These days it’s not uncommon to see advertised job roles such as “Social Media Specialist”, “PR/Social Media” or one that I saw recently, “Social Media Superstar”. One might scoff at the job description and think, how hard can that be? I know how to tweet. Cinch.
The reality is, it’s not a cinch. Just because you’re personally on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean you understand social media and how to utilize it to share information and build your online presence well. Why do you think these jobs are advertised as distinctly as they are? It is a reflection on how social media has evolved into something more than a branch of marketing. It requires a whole different skill set, a way of thinking and strategizing.
One main reason for this is that sharing information is less linear than broadcasting days of television and radio. Pretty much everyone has the power and tools to share, not just major networks and stations. Also, certain demographics, audiences, and subcultures have specific sharing behaviours and patterns. How do you know you’re engaging and conversing in the right way, with the right people? Here’s a pretty cool info-graphic on User Activity: Comparison of Social Networking sites and another one on Social Media Demographics.
Another reason is that it really is a full-time gig. Real life, socialising is exhausting, how much more is it to keep up appearances so-to-speak across your networks? Many companies and organisations beginning their web journey are thinking about social media from the word go, and not just as an afterthought.
So, just because you’ve “digitally broadcast” yourself across various social media platforms doesn’t mean you’re necessarily connecting with people. Before signing up ask yourself this (and be realistic):
- How active will I be?
- Why have I chosen this particular platform? (Tumblr over WordPress, Google+ over Facebook or why am I on them all?)
- Am I just jumping the bandwagon? (cough. Pinterest.)
- Is this information I’m sharing relevant or am I posting for the sake of a post?
- Who will read this and do I want them to share what I’ve posted? If so, how?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions you need to ask but once you have, and know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it (or at least have hired your superstar), Redfox Media bids you happy networking!