Are social media marketing skills in demand in other countries?
December 11, 2012 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm an American who works in social media marketing and I'm curious to know if any overseas companies are starting to hire Americans to manage their English language presences.

Basically I'm really interested in living and working in Europe. Currently I'm working in social media marketing (writing copy, making images, managing communities, designing campaigns) and I'm wondering if this knowledge and skill set would be in demand by companies overseas who want an American voice to manage their English language socials.

tl;dr - I work in social media marketing in the USA. Any chance this can get me a job in another country that might want an American to help market their services/brand/products, etc.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My wife has a fairly senior and good job in social media/digital strategy type stuff that is very much as you describe. She's an American who now lives in London, and while she found a great job very quickly after moving here, her Americaness was a neutral, or a minor strike against her (concerns over language conventions, plus a general vague dislike of Americans that's standard through most of Europe I think). American friends and acquaintances here and on the continent describe similar experiences.

If you're already legally resident in Europe and speak the local language I can imagine situations where being from the US could get you an edge in very specific circumstances, but if you add a language barrier or the need to get you a work permit (not an issue for my wife) I think you're going to have to be bringing pretty stellar or niche skills for this to be your ticket to Europe. There are so many people across the whole continent who speak perfect English and don't come with all the issues of hiring someone from a different country.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:18 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Most international companies have loads of people of their dominant culture who speak English exceedingly well, and tend to hire from that pool rather than specifically seeking Americans.

If your skill-set is superlative and you've a proven track record of results over others in your industry, that would be more of an edge than the language you speak.
posted by batmonkey at 3:40 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I know quite a few folks in social media/community management (they're not the same, but they're related) in Europe and they're all Europeans. (The only exception lives in London with her British husband, so presumably she had all her work permits sorted already.) That's not to say it's impossible, but it's not a wide open market for an American by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:20 PM on December 11, 2012

I work for a company that is based abroad and actually does prefer to have Americans do its English-language marketing--so they established a marketing office in America. All of its marketing personnel are based in the region that they're marketing to. You may run into this conundrum in larger companies. (The one department here that is based abroad and is filled with Americans is tech writing.)
posted by phoenixy at 5:39 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, possible, but likely in eastern and southern Europe (Romania, Slovenia, Albania, and... Turkey)
posted by Kruger5 at 7:04 PM on December 11, 2012

I agree with batmonkey. In my experience that's how it is here in Northern Europe, specifically Denmark. Your language skill in english will not set you apart here as everyone has a very good command of the language (or two, or three, not including danish). You need to show other professional skills, and your record of results.
posted by alchemist at 12:18 AM on December 12, 2012

In my experience (American in the Netherlands), it's not unusual to see job listings that say a native English speaker is preferred, or even required. However, you're competing against native speakers from EU countries, such as the UK.

I can't recall ever seeing a job ad specifically asking for a native American English speaker, but I have interviewed with and worked for companies who informally prefer Americans because the company uses American English. I've also interviewed with and worked for companies that prefer Brits, but I don't think my nationality prevented me from getting any of those jobs.

So, being an American probably isn't a plus, but it's only a minus in that it presents work permit issues. Being a native English speaker is a plus, but not enough of one to make you unique. I always recommend listing it as a skill on your CV, LinkedIn, etc., but it's not enough by itself to get you a job.
posted by neushoorn at 1:27 AM on December 12, 2012

Along the lines of Phoenixy, I work for a global manufacturing firm in the US. Though we have regional marketing managers, they are local people who we depend to take our global marketing strategies and implement a "glocal" version in their regions/countries. So all marketing strategy comes out of US headquarters. So back your question, being American internationally may not really help you since though a global company like ours requires our employees to speak English, it also requires the marketing person to understand that countries culture,customs and best marketing strategies.

You could always try to work towards an International Marketig Director position out of the US. These positions require a lot of travel! And sometimes these guys are relocated to other countries on assignments.

Good luck!
posted by xicana63 at 7:48 PM on December 12, 2012

« Older Books about important women in early US history   |   Children and foreign languages/cultures - inform... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.