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Learn More About a Web and Social Media Consultant's Scope of Work

written by: sherisaid•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/29/2009

Web and social media consultant is a fairly new field, many companies are struggling to define the position in an effective way. While it's absolutely true that anyone working in the social media field has to possess charisma and personality, that's not all there is to it.

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    Social media consultant a dream job?

    Social media is the current holy grail of marketing and corporations are scrambling to get ahead of the game. Offices are flooded with candidates hoping to turn follower success into the dream job; doing exactly what they love to do all day and getting paid for it. Like game testing without the ability to cast magic spells. However company executives have been fairly vocal on blogs about what they're looking for, and the ability to chat just isn't enough.

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    Business Savvy

    A web and social media consultant's scope of work includes extensive industry knowledge. You are not out there to entertain people with your witty personality. Your job is to represent the company, project the corporate image, and interface directly with the public about the company. Interjecting charm and personality is certainly a plus, it's just not the primary focus. Your follower count does not matter. It's not about you. To land the job, convince the hiring manager that you can understand the company and its objectives and convey a positive image of the company. You have to have the ability to not only project, but also to listen…to consumers, market experts, prospects and management, and use the knowledge gleaned to enrich your own catalogue of response.

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    Building Interation through conversation

    Social media consultants have to engage, and the ability to build a following is not always indicative of conversation. In fact, it's often exactly the opposite. Some of the most popular users never bother to engage, they simply send one-way statements designed to be inspirational in order to earn retweets.

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    Problem solving

    The ability to problem-solve and a sincere commitment to finding answers is imperative. Situations will often arise where a frustrated customer will publicly call out the company. The ability to deal effectively with consumer issues and frustrations directly in the public eye is crucial. Inadequate or insensitive response to consumer complaints can quickly escalate to the stuff of social media legend.

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    Non-marketing Marketing

    Social media specialists who blatantly market annoy the social community. The consequence of trying to sell is general hostility. Social media specialist must walk a fine line between outright selling, which will cripple their social status, and mere conversation, which has no effect on sales. Marketing by raising credibility and awareness is the goal.

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    In addition to interaction with the public, the social media specialist must take the pulse of consumer interest and satisfaction, and report any potential issues back to the company. This means actively searching for mentions of company interests to understand what consumer perception is and work to build a more positive image.

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    Personal image

    Another thing aspiring web and social media consultants should carefully consider is personal image. If you intend to represent a company, you must first represent yourself. Everything you put on the web is open for scrutiny, so think carefully before engaging in petty squabbles. In order to determine your fitness on the job, a savvy potential employer will examine your past interactions to evaluate how you handle yourself.