There Are No Barriers To Entry Anymore

Social media has changed the world dramatically in less than a decade. Most significantly it has empowered people and brands in an incredibly human way.  Just look at Instagram. Brands are REALLY listening on Instagram. Here is how I know:  Just this week, when I posted a photo of my delight at Whataburger offering their Fancy Ketchup at my local grocery store, the Whataburger corporate page liked the photo.

Then, today, I got a like on the pic I took yesterday of my new Google ‪#‎Chromecast‬ by the official Google Chromecast Instagram account.

It seems silly to get excited by such a thing but when you think about it…it’s quite significant. We live in a world where anyone can be a brand ambassador. Anyone can have a voice about a product, service, brand, celebrity, political figure—whatever—and your voice can be heard.

Another example of social making us more connected to things that were before unreachable would be my proposal to my wife  over a year ago. A single tweet to the band Foster The People landed me on stage with the band proposing in front of 8,000 people to the love of my life.

The year prior to that, a single YouTube video I posted about my Movember Austin fund raising landed me in a Google Chrome commercial showing how the internet can be used to do good. I’m the guy after Hulk Hogan that says “Allllriiiight!”

Also, earlier this year a single tweet landed me the opportunity to be a Google #GlassExplorer through their #ifihadglass promotion. Now, I have the most advanced piece of technology being worn on my face. A single tweet did this.

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Imagine how you can elevate anything that you’re doing. Hiring people, growing your business, or sharing a common hobby or interest while learning from others geeking out about that same thing. I still feel like a lot of people resist social. Still think its not worth it for them to put themselves out there….but it is. It’s very rewarding and a very HUMAN thing to do.

Have I had a lucky past couple years? Maybe. Would any of this have happened if I didn’t have social media as a tool to reach out and make things happen? No.

The world is at your finger tips now, people. Reach out and grab it. Engage. Make some shit happen. There are no barriers to entry anymore.

The Death Of The Social Media Career: Why You Don’t Just Want A Job In Social Media

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Image courtesy of The Undercover Recruiter

A question I get a lot from new graduates looking to get into the professional world and even professionals looking for a career change is, “How do I start a career in social media?” or when asked what they want to do they say “I want to work in social media.”

There is No Such Thing as a Social Media Expert

The reality is there is no such thing as a career in social media or ‘working in social media’. That’s like saying I want a job in email or carrier pigeon. Social media is merely one of many digital channels of communication—it’s a tool. When trying to define your career path, think bigger. A career is something you can be an expert in. Social media “experts” do not exist. There are people that are really good at using it…but even they are merely students of the medium. That’s like saying you are a texting expert. Before you say, “But I AM a texting expert. I know all the abbreviations ROFL, LOL!”–you’re not. There is no such thing.

Social media is a communication technology that is constantly evolving and bleeding into everything from advertising to corporate communication. No one can possibly be an expert in something like Facebook because, in reality, it could be gone in 5 years (Ask Tom from Myspace) or just drastically different. Seriously, do you remember what Facebook looked like even a year ago? It’s already evolved drastically in just the last 6 months.

The ‘Hyped Up’ Toddler

In the mid-2000’s, when social media was still in its infancy (some would argue it still is but I’d rather look at it as a toddler now), many industries were trying to figure it all out. Social media became a big hype and everyone thought it was this great new industry that would revolutionize everything. That there would be a whole new workforce of people that just do social media for a living. The problem, though, is that social media isn’t an industry or a job–it’s a communication skill.

It is Revolutionizing…

Now don’t get me wrong, social media is revolutionizing and some people do make a complete living using social media (either as a marketing channel or by consulting in it’s use, etc). It has definitely allowed humans to communicate online even more efficiently than offline and created some major efficiencies in mass communication, to a point that it’s literally sparked revolutions.

Social Media as a Profession is Dying

While social media is revolutionizing as a communication technology, I would actually say that social media as a stand alone profession is dying and I’m not the only one. Though, maybe, it really never existed to begin with and people were confusing what category to put a job like a community manager or social media strategist into. What if you looked at a community manager as a customer service rep or PR/marketing person that uses social as their channel to communicate with their audience, not a social media person who helps out customer service or PR. See what I mean?

This is causing a lot of confusion. For example, I’m a Director of Recruiting but I use social media A LOT. Many of my friends confuse my career and assume I do social media for a living because I use it to brand my company, myself and as a way to make hiring people more human and effecient. I attract talent and hire talent…I’m in recruiting….not social media. Social media is a tool I use for recruiting.

Don’t Work IN Social Media, Work WITH Social Media

What I’m noticing is that, by now, most professional jobs have been enhanced by social technology and almost all jobs require some social media skills and understanding. Large corporations now use enterprise social networking software like Jam to collaborate across global teams and recruiters use social recruiting software like SuccessFactors Recruiting Marketing to find talent and select top talent (Disclaimer: I work for SuccessFactors/SAP which is why I used those as examples but we do happen to be the industry leader in these products). The better you know social the better you could be at any job. So, don’t go looking for a job in social media. Look for a job with social media and use social media to be better at your job.

For example…

Let’s say you are a Java Developer. You can build a network of other Java developers on GitHub.com, Google+ or on Twitter and learn from each other. You could write a blog about new techniques and programming languages you’re learning which highlights your skills to potential employers and shows you as an expert. You can highlight your coding skills and teach others or land new jobs.

Really, this can be done with almost every profession. You could love making quilts and build a community of quilt makers and fans of quilts. Let’s say you  then build a website where you sell those quilts to that community you’ve built, and write a blog about awesome quilt making tips and tricks to create new quilting fans who would buy your products because they see you as a knowledgeable and talented quilter. See where I’m going with this?

All I’m saying is you don’t WANT a job in social media. You want a job that centers around what you love to do and then use social media to achieve your career goals faster and more efficiently and foster the genuinely natural human inclination to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals who elevate each other. Put yourself out there. Use social media to brand yourself professionally and build your career.

So, find something you love to do and use social media to grow your skills and a professional community (and I don’t mean just on Linkedin…which is a given for professional networking) to move your career in the direction of your passions.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments below if you think the social media career is dead and why/why not?

Badass Social Recruiting Community Administrator Needed for Badass SaaS Company

My Strategic Programs team, a part of our Recruiting organization at SuccessFactors is growing! As my role is expanding, I’m needing a badass Social Recruiting Community Administrator to join my team and help in our growing, engaged employer branding/recruiting communities online. This is a 6 month part-time (15-30hrs/week) contract role. If interested please send me your resume or Linkedin profile to wstaney@successfactors.com as well as links to your work (social media presence, past communities you’ve managed, etc).

I’m looking for someone who practices what they preach so if you don’t have your own online brand presence and are not active in and passionate new media and technology there is no need for you to apply.

Job Description:

Assist in the execution of strategy and scale of social media and online communities across SuccessFactors Careers online employer brands and communities on digital, social and internal and external communities. Implement social content and experience, monitor conversation, and assist in evaluating and recommending supportive technology. Engage prospective and current candidates. Listen and react to candidate and faculty input and continue the development an organic, authentic & passionate community of influencers. Coordinate promotion of online and in-person events.

Key Job Elements:

  • Implement the social content and experience across internal and external employer brand properties and communities. Work closely and align with cross-functional teams and internal departments including but not limited to: Corporate Marketing Social Media Team, PR, Legal, and Staffing/Recruiting
  • Prepare and provide weekly/monthly benchmarked analytics and insights into community growth and engagement and tie into recruiting initiatives/metrics
  • Support and drive events within social and community spaces. Reconcile multichannel conflicts and support holistic business needs. In collaboration with Director of Recruiting, Strategic Programs, Web Producers and content team members, handle delivery of copy and media as well as ad hoc conversational responses, resolutions and updates
  • Moderate comments, content and conversation contributed by candidates and staff
  • Maintain and circulate publishing calendars and timelines for social content, blogs
  • Partner with Director of Recruiting, Strategic Programs (that’s me), and content creators within the Recruiting and Marketing teams as well as other departments to provide unique voice of our brands
  • Integrate social media efforts within company and web environments. Contribute to conversion and brand experience, seamlessly and authentically. Establish SuccessFactors, and SAP Company and its divisions as an innovator and showcase SuccessFactors and SAP Cloud’s unique culture. Drive internal awareness

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Specialties:

  • An understanding of online culture and engagement, emerging technologies, and technical uses of online tools
  • Leveraging knowledge of Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogging, and community development to help implement social media strategy established by Director of Recruiting, Strategic Programs (me)
  • Feed management and tweets to various corporate twitter feeds, Administer Facebook groups/pages and add content
  • Develop and publish social media content, including blogs, videos and community posts

Requirements:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, English, Communications or equivalent experience
  • Excellent writing skills (Blogging, micro-blogging, etc)
  • Previous experience managing large corporate communities online
  • Previos experience with employer branding or recruitment marketing a BIG PLUS
  • Must have prior experience with social media anayltics and monitoring
  • CSS, HTML, WordPress experience a PLUS
  • Deep understanding and advocate/user of social media tools
  • Understanding of HR/Recruiting sector required
  • With guidance, possesses ability to build understanding, engagement and consensus across multiple LOBs. Proven ability to execute on time in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and organizational skills
  • Must be a self-starter with a can-do attitude

This position is a 6 month contract with possibility of Full Time and is located in Austin, Texas.

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About SuccessFactors

SuccessFactors, an SAP Company, is the leading provider of cloud-based applications. Although everyone seems to be talking about cloud computing solutions for business, we’ve been in the cloud from the beginning. We began our journey in Human Capital Management earning the distinction of the leading provider of cloud-based Business Execution (BizX) Software. BizX delivers business alignment, team execution, recruiting execution, people performance, and learning management solutions to organizations of all sizes across more than 60 industries. Fast forward to today — now as part of SAP we are responsible for the SAP Cloud business and have become one of the largest and fastest-growing SaaS players in the industry – touching 15M + users, 3500+ customers, in 168 countries, 35 languages and serving 60 industries.

For the most comprehensive cloud computing portfolio in the market, SAP Cloud delivers mature business applications that drive collaboration across a business and connect to partners. There are over 20 applications and suites in the SAP Cloud designed to optimize and manage a company’s most critical assets – its people, money, customers, and suppliers. And for those who prefer to run their entire business on a single, cloud-based software solution, we offer a suite that will surely meet your needs.

Our primary focus is on delivering beautiful products for our customers. When our customers win, we win. And we pride ourselves in delivering the most powerful software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions on the market. As an SAP company, the possibilities for growth, innovation, and impact are endless!

See what it’s like to work at SuccessFactors- check out this video! http://youtu.be/eZarfkN4hUo

Connect with us! Learn more about the culture at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company, see pics of our global offices, talk to recruiters, and see real-time job openings:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/successfactorscareers
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CareersAtSF
YouTube: http://youtube.com/CareersAtSF
Linkedin: SuccessFactors & SuccessFactors Careers Group

Thanks,

Will Staney

Director of Recruiting, Strategic Programs

SuccessFactors, an SAP Company

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