Social media jobs on the rise

Social media jobs are a relatively new and growing option for college graduates who consider Facebook and Twitter secondary majors.

Jennifer McConnell, career adviser in Butler University’s internship and career services department, said social media jobs are not uncommon today.

“There has definitely been an increase [in social media jobs],” McConnell said. “It has really taken off in the past two to three years.”

McConnell said that according to voluntary surveys, some class of 2011 Butler grads have gone on to work in social media jobs.

Michael Kaltenmark, Butler alumnus and director of web marketing and communications, handles Butler’s social media presence.

To students, he may be familiar as the person on the other end of Blue II’s leash, but Kaltenmark manages a Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and blog, among other platforms for the mascot.

He said that students who aspire to work in web marketing need a basic set of skills.

“More than anything, it helps to be able to write well,” Kaltenmark said. “There are people out there who are killing it on social media without any public relations training.”

McConnell said that, according to data collected by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers highly value communication skills.

“One thing [we] hear over over again from employers is to  please tell students not to email like they’re texting,” McConnell said.

Social media jobs are becoming a real, viable career option for college students.

On Oct. 18, students may have noticed the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile roll through campus. It’s a classic American icon that provides photo ops, Oscar Mayer merchandise and jobs.

Drivers of the Weinermobile are hired right out of college for one-year paid positions to drive around the country, promote Oscar Mayer products and do public relations and marketing work.

Kylie “Ketchup Kylie” Hodges and Dylan “Dyl-icious Dylan” Hackbarth are the “hotdoggers,” that visited Butler’s campus last week.

“It’s a paid road trip,” Hodges said. “And on our off day, we get to hang out with Blue.”

In order to promote Oscar Mayer, the “hotdoggers” have traveled to major events in their assigned region to meet consumers and the media.

“Everywhere we go we pitch to media,” Hackbarth said. “Kylie and I had a five minute interview on CNN, because it was the 75th birthday of the Weinermobile this year.”

While media pitching might seem like traditional work in public relations-type positions, Hackbarth and Hodges said they devote time to social media platforms as well.

Hackbarth said they use Twitter, Foursquare and blogging to update consumers about the duo’s latest adventures.

“For us, our social media is our way for consumers to catch up with us,” Hackbarth said.

Career opportunities such as with Oscar Mayer are becoming more readily available to students both at Butler and elsewhere.

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