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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ever since internet boomed, the social media has taken over our lives. While it happens to be the most fun and engaging activity, many have also chose it to be a full time career. Priyanka Bhatt finds out about the trends and scope of social media as a career...

All of us are addicted ot the internet – be it Facebook, Twitter Linked In or Instagram, the virtual world refuses to leave us, and us, them. While most of us have been only using it recreationally, there are quite a few who have been making a successful career out of it. There are many different social media tools that enterpreneurs are using for connecting to like communities hoping for a boost for their ventures and projects, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest. Each technical tool has its own pros, cons and unique users.

Hitesh Rajwani is the Business Head of Social Samosa, a website that deals caters to a large audience via huge usage of social media. He thinks that Social Media has evolved as one of the most disruptive mediums of communication, the surge in internet penetration and adaptability of smart phones have added up to the rapid growth of this medium. “In the current times, a career in Social Media is an exciting prospect which offers immense learning, exposure and monumental growth. The industry houses a range of career options from Social Media Management to Content Writing, Creative Designing, Client Servicing, Strategy, Analytics and so on,” he says.

So, what does a social media manager exactly do? Rajwani answers the query by saying A Social Media Manager is the custodian of brand's presence on Social Media. “The Manager is expected to identify opportunities for the brand in the space, devise strategies in line with the objectives and manage end to end execution of the aforesaid strategy with the help of internal teams or external vendors,” he says. He adds that there is no formal education qualification required for the role as such but an in depth understanding about social media platforms, brand communication and project management skills qualify an individual to become a Social Media Manager.

A normal day for a Social Media Professional includes Trend Spotting, Adjudging the scope of leveraging the trend, managing the execution of content buckets for the day, devising a brief/new strategy for the brand, filing a report on the metrics achieved on the previous day, updating oneself with latest news updates and case studies.

To become a successful social media professional one needs to develop an astute understanding of social media ecosystem, brand strategy and client relationship management. “Content/Copy Writing, Creative Designing, Communication, Interpersonal negotiation, are the essential aspects that need to be developed at  a grassroot level,” Rajwani tells us. He adds, “To move up the ladder, one needs to develop and build on Social Media Strategy, Brand Management and Client Relationship.”

What most of us will ask is what is the scope of jobs and income in this field. Answering this, Rajwani says that the scope of earning at the entry level hovers around Rs. 25-30 thousand per month, but the growth trajectory is quite rewarding. The average salary bracket for experienced social media professionals fall between 60-70k per month.

Major challenges, according to Rajwani are the need and pressure of evolving and adapting to the dynamic changes in the industry, carving a niche for one self/ brand amongst the clutter of professionals and brands in the social media space and Strengthening core competence and at the same time building ancillary skills which sets you apart from the crowd.

One of the perks choosing this field is the Industry is perceived as cool and happening that is how youth is driven toward the field. “From an insider's point of view the field has a lot to offer in terms of growth, monetary as well as lifestyle benefits. The satisfaction quotient for the industry is quite high as compared to other job avenues. The avenue also offers freedom and flexibility,” Rajwani shares. “The stupendous growth and learning curve, the ever increasing demand for talented professionals and the potential social media entails makes it the most sought after field in today's times,” he concludes.

One of the key influencers on Instagram and social media consultant, Kuber Shah is an engineer tuned photographer, who uses instagram professionally. “I recommend that any one who wants to be a social media professional come up with their own ideas and concepts and pitch them to a company; begin independently. For example I have done quite a few advertising campaigns for many clients which reached out to a huge number of clients using instagram,” he said. He thinks that a career in Social Media is has to do a great deal with innovation and creativity.

According to Shah, networking is the most important part of any social media professional. “One has to have a relavant content that caters specifically to their target community. Social Media is much bigger than just sharing your thoughts. It has become an entirely different space to express one's talents. On Instagram, pictorial content works best, and that's what I have worked on,” he shares.

Shah also shares that corporates and other companies hire agencies for social media who charge them a bomb. “My friends and I are trying to change the system where we go and pitch an idea or content, and get contracts based on each project or assignment. Getting four to five contracts per month can have a better income than having a nine-to-five job in media,” he says.

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