Social media buzzwords are all around us — Web 2.0, engagement, community, conversation, influencers, and countless others. But have you realized how much social media buzzwords have infiltrated Human Resources? Social media job titles seem to be all the rage, although for the life of me I can’t imagine why.
To be honest I’ve used a few of these. I used to be a social media consultant through my online PR firm. And I’m currently a professional blogger (although definitions vary from anyone running a business-oriented blog or getting paid anything at all to blog to those earning a full-time living from blogging — I go with the latter definition). That’s a part of the problem though. We’re at a point where it seems like everyone is defining these social media job titles so differently that in the end they mean little to nothing. Are we simply caught up in social media stardom, or are we more lost in trying to explain what we do? And what are your thoughts on some of the more “interesting” (read: ego-centric) social media job titles out there — from czar to guru? Check out the list below to see what kinds of social media job titles are out there and being advertised these days.
Here’s a collection of 75 social media job titles from the descriptive to the downright silly. We put this list together from sources including other blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and job search sites. Each of these jobs in some way involved the management of a company’s social media use and participation.
- Analytics Manager
- App Designer / Developer
- Blog Editor
- Blogger / Pro Blogger / Professional Blogger
- Brand Ambassador
- Brand Champion
- Brand & Project Manager
- Brand Promoter
- Client Engagement Manager
- Client Services Coordinator, Online / Social Media
- Community Content Outreach Coordinator
- Community Data Guerrilla
- Community Manager
- Content Manager – Strategic Marketing
- Content Strategist
- Conversation Manager
- Director of Enterprise Communications
- Director of Integrated Media
- Director of PR & Social Media
- Director of Social Media
- Director of Social Media Communications
- Director of Social Media Strategy
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Digital Media Coordinator
- Digital Media Strategist
- Digital PR Consultant
- Digital / Social Media Strategist
- Ghost Blogger
- Head of Search Marketing
- Idea Inventor
- Internet Media Associate
- IT & Telecom Consultant
- Leadership Trainer
- Marketing Communications Specialist
- Mobile Social Media Developer
- Multi-media Communications Specialist
- Multi-media Journalist
- New Media Coordinator
- New Media Developer
- New Media Specialist
- Online Community and Social Media Czar
- Product Evangelist
- Search and Social Media Optimizer
- Serial Entrepreneur
- Social & Digital Media Manager
- Social Impact Manager
- Social Media Activist
- Social Media Advocate
- Social Media Analyst
- Social Media Attorney
- Social Media CFO
- Social Media Community Manager
- Social Media Consultant
- Social Media Coordinator
- Social Media Evangelist
- Social Media Expert
- Social Media Guru
- Social Media Lead
- Social Media Marketer
- Social Media Manager
- Social Media Missionary
- Social Media Monitor
- Social Media Music Publicist
- Social Media Professional
- Social Media Representative
- Social Media Rockstar
- Social Media Specialist
- Social Media Strategist
- Social Networks Designer
- Tweeter / Ghost Tweeter
- Underground Band Promoter & Event Planner
- Virtual Worlds Developer
- Youth Marketing Manager
So how many of these social media job titles do you think will still be around in a few years’ time? Will social media work be rolled more into other jobs or remain separate? I’m sure there are many other social media job titles floating around that I didn’t come across from recent postings. Have you seen any that caught your attention? Share them in the comments below.
I’ve recently been going with “Blog Manager” – but all of it feels dirty – like it comes along with the connotation I’ll accept $12 an hour.
You can definitely get professional blogging gigs. You just have to target the right markets for what you want to do. Many blog owners are still cheap — living in a fantasy world that a bunch of ridiculously cheap content will sustain them in the long haul. We won’t (and Google’s recent crack down on quality is a good example). Those who invest in their blogs as businesses understand the value of hiring professional bloggers and community managers if necessary. You just won’t find many of those clients in traditional outlets (like job boards, bidding sites, or Craigslist). Build your network to get referrals, and build a platform so you gain visibility. It’s the same thing I remind other freelance writers of all the time (bloggers or not). That’s how you build more demand than you could want, keep a choice of gigs, get respect, earn professional rates, and can run a successful business of your own offering these services. So reevaluate your target market and your current marketing plan. My bet is if you tweak some things you’ll be out of that $12 / hr mindset in no time. 🙂
I’m getting ready to start my own “Social Media Management and Consulting” business, and I like the title of “Social Media Manager” or “Social Media Consultant.” I think this title will be relevant for years, as it encompasses all the “older” platforms (blogs, FB, Twitter) as well as allowing for the addition of any new platforms that emerge.
