Social media specialist: new job for bad economy

Now maybe managing twitter accounts for companies is the next big thing but one of the twitter postings for Whole Foods is:

Pie Eating Contest at the store 6pm! Sign up at 5:45 in the Foyer. ” 

How is the better than the job announcing Kmart store specials?

New York Times article:

“Talk about investing in the future. The position of social media specialist, introduced by companies like Comcast, General Motors and JetBlue Airways, has become the hottest new corporate job among the Twitterati. To marketers, it seems, personal relations have become the new public relations.

Of course companies have been seeking to exploit the marketing possibilities of social media for years — remember all those corporate storefronts in Second Life? Politicians and actors, too, have become adept at bypassing mainstream media to interact directly with fans (and foes). But only recently have companies begun hiring someone specifically for the task, largely because of the explosive popularity of Twitter.

To some, Twitter is an extension of customer service, an efficient way to solve problems for disgruntled customers. To others, the use of interactive media is strictly promotional: PepsiCo, for instance, recently advertised that it was looking for journalists and students to tweet during Internet Week in New York in June.

Having a social media aficionado on staff is one way to create conversation about a brand, the same way hip-hop record executives in the 1990s used urban street teams to promote new musicians. And it is a rare example these days of a growth industry: Forrester Research, a research and marketing firm, has 12 analysts advising more than 100 companies on how to use social networks to get customers to do things like open bank accounts or buy more face cream.”

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