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[The Hour] With Rise of Facebook, Jobs in New Media are Plentiful

By MIRANDA ZHANG

Valerie Jaeger wouldn’t have gotten her current job if she didn’t know how to use Facebook professionally.

Jaeger’s position as a creative director at the Stamford Innovation Center was one of the 4.5 million jobs that Facebook created worldwide in 2014, according to a Facebook-sponsored Deloitte report released in January. Almost 1.1 million of those jobs were added in the U.S., contributing $100 billion to the economy, according to the study.

Digital marketing managers, or social media managers — whatever you wish to call them — Facebook claims to have created a slew of new media marketing jobs that didn’t exist before. For the most part, Facebook did not hire the employees itself. Companies and government agencies did the hiring for marketing works on the social platform.

“It’s nearly impossible to do marketing without social media skills today,” Jaeger said.
Jaeger, 27, was already a member of Facebook’s 1.35 billion-user network before she used the social network site for her job.

But since she got the job at the Stamford Innovation Center in May 2014, Facebook to her is not just a place to share pictures with her friends, but is now a workspace for promoting events and sharing the company newsletter.

“You have to have a Facebook account in order to use a professional page,” Jaeger said. “So I have a personal Facebook account. But I do my very best to leave my job out of it.”
Jaeger grew up in a generation intuitive to social media for personal networking. But her audience is beyond her generation.

As of September 2014, 71 percent of adult Internet users use Facebook, making it the most popular social site, according to a recent Pew Research report.

The challenge in social media marketing is to predict the future needs of her audience, Jaeger said.
“I’m constantly surprised by the things that cause engagement, and I can’t predict it … On Facebook or anywhere, it’s hard to predict what people are going to be reading,” she said.

Social media platforms add a few layers to Jaeger and her colleague Sarah Robinson’s job. Robinson, 26, is the operations manager at the Stamford Innovation Center. She spends two to three hours promoting the center’s events on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn every day.

“Networking now has its digital aspect,” Robinson said. “I get people’s cards, and make a conversation and talk to new people. But at the same time I’m taking pictures and tweeting them and finding other people who are tweeting with the event hash tag.”

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