I suppose my question goes back to Ari Hertzog’s point — is it wise to start businesses now based on the “social media” titles? Or have they mostly run their course, where their meaning or prominence will change in just a few years? Social media isn’t a discipline in and of itself, and the goals people and companies have are very different. Do you have PR credentials that qualify you to manage social media campaigns on that front, within a larger PR strategy? In the government sector, nonprofit work, the corporate world? Do you come from a marketing background where you would really be focused on “social media marketing,” where that might be a better kind of title to have? As some merge the two (and whether or not they should is a debate in and of itself), are you prepared to tackle both sides? I’d say what matters most are the fundamentals behind what you do, not the fact that you use social media tools. And on a personal level I prefer titles (like the one Ari gave as an example) that get to the heart of what you do as opposed to what tools you happen to use to do it. Just another way to think about it. 🙂
Wow. Thanks for this information Jennifer.
Am sharing this.
Thanks Pervara. Glad you liked the list. 🙂
Nothing will change over the next year or two, Jennifer, but five years out we won’t be talking about social media with the same breath we are today. Maybe three out, who knows. It is for this reason, and because of my general government and communications background, that I brand myself a policy and communications specialist — which is inclusive of social media strategy but not specific to it.
Honestly, that’s the way I wish most were — people understanding that social media involves tools that cross disciplines and fall under larger umbrellas. I’d like to believe that in 3-5 years we’ll see all the “social media” talk simmer down and see it taken a bit more seriously within marketing, PR, etc. as it applies to each. But this is where I think all the fancy titles come in. Many of these “social media consultants” were nobodies before the hype around social media came along. They don’t have real credentials outside of that area. And as long as there’s money to be made with these sm-centric titles, I think they’re going to keep pushing social media as something different, and others are going to keep fighting over who social media “belongs to.” Given how past online consulting-style work has gone with this type of crowd, I can’t see that changing until the quick-fix side of social media disappears (getting the most Twitter followers, getting Facebook “likes,” getting people to use social bookmarks). Some of these tools seem to be fading in popularity over time, but if it’s taken this long for that to happen then I can’t quite see the bigger quick-fix issue itself disappearing. There will always be new tools to exploit and “social media experts” to exploit them. That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate folks using social media in deeper ways. But I don’t think they’re the majority right now, and frankly I’ve seen those who do have better credentials to make a long-term go of it exploit the tools and labels as much as anyone else. So we’ll see. I’ll cross my fingers and hope you’re right on this one. 🙂
Some really fantastic points there Ari and Jennifer. I liken the ‘Social Media’ to the ‘Sustainability’ buzzword. There are so many terms and references to the word ‘Sustainability’ that its hard to pin down.
If you are a recycling company you’re ‘sustainability’, if you’re a second hand clothes retailer ‘sustainability’, if you are an engineer ‘sustainability’, if you are a green power or brown power company you are ‘sustainability’.
It will be an interesting next two to three years thats for sure. Whilst i’ll be using ‘Social Media’ tools, i’ll be playing in the Talent Management space.
I think what amuses me most is that social media is anything but new. The term came around pretty late in the game, or at least gained popularity at that point. And people were handling social media work just fine and dandy before any of the buzzwords and labels came along, accompanying what amount to nothing but new tools in the larger social media space. Then again, people have a tendency to jump on fads so I shouldn’t be surprised. And I doubt the vast majority of social media titles or positions are really “sustainable” (to swipe your word) for much longer.
I think this title will be relevant for years, as it encompasses all the “older” platforms (blogs, FB, Twitter) as well as allowing for the addition of any new platforms that emerge.
Yep! Many of these examples are just new spins on old titles anyway. Things will always adapt, merge, and grow. My only hope here is that we don’t become so inundated with snappy buzzword-laden job titles that we forget social media is a collection of tools — not some new way of doing things. The more we treat it like something new or deserving of umpteen different titles all its own, the more we collectively forget that (and in turn move away from the proven fundamentals social media should be supporting).
