Social Media Jobs: Are They For You?

VIDEO: Susan Solovic on how businesses can protect their brand on social media sites.
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Social media jobs are everywhere: just ask Charlie Sheen.

The search is still on for Sheen's "Tiger Blood intern." It doesn't necessarily sound like a legitimate job, but his social media intern posting on Internships.com generated thousands of applicants, and is yet another example of a growing trend: businesses that hire employees to manage social networks.

One of Sheen's applicants was Anthony DeWitt, a junior journalism student at Arizona State University. Though he applied as a "joke" to see how far he would get in the process, he advanced to the second round of the application process before eventually getting eliminated.

As described in the job posting, the Tiger Blood intern will "monitor major social media platforms," including Sheen's Twitter account, which has over 3 million followers.

DeWitt said a job with Charlie Sheen probably wouldn't help his career, but he would consider a career in social media.

"I believe it is rapidly changing the way journalism works and I want to be a part of that change," DeWitt said.

Companies Create Social Media Jobs

Social media platforms aren't just for finding jobs, they also create jobs. From the corporate offices of Comcast, Disney, and Ford to smaller nonprofits, businesses are paying people to tweet, Facebook, and blog.

Different companies manage social media staff in different ways, according to Anthony Rotolo, a social media professor at Syracuse University. While smaller organizations may ask interns to handle things like Facebook pages, other companies are hiring community managers or social media strategists.

In a day's work, someone working in social media could interact with customers and followers in different platforms, create content such as blog entries or videos, and measure web traffic to develop outreach strategies.

"These positions are focused on building relationships with an organization's audience, learning from customer feedback and even acting as an advocate for the customer," Rotolo said. Because the size of companies varies, so does the salary for professionals in social media.

For example, FastrackMedia is hiring a Social Media and Digital Content Consultant. According to a job posting, the full-time position pays $30,000 to $40,000 with benefits.

Another company, One Social Media LLC, a company that helps other companies build social media campaigns, is hiring their own social media project manager, a salaried position offering $35,000 to $50,000 per year. It is also looking for a social media sales consultant -- someone who is "social media savvy." The posting says the pay is based on commission, which could "realistically earn you between $70k - $100k in the first year."

Building A Career In Social Media

Joe Soto, CEO of One Social Media, said he would "definitely consider someone fresh out of college" and just hired a recent graduate of Drake University to work at his company, which educates and trains businesses on how to use social media marketing. Soto said all but one of his sales staff is under the age of 30.

Paul Levinson, a media studies professor at Fordham University and author of "New New Media," a book about social media trends, said jobs in social media are generally well paying jobs because "they're so crucial to the company."

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