A career in the web of social media

Building online communities and keeping them linked is fast turning into a lucrative career for many students in the UAE.



by

Muaz Shabandri

Published: Wed 8 Dec 2010, 12:22 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:07 AM

Students now have the opportunity to work with online communities as a growing number of brands are looking for community managers to promote their brands online.

Popularly termed as community managers or social media experts, the role involves creating an online presence for a brand while mobilising a group of supporters to speak positively about the brand.

“Basically a community manager’s role is to be dedicated to the consumers that are online. They need to listen and build relationships with these consumers who use social media regularly,” says Farah Hreish, community manager of Sukar.com, a private sale community for lifestyle products in the Middle East.

The job, although simple, requires the understanding of online communication and exposure to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“Being a community manager does not require any specific education but students must understand that having some sort of knowledge and understanding of social media can improve their chances of working as a community manager,” adds Farah.

Experts suggest that the best way to pursue the profession is to get online and study research forums, blogs and relate with the brands that use Twitter and Facebook for building their business opportunities.

“A community manager should have a strong analytical mind as the true art of digital marketing is having the ability to measure success. Also, the Internet is full of tutorials and guides with plenty of information and in-depth analysis on various aspects of social media and the Internet in depth,” says Omar Abu Omar, community manager of Cobone.com, a website that offers discount coupons and savings.

“I was recruited because of my activity in social media and my background in e-commerce. Students can build connections and be noticed with companies as social media allows us to build a sort of a personal ‘bond’,” adds Omar.

Students are realising the potential of their online presence as they are joining the social media bandwagon and also creating their online portfolios for prospective employers to visit.

Abey Mascreen, a student of the Birla Institute of Technology in Ras Al Khaimah recently decided to create an online portfolio of his work. Showcasing the breadth of his web expertise, the website (www.abeymascreen.com) serves as an ideal platform for him to build on his education at the university level.

“I’ve been designing websites for a very long time and one day, I decided to set up a website to showcase my work,” says Abey.

The opening of web start-ups in the UAE has created a scope for students like Abey to work in a converging multimedia environment where demand for students with online knowhow is rising. “From being just an ordinary university student, I have been able to stand out and work with clients to build websites for them, all because of my online presence,” adds Abey.

muaz@khaleejtimes.com


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