Companies are seeking professionals to help them tap into a dynamic new social platform which encompasses advertising, public relations, publicity, direct marketing and sales promotion.
According to recruitment firm Robert Walters Hong Kong, social media marketing has transformed recruitment in the market place.
"Organisations are in need of professionals who not only have an understanding of communication in the traditional channels, but also have taken that up one level onto social media platforms," says Hilly Dannaoui, manager of the sales and marketing division.
"Social media marketing is a fast and cost-effective channel of marketing to the new internet-savvy generation."
Expertise is needed in social media measurement tools and platforms, such as Omniture, Facebook Insights and YouTube, while the ability to manage online promotion and word-of-mouth campaigns is in demand.
But with the method in its infancy, professionals are required to use research methodology in order to define user trends in social media and marketing recommendations. This not only requires sound written and communication skills, but also knowledge of soft Web skills that might include website development and search engine optimisation.
Dannaoui adds that social media marketing provides a platform for developing existing skills in a multidimensional way.
It serves as an additional channel for customer support and promotional skills and, as it is entering the market, it is adding a new rung to career paths, taking professionals in an exciting new direction. "Professionals with online campaign execution [experience] can now progress to develop online digital strategies," Dannaoui says.
Since this area is growing rapidly, most organisations have restructured and formed a new function focusing on it.
Career progression can start from social media co-ordinator to social media engagement specialist, then moving on to social media channel or community manager before reaching associate director or head of communications.