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What’s the future of the “social strategist” position?

October 16, 2011

I am a proud parent of a UCONN freshman (go Huskies!). Recently my son and I had several conversations aimed at helping him figure out how to get the best of his early college experience. He quickly ventured into bigger questions about discovering his life passions that will hopefully change into a fulfilling long-term career. Just like I was several years ago he is questioning his course selections and doubting his original major choice. He is anxious to get it all figured out regardless of the fact that he has been attending college only for the past couple of months! What’s the rush? – I ask. Isn’t college supposed to be a place for exploration?

Change Is the New Normal

Did I take courses that would prepare me to be a social media strategist for a B2B company? Not exactly. During my college years “tweeting” had nothing to do with 140 characters. I did what I thought was my professional calling (applied linguistics) followed by what I thought was my second professional calling (business management) and that evolved into my third professional calling (web design) and after that it became clear to me that “change” was my calling as I continued to add professional skills to my portfolio (human computer interaction certificate…). How do I explain this to my 18-year-old who wants to have his career choice figured out by the time our phone conversation is over? Hmmm…

As I evaluate my career choices a prediction coming from Altimeter’s research on the future of the social strategist career path does not appear as scary: the role of a social media specialist/strategist will “fade into the background as social technologies become a ubiquitous communication channel among consumers and companies.” I agree knowing that this position just like the rest of my career will evolve. What will continue to make me and other social media strategists marketable is the combination of skills I gained throughout my career including hard skills: web design, Information Architecture, web publishing, marketing analytics and soft skills including leadership, project management and most importantly constant learning!

So Lukas, go ahead and make plans for what right now appears to be the right career choice for you, but leave plenty of room for change as the new normal.

Social Media Strategist Career Trades

Votier Creative came up with this great infographic based on Altimeter’s research of what it takes to be a social media strategist.

Social Media Strategist Career

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