Here below are some of the points I gleaned from the talks by the members of the panel and answers they gave to the questions from the audience.
Types of jobs
There are three types: Creative, Communicative, Analytic.
Creative jobs have got to do with design and visual appeal.
Communication refers to textual content.
Analytical jobs are about crunching numbers and analyzing them.
How do you know you will fit into this type of job?
Ask yourself if you have a passion for working on these lines. You should be comfortable with online social media. May be you should intern in one of the companies and check out if the job excites you.
What does the job involve?
It's about managing a company's social media presence. The generic designation is Social Media Manager or Director, who has a team that looks into various aspects of how business is publicized through social media, and how people respond to it.
What qualifications should an aspirant have?
A good knowledge of the domain area. If you are into creating textual content, then you should have good command over the language. A formal degree would no doubt add value; but what will matter is not the degree but how good are you at work.
How big is the demand?
Social media management is still evolving. The requirements of different companies are different. But the fact is that all companies are trying to scale up their social media presence. And, all of them are looking for competent hands. There is lot of opportunity out there. There is a huge demand.
How does one look for jobs?
Make sure you yourself have a good social media presence. Lot of recruitment nowadays take place via LinkedIn and Twitter.
Update your LinkedIn profile, with lot of details of what you do. Use the right key words, so that your profile shows up during search.
How good is the pay?
It's getting better and better. Right now, there are people who have been hired for around Rs 3 lakh. However, pay varies from company to company, and depends on what job you are actually doing. In about 3 years time, Social Media Managers can hope to be on a par with software programmers.