Thank you for this information. I am launching a social media company later this month. I’ve been working on this concept for over a year and I will be ready to unveil this month! I will need to be able to hit the ground running with the anticipation of massive growth, (finger’s crossed) with a staff in place very soon after launch. And before I hire a staff….I need to know the titles in the social media market. Duh!
Great information! Thanks again!
Best of luck with the launch! 🙂
As for titles, just remember this: don’t get so caught up in what you call people that you lose sight of the fundamentals or get stuck with hyped up titles that don’t make sense after just a short while. It’s better to have a title and position that will last in the long haul where social media is a part of the job description than to create special social media-based roles for employees just because it seems like the “it” thing to do.
Great post. Some of my “favorite” titles that I’m going to blog about soon:
Blogger-in-Chief – this sounds like a name from “Dances with Wolves”
Brand Champion – who did they compete against to be considered the “Champion”?
Community Data Guerrilla – the word “Guerrilla” reminds me of the “get-rich-quick” schemes I see way too often.
Conversation Manager – so does this mean they are constantly monitoring every employees conversation, both on and offline?
Director of Enterprise Communications – sounds corny.
Idea Inventor – wow, now that’s creative and must be really time consuming
Social Media Rockstar – “Hey now, you’re a [social media] rockstar, get your game on, go play…”
Social Media Missionary – do they go door to door preaching the good [social media] word?
Product Evangelist – amen, amen! They must work closely with the “SM Missionaries”.
Serial Entrepreneur – “Serial”, really? This seems too much like something you’d read about on the front page of the morning news and wonder – what’d they do?
Social Media Guru – Guru is just like “Guerilla” – aka FAKE, SCAM, LIAR, etc.
Online Community and Social Media Czar – Czar is a new one but seems too similar to Guru and Guerilla
Leadership Trainer – wow, that’s a generalized term for social media work
Tweeter / Ghost Tweeter – I’d be so excited to have that title on MY business card… 🙂
Virtual Worlds Developer – hmm…how would you explain that one to the in-laws?
Youth Marketing Manager – this sounds illegal
You may not have asked, but that’s my two cents on titles I hope to one day earn as a social media marketer!
Some good additions Nate. 🙂
I don’t mind a couple of them too much (although the rockstar one is a slight pet peeve). Blogger-in-Chief was actually cute several years ago. Now it’s corny at best.
As for serial entrepreneurs, I don’t mind that one too much as it’s factually correct. But I don’t form a positive image when people define themselves as such. My first reaction isn’t to be impressed by the fact they’ve started several businesses. I instead think “wow, this guy can’t seem to stick with anything for the long haul.”
I want to be a Social Media Rock Star!
I started calling myself the Big Mama of Social Media and blogged about it. Then I got a fan page on Facebook. The funny side is when I went to get a Twitter name, it was shrunk to @BigMamaSocialMe!
I like it when in a group I hear, “Hey Big Mama of Social Media.” Naturally, I turn around.
Out of curiosity, is that a job title you gave yourself or more of a personal brand?
We have also hopped onto the hype of allocating an appropriate/relevant “job title” to two people, in our S&M department, who are responsibile for all our social media, which is part of their respective jobs as webmaster assistant and press & marketing assistant. Since social media is so hyped at the moment, a lot of their time goes to that, and therefore we’ve considered adding a “social media” related title to their current titles. They are both responsible for planning and formulating updates, so it would make sense that they had the same title. However, one of them is also responsible for the technical “stuff” as well as coordinating with different departments, about what and when to post. How do you then decide who gets what title, and what would be the most appropriate?
Personally I wouldn’t add anything social media specific to their job titles. I’d only consider it if social media was the full extent of their jobs. Otherwise we’d have to change people’s titles every time something new comes along that they’re required to spend a lot of time on. Ultimately it sounds like their current titles describe their jobs. And social media updates are simply a task required in that position. Social media is just one method used in marketing and PR, so I wouldn’t change that at all. But the webmaster assistant title does seem a bit less accurate if you’re having them do things other than serving as website administration. It sounds more like they’re expected to take on a general technical assistant type of role than truly a webmaster-related role. So if I were to suggest changing anything at all it would be that and not to add “social media” to the job titles at all.
