Social media has evolved from a means to stay in touch with friends to a massive marketing platform, capable of delivering targeted ads to a global audience. Social media marketing generates web traffic, increases conversions and sales, and aids in branding, market research and building email lists. The growth in this industry created several different career choices, specific to social media marketing.

Most marketing experts agree that online marketing is the next beg thing. In fact, now people are more receptive to it than traditional marketing media. A growing number of companies, big conglomerates as well as small and medium enterprizes, are fast realizing the importance of having an online presence today. Think about it, don’t we Google everything today? Google is probably the biggest library there is. The truth of the matter is, if you are not online, you don’t exist.

There are many facets of online marketing that make it larger than life and fascinating. For me, the most important is the fact that it’s all based on individual initiative. Unlike marketing through other media, you don’t need a team of marketers to chart out a marketing plan for you (albeit, that would be a more systematic way of going about it), you can do most of it yourself. Secondly, you can do a lot with very little investment. Advertising online is the cheapest media and one can advertise based on one’s own resources. A big company can pump in more many for more space online, more visibility, but as an individual, I can put in whatever amount I want to advertise my own little blog. There’s room for everyone: that’s another advantage of the infinite cyber space. Most importantly, you can measure your own growth without employing a company or another individual to do so, all thanks to applications like Google trends etc.

What exactly includes social media?

Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as ‘a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 (web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing), which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.’

Social media includes all websites that are based on consumer feedback or where the consumer i.e. the user is involved in creating the content online. These would include social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and MySpace among other; online article writing websites like Ezine or Scribd and even social question and answer based websites like EHow, Yahoo! Answers or even something like Wikipedia.

The beauty of social media is that it is truly social. Power is finally in the hands of the people. Information is now less from just one source, a top down, non-democratic process. At many levels, social media is a leveler.

Careers generated by SMM

Copywriter or Content Writer: There are individuals who work specifically to get hits on websites. These hits translate into profits for these website owners. Profits may not just mean revenue but often mean just plain branding. Mostly content developers help creating website traffic by using SEO or Search Engine Optimization techniques.

Reputation Manager: He’s the person who may be hired by a company to handle their PR online. His job is to constantly oversee what kind of news or stories are posted about his client over the internet. This also involves damage control in case a negative publicity incident occurs.

Social Media Marketer: He’s the guy, or a team of people depending on the size of the project, who comes up with a core marketing strategy. What platforms to use, what kind of formats (videos, flash animation, news stories, polls, surveys, blogs) to use, what the website or blog should look like, these are the kind of questions he answers. A good strategy can do wonders for a company’s branding and can even create revenue.

The Technical Guy: The person who executes these plans, knows all the codes and the graphic designing etc. is the guy with the technical know-how.

Mostly social media marketing comes from self training and these days, most media institutes offer courses in online marketing, but the best teacher is your computer.

Online, the possibilities are endless. Whatever the human mind can imagine can be executed online and thus, the heights to reach are sky high. A word of advice to all is to use the internet for true networking, growing and knowing. Here’s a tool that symbolizes a more open generation where everyone’s opinion counts. So hop on to the social networking bandwagon!

Learning from the Gurus

India’ online education startup is bringing together experts from the online marketing industry and social media aspirants through online certificate courses. More about the online social media course at

WSM is India’s leading online certificate courses provider when it comes to learning online marketing and social media promotions. The courses are ideal for students as well as working professionals who wish to upgrade their skill-sets and add these qualifications to their CV. Check out the courses at

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