media platforms, sourcing candidates who are savvy in the realm of social media is a must. In fact, according to a recent study by BtoB Magazine, 93% of small businesses are using social media in one form or other, and the majority of those use these platforms for multiple endeavors – from selling products and sourcing job candidates to communicating with customers. As a result, companies are either carving out roles for existing employees to assist with their social media marketing, or creating new positions altogether.

What are these roles, and do you need them for your business? There is no formula or one-size-fits-all model when it comes to employing social media in business. The main objective is to develop a strategy and have individuals who can execute against your plan. A social media strategy can take many forms, and this will determine the types of resources you require. This could be as simple as delegating an individual or group of employees to manage your social networks such as Facebook, a company blog, or Twitter account – or hiring someone solely focused on this role, if you have a more robust online presence. Customer service representatives should also be well-versed in using social media, as many are now using online forums to monitor customer feedback, respond to questions or address complaints. And human resource professionals now rely on networks such as LinkedIn to source candidates.

For many businesses, embarking on a more robust digital media strategy means hiring strategists to assist with all elements of online activities, including developing digital marketing campaigns to promote and sell products online. Others still look to hire search engine marketing specialists to ensure their company and products come up in search engines. Whichever route you choose, it’s important to define your objectives for social media clearly, and either assign an internal team or source new applicants, to help you effectively manage your online social engagements.

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