You Aren’t Cut Out For Social Media Marketing

by Bob Hutchins January 31, 2016
January 31, 2016

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Throughout the last five years, social media marketing has been one of the fastest growing job opportunities.

It’s also one of the least understood–by both employers and the employees who fulfill those roles.

Hootsuite CEO, Ryan Holmes, recently published an opinion piece on FastCompany titled, “Inside The Growing Social Media Skills Gap.” Holmes makes the convincing argument in this piece that, “The contemporary workforce is woefully ill-equipped to help companies unlock [the potential of social media].”

So, if you’ve been feeling stressed about your DIY approach to in-house social media marketing…don’t sweat it. Chances are, you aren’t cut out for it, and that’s totally fine. You see, the strange thing about social media as a career is this:

Just because you use Facebook at home…your employer has assumed you can use Facebook as a marketing tool for business. (Or, perhaps you’ve made this assumption about yourself, and assigned yourself the task of “in-house social media marketer.”)

This Would Never Happen In Other Job Roles.
Imagine a Research & Development department that hired someone who likes to experiment with recipes at home to do R&D for the company…

Imagine a Human Resources department that hired someone with a natural ability for conