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Au’Guest’ Blog post – So you get paid to play on Facebook all day then?

Written by David Somerville Senior Social Media Strategist at Fresh Egg, as part of the Wired Sussex guest blog month

Social media, as a division of digital marketing, is becoming fully immersed in businesses both small and large. Many people now have social media as part of their job role, or even as their full-time job. Yet probably as recently as two years ago social media job roles didn’t even exist, such is the newness of the industry.

This is a strange concept considering the number of people (both employed and freelance) who now work within the area.

The fact that these job roles are so new, and also that many people still don’t realise the importance of social media as part of a marketing strategy, is largely why, when I tell people what I do, they say: “So you get paid to play on Facebook all day then?”!

OK,yes, ‘playing’ on Facebook is part of my role, but it’s ‘playing’ with a purpose – either engaging with users, promoting content as part of an ongoing campaign, reviewing the Facebook page for a client or maybe testing a new function of Facebook.

For me, becoming a social media professional came about largely due to an early acceptance of it as a genuine way for businesses to use the web in a different way.

After leaving university with a BSc in Behavioural Sciences, the job world was my oyster (i.e. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do). Having been exposed to several modules on the relationship between psychology and marketing, I knew that this was an area I was keen to explore further. My first role saw me working for a local newspaper as a sales and marketing rep. In this role, I used a variety of events and types of merchandising activity to try and get newsagents to sell more papers. Despite being wholly offline, many of the techniques were based on a concept of ‘sharing’ and spreading messages virally – although the medium in this case was word of mouth.

I then spent the next 14 years working within a very successful publishing company, which went under a metamorphosis from a purely print-based business to an online one. During this time, the Internet took off (I remember writing the first meta-tags for one of their websites) and the whole marketing focus shifted. This new direction was all about taking a website and trying to get people to use it… SEO was born.

Technology changed rapidly and so did the way people use the web. And then social media was born. Starting slowly, with the first social networks and online communities such as Geocities and Tripod, it was the launch of the likes of MySpace and of course Facebook that started to really wake people up to the opportunities that existed within social media to bring people with like-minded interests together and involve them fully in your brand.

Fast-forward to 2012 and I’m working as a senior social media strategist for Fresh Egg, a digital marketing agency based in Worthing. Social media is entwined with everything in our modern day society online, but it is also now going full-circle, influencing offline marketing channels too. Just look at examples of TV shows using it to encourage audience involvement.

I would say another key factor in getting to where I am in my career is passion – a passion for digital marketing but in particular for social media. It’s this passion that has also led me to create, a hub for people in the local area who also share my passion to get together.

And it’s this passion that means I do indeed ‘get paid to play on Facebook’.

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