Seems every business, nonprofit, and mom and pop soda shop want to hire a fresh-faced, tech-savvy, recent College grad to manage their Twitter and Facebook presence. And oh yea, contribute to the blog a bit as well.
Here’s the problem though. Twitter, Facebook, and the other social media tools are just that: tools. Which means they are a means to an end, and the end is actually a bit more complicated than knowing how to post friendly company updates on Facebook, or engage people on Twitter. Giving over your social media profiles to an intern with no understanding of marketing, communications, or business development nearly guarantees that you’re going to hit a low ceiling when it comes to making use of social media.
For my money, I want to see a social media manager who has a fairly good grasp of big-picture marketing strategy and how to create copy that speaks to core messaging. I want to see some understanding of branding and business development and maybe even sales and customer service. And if they’re going to be a contributing blogger, than ideally I’d like to see at least some background in journalism.
By now, most businesses are recognizing that social media shouldn’t be an afterthought. On the contrary, social media tools have become a core pillar in the execution of high-level strategic goals. Don’t get me wrong, the pace of change in social media means young people (full disclosure, I think I still fit into that category… barely) are as likely to be experts as anyone else. Still – think twice about turning over that sort of responsibility to someone without some experience in grasping the big picture.