eBrandz Blog

Are Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare must-have work tools?

With early signs of the stuttering economy slightly but surely improving, a large number of wary self-employed professionals are looking to get back to the chores of day-today work. To help boost their nascent visibility and credibility in the fragile job market, some of them returned to the basics to develop skills and expertise in social media.

The aim on their part is to build on their corporate communications experience and marketing strategy. Not all are social media savvy in the way they probably are in other areas deemed necessary for professional success, so many of them are joining the new media marketing boot camp courses at platforms like Mediabistro.com.

A few years ago, social platforms had hardly any role to play in industries like fashion. Pinterest wasn’t a part at all of anyone’s professional life, not long ago. Times are changing fast, though. For a large chunk of mid-career executives, especially in the media, marketing and related industries, grasping how to leverage Twitter and Facebook is becoming vital. If you want to establish a brand and carve an identity for yourself, it is not possible without social media, sans which you would be missing out on a huge audience.

Things like updating your timeline on the latter, pinning on Pinterest, uploading images on Instagram, and checking in on Foursquare are among the digital skills employers expect job aspirants to have to secure a job or for existing employees to fit a current role. In other words, if you do not have a Facebook or LinkedIn account, employers often don’t have means of finding out more about you, or else you will be left behind.

Because the job-scape is evolving rapidly, many people are now finding it mandatory to sign up for these courses, so that they are not left behind. As HR experts point out, digital literacy, comprising a thorough understanding of social networking, is now a much-desired skill to operate in the modern workplace.

To help hesitant professionals overcome the diffidence, major community colleges, universities, online educational ventures from ed2go.com and Lynda.com offer continuing orientation in digital media. These include Web design, online search optimization, Web analytics, and social media skills.

For example, the San Francisco University runs an Advanced Social Media certificate course, which can be completed in eight weeks. Another online course is run by School of Continuing & Professional Studies of New York University where students can also get certificates within its advanced business programs. On the other hand, Harvard’s Extension School runs a social media marketing course for around $1,900 aimed at younger marketers than at midcareer executives.

As their popularity indicates, many people obviously feel the need to learn how to seamlessly integrate social media as part of their work. But broadly speaking, an upcoming professional will either need to learn tricks of social identity building through one’s informal networks or through formal training so as not to feel increasingly isolated.