There was a great post on cnbc.com the other day about social media jobs--how they are cropping up, but slowly. The article reveals that Forrester Research recently estimated social media marketing budgets will increase by more than 30 percent each year for the next five years, putting spending on pace to reach $3 billion by 2014. Right now, apparently most money is being spent on "administrative and consulting costs" rather than on new hires, and that existing employees are being asked to add social media to their regular job duties.
However, it seems that a handful of associations are beginning to show signs of biting the bullet, despite the recession, and seeking to hire dedicated social media staffers. In just the past week I've seen three new association social media job openings: the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute is hiring a Social Media Specialist; the The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is seeking someone for that same role; and the American Diabetes Association is hiring an Associate Director--Communications & Social Media.
And those are just the new jobs devoted specifically to social media; as of tonight there are a total of 16 jobs on associationjobs.org that include some form of social media either in the job duties or the qualificiations for the position. These are positions ranging from Grassroots Coordinator to Vice President, Industry Relations to Web Technology and Content Coordinator.
Additionally, also during this past week, I was sent links to not one, not two, but THREE separate surveys seeking information about how various associations are handling social media staffing. Which means that there are at least three more who are in the process of seriously examining how to staff their social media activities.
Bottom line? If you're looking for a job in social media, associations are definitely worth keeping an eye on. And even if you're not looking for a social media job, you'd be smart to realize how many different types of jobs are being touched by social media and making sure you aren't making yourself obsolete by keeping your head in the sand. Is it BS that some companies are now making number of followers on Twitter a qualifier for certain positions? Of course. But the fact remains that they are doing it anyway, so if you're not already on Twitter, you may want to re-think that decision.