When I first started my social media training business in my small town 2 years ago, most of the local business owners weren’t even on Facebook. They saw it as something kids did to waste time all day. Turning them into social media enthusiasts was hard enough, getting them to use my company name (Social Media Academy – Beloit) was harder. At networking events, when I introduced myself, people would say, “Oooooh, that’s right, you’re Genia! I get your emails. How are you?” I realized no one ever used my business name, but they all knew my name. That made me realize that I had become my brand. It also made me realize that I’m not a social media “expert” (I never actually use that term); I’m a marketing strategist who keeps up with the latest trends and I help companies keep up with them too – whatever that trend may be. So, I asked myself: Will I have to change my company name every 5 years? Hell, no one uses it anyway! I decided to start doing business under my own name, even though for years there was much debate about how that could be a bad thing. None of us know what the next great marketing trend will be in 5 years, but we all know what my name will be in 2017.
That’s an interesting story Genia, and a great example of personal branding. That’s where I am currently, and I’m actually working to change that in the New Year. I’ll be keeping my maiden name for business only since that’s what clients and colleagues know me as. I don’t want to start from scratch with my personal brand. But my company’s also growing, so I plan on moving the top-level business branding to something no longer tied to my name. It needs to encompass not only my current name, but also pen names tied to other publishing projects moving forward. There’s always a bit of a challenge involved in balancing company and personal branding. But if one or the other works better for you, that’s fantastic. It sounds like you were a bit of a personal branding “expert” without even realizing it for a while. 🙂
I agree with your brand becoming your name. This allows you to evolve and change and become… I’ve always been a big fan of not limiting your options, and I think titles do that. I’ve always been that person (when I worked for other people) who picked up that job no one else wanted to do and made it my own. Everyone knew me and my work. It was creative, it was gutsy, and I was respected for managing to take a project that looked like it was going to be a disaster and turn it into a winner. I didn’t hesitate to get my hands dirty or work long and hard. It didn’t matter what kind of job it was, or who I worked for, It got so people would follow me into a project because they knew 99 times out of hundred it was going to be successful, get their names positive recognition from bosses or clients and be fun at the same time. I also got the rep of being a problem solver, not such a bad thing to have.
I don’t think all titles are bad. For example, I work as a professional blogger and business writer now. In that area of work, having a specialty matters — specialists tend to earn significantly more than the generalist folks who try to do it all. It’s the whole “jack of all trades, master of none” thing. That’s certainly not true in every field, and when you work in a traditional office environment flexibility seems to be pretty standard these days. It’s not unusual for companies to cross-train employees, regardless of what their titles might be.
I believe they will remain separate, depending on the area of business. What caught my eye – “social media evangelist” – refers to a messenger, or to a field? Anyway, it’s funny to see so many connotations, it has to be this way!
It’s just another name that was being thrown about (usually by the social media folks themselves). It was something I noticed back when I wrote the post, but thankfully I don’t see many people using that phrase anymore. Of all on the list, it’s easily one of my least favorite.
As an SEO Specialist, we deal with social media in a way. Although the firm i work for does not offer social media management, it is still part of the job. I can vouch for all of the terms above, as I have heard them all at one point or another. My favorite out of the bunch is Virtual Worlds Developer.
Thanks for sharing
Such a great post, and the comments in response are equally enlightening. I’ve been a copywriter for print media for two years and a couple of months ago took the step to write for the web professionally (I’ve been a personal blogger for about 6 years now).
All these titles are so confusing and I’m not sure what to call myself. But I know what I do and this is write copy for websites (about us, product descriptions etc), I also write weekly blogs for small-medium sized businesses and manage their accounts on fb, twitter, pinterest etc.where I do little write ups and share these blog posts I’ve written. I don’t think a copywriter alone is a title to cover what I do as there is quite a difference between writing copy for print media vs writing copy for the web.
I’m looking for a sustainable job title. I feel the need to include social media in the description or even perhaps in the title, because small businesses and my target market identify with the term “social media” but wouldn’t know what I was talking about if I said “I’m an online community manager”Just out of curiousity before I launch with a tag line/job description does this sound ok?
Kasey is a professional blogger and online content copywriter. She specialises in ghost writing and social media, managing and writing for business websites and their online communities.
Thanks for your post and for sharing your wisdom,
I’ve also played around with these titles (alone and in different combinations):
Ghost blog writer, social media coordinator, multi-media communications specialist
What do you guys think?