Business is booming for social media professionals. On LinkedIn alone there has been a huge surge in demand for social media experts. Social media job postings increased by 1357% from small and big firms on LinkedIn in the second quarter of 2013. Should we really be surprised by this figure? Sure the increase is exceptionally high but it reflects the importance of social marketing activities in today’s business environment.
Social media professionals are no longer thought of in mainstream media as geeky kids straight from high school with too much time on their hands and an addiction to Facebook. The value they can bring to a company’s marketing campaign has been known for some time. Coca Cola, Dell and Starbucks are just three of many multinationals who have taken notice of the impact and engagement that can follow social media marketing campaigns. Dell for example was able to gain $3million in sales from one Twitter campaign!
It’s Easy, I Could Do That Myself
Social media experts can be a misunderstood bunch by the public at large. After all what’s so hard about setting up a Twitter account and commenting a few times on Facebook?
The above unenlightened question does not even begin to scratch the surface of the diverse roles that social media professionals can occupy. Social strategists devise plans for how a company will project themselves across social platforms, community managers oversee the maintenance of company blogs and forums, then you have content developers, brand managers, social media coordinators, the list goes on (of course the worker bee and lynchpin of all social media activity is undoubtedly the blogger). It’s this diversity that has contributed to social media professionals being in such high demand.
Various people assume that because they have had Facebook since 2006 and have 10,000 Twitter followers they are already social media whizz kids. Most will find things a lot tougher than they anticipated as they try to multi-task between several tabs of social media platforms, utilize social analytics tools and stay on top of the 24/7 world of social media. Which is why “even when it’s your mountain to climb, having a Sherpa can help.”
Social Media Marketing is Marketing, Stupid
There are many articles/blogs out there that loudly proclaim that “marketing is dead”- 1.37 million in fact according to Google- This is not the case at all. A large number of those working in social media come from marketing backgrounds and guess what? They’re still working in marketing! Marketing is very much digital now as TV, radio and print advertising is no longer as relevant as it once was.
Traditional marketing is not dead it has only evolved and the way in which messages are communicated has changed. The focus on customer engagement, targeted advertising and great customer service are important now more than ever but they are not new marketing concepts. A recent survey by Adobe of US marketers found that they placed social media as the most important area of marketing for the next 3 years.
Social media marketing does not have a one size fits all method. When it’s implemented professionally and successfully the rewards can be great but equally when social media marketing is mishandled or done sloppily the results can be embarrassing for all concerned. Which is why companies are trusting in the professionals to deliver effective social media strategies and these professionals are clearly doing something right as the good word must be getting around.
By Sam Shedden