The rise of social media is leading to the hiring of experts within companies

According to an article in the London Evening Standard, the social media strategist is now the must have executive for businesses looking to make some headway in using Web 2.0 technologies.

Pointing at the recent shootings in Arizona, which some felt Sarah Palin was blamed for online after she allowed an employee to claim on the day of the shooting that a poster her campaign created depicted ‘surveyor's marks' on the state, the article also said that negative comments on Palin's Facebook page were being erased in almost real-time, but not before the original posts were coped and shared with the world.

The article claimed that establishing a social media strategy is the corporate social media strategist's main job, as it is distinct from traditional roles in marketing, advertising or corporate communications and requires a comprehensive understanding of how social media changes the overall media equation for businesses.

It also has an ability to prevent employees from senior to low-level from blogging or tweeting things they (or the company) will one day regret, and the foresight to know what those things might be.

Technical analyst Jeremiah Owyang commented in the Evening Standard that a typical salary could be around £100,000, as the job is ‘deceptively challenging', mainly because it is hard to measure the value such positions add, until there is a full-scale social media brand disaster.

Speaking to SC Magazine on the subject, Information Security Forum principal research analyst, Adrian Davis, said that Fortune 500 companies are investing in this as a new brand background.

He said: “They are buying up domain names and with non-Latin URLs now available, social media is now more than college kids talking on Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a new domain for IT and they need to be proactive and aggressive for a company share. People are concerned about what they are working for and that will change as companies become aware and see more to compromise their involvement.

“One third of your employees are on a social networking site and somebody will be online. It is like IM was with ICQ and AOL, everyone had it on their laptop and the organisation will say it should be blocked, then it has reduced how it is used for business.”

Davis went on to claim that most companies are not managing their brand online, so this is a multi-disciplinary problem, as they are using social media to promote their brand but time, energy and cost goes into it.

“When you get into the B2B space, something like this has not even begun to be developed. The consumer end has got the focus but it costs a lot of money as there will be a number of social media managers earning £100,000 each so there has got to be reasons for or for not doing it,” he said.

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