I saw an interesting story in Fortune this week with the catchy title “The Social Media Manager is Dead – Long Live Social Media.” Citing a number of other sources, the article argues that social media is spreading into all areas of the corporation, making the consolidation of social media responsibility in one person redundant and inefficient. According to career site Indeed.com, growth in job listings for social media managers has slowed dramatically over the past year.
This immediately made me think of the “all tactics, no strategy” approach to social media that thankfully I’ve seen diminishing over the past four years. You know what I mean — marketers who when asked about their social media strategy talked about launching a Twitter account. Social media can be a powerful tool, but you need to focus on the business problem that needs solving before you dive into the applications.
The other thing this story made me reflect on is how hard change is for us humans. In the content marketing for sales engagements I lead, you need a good story to tell and you need technology for automation and for promotion. But you also need to foster cultural change — it’s a different way to market, a different way to sale. People need to do their jobs differently, and that takes a lot longer than developing a new app.
I hope this article is right on the money. Here’s to everyone getting social — not because it’s cool, but because they have to do it to perform their jobs better.
Don’t hold any victory parties quite yet, however. Things are definitely improving. Yet unfortunately we still encounter prospects where executives want social handled by the youngest intern, sales people don’t understand online prospecting and marketing execs engage in overt, one-way promotion in social media communities.
One final thing about the article was another sure sign of the times. It wasn’t written by a Fortune reporter. It was a contributed piece from Ryan Holmes, the CEO of social media platform company HootSuite. He certainly has an interest in promoting the spread of social media. Nice piece of content marketing Ryan!
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