Carrie Ritchie

Social Media Editor

By Sarah Hunker

Indiana Alumni Carrie Ritchie graduated from IU’s School of Journalism in 2008. What she did after at the Indianapolis Star was revolutionary to media outlets everywhere. Before she had stepped into the newsroom her position there had not even existed. Her role as Social Media Editor had grown importance to how traditional papers would integrate online.

Now, Ritchie has taken on a new path in her career working for International Business Corporation (IBM). Ritchie’s career path changed with help from two of her former IU classmates. Because they both worked for a team at IBM that recruits social media experts, they went to her because of her background.

“One of them knew that I was social media editor for The Indianapolis Star and asked if I would consider taking an open position on IBM’s team” Ritchie said. “I was intrigued, so I agreed to a phone call to learn more; and the more I learned, the more intrigued I became.” Because of her immense interest in the position, Ritchie said she knew she couldn’t turn it down.

Within IBM, Ritchie works for a group called the Institute for Business Value (IBV). According to Ritchie, the group is ranked number one in the world for thought leadership. With there being employees all over the globe, Ritchie promotes its research on social media.

“I run all of its social media channels, and I also work closely with IBV staff to help them use social media appropriately and effectively,” Ritchie said.

With her job comes new technology, which entails using social media channels and social analytics tools. With newer technology come obstacles as well. Ritchie is also able to work from home, which can be challenging with her technology. But social media itself can also be a challenge as well.

“Anyone who works in social media likely will admit that it’s a challenge to simply keep up with all of the new channels and tools that keep popping up,” Ritchie said. “It’s a constant struggle to stay up-to-date when your career field seems to change daily.”

There are many companies today that use social media in all aspects of what they do. With companies like IBM, Ritchie said social media has immense benefits. Ritchie said IBM comes up with many new ways to utilize social media all the time. One example she said was when IBM teamed up with a fashion brand to create dresses that lit up for the 2016 Met Gala. The colors changed due to people’s social media reactions.

“I never would have thought of that in a million years, but that’s the beauty of social media, it can do anything,” Ritchie said.

Ritchie’s role in social media can take her anywhere. She said it’s because social media experts are so high in demand due to companies wanting to promote themselves on different levels of social media. With that, she expects more career opportunities to start popping up as well.

“Just because people use social media personally doesn’t mean they can use it professionally, it takes skill and a whole lot of practice to be able to manage a brand on social media,” Ritchie said. “I think there will be tremendous growth in social media career opportunities over the next few years.”