Social Media Networker: A New Profile for a New Market
The emergence of Internet-based social media has enabled social networks for online collaboration, interaction, communication and knowledge sharing between users who have common interests, needs or goals. The social media phenomenon has changed the way people communicate with each other and the way organizations and governments interact with different stakeholders. Consumers are increasingly utilizing Web 2.0 platforms, such as content sharing sites, blogs, social networks, and wikis in order to create, modify, share, and discuss online content. Communities are built from the bottom-up by people who capitalize on the behavior and knowledge of others. Barriers of distance and time are overcome by transparency created by the wisdom of the users. The use of social media has had a significant impact on public relations and the reputation of organizations, not to mention marketing, sales and sustainability. Yet, many organizations eschew or ignore this type of media, mainly because they do not understand the advantages of its use, the various forms it can take, and how to engage in it. In order to address this lack of skills and to support organizations in building competences in the field of social media a lifelong learning course is currently under development within the frame of the European Certification and Qualification Association (ECQA). The ECQA Social Media Networker (SIMS) is a two year long project which started in October 2011 with funding from the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). The project aims to develop a new skill set and a job role qualification study program, where competencies in social media are customized for the European industry into an online study program complemented with an online training, examination and certification schema for the Social Media Networker job role. A pilot training scheme will take place in the participating organizations/member states (Austria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland and Spain) and the study programme will be refined and improved based on systematic feedback. This chapter describes the joint effort of five organizations in five countries to define and develop the professional role of a Social Media Networker. After developing and testing the modular training material, the profession will be launched to the market. Future work will concentrate on the sustainability of the profession by the creation of a job role committee that will be responsible for updating the training material, as well as for the dissemination and exploitation of the results.
KeywordsSocial media ECQA profession networker Social Web Web 2.0
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