Image placeholder title

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Marketing and publishing professionals aren’t the only ones who need to have social media skills these days.

The number of job postings that include the phrase “social media” in the description increased by 88% between January 2011 and January of this year, according to data provided to MainStreet by Indeed.com, which aggregates job postings from around the Web.

At the moment, the phrase “social media” appears in just more than 1% of all job postings on Indeed.com, and while that may not seem like much, compare that to four years ago when it appeared in virtually no job postings and you can see where the trend is headed. What’s more, the phrase is popping up in industries ranging from nonprofits and education to retail and transportation.

“Many companies now have an expectation that employees will have some baseline knowledge of social media and be able to speak the language,” says Michael Werch, the communications manager at Indeed. “Even if you don’t necessarily have to use it in the position, companies definitely want people who are savvy in that area.”

Just how much a candidate is expected to know about social media depends on the position. Several companies like Bloomingdales, MLB.com and UPS are specifically calling for social media specialists who can help them engage better with customers and seek out new opportunities for the brand. These are positions where the phrase “social media” appears in the job title, not just as a skill listed in the description. But then there are positions ranging from advertising to recruiting where a knowledge of social networks like Twitter and Facebook is considered a big plus.

Rather than being an obstacle to landing a job, Werch argues that the increasing demand for social media skills gives job hunters an opportunity to “show off their creativity,” whether it’s by building a personal blog on Tumblr or demonstrating expertise on Twitter. Going forward, you never know when it might come in handy for a job.

Of course, social media isn’t just a skill needed for jobs, it’s also a great tool for landing a position. Check out MainStreet’s guide to using every major social network to find your dream job.

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by e-mail at seth.fiegerman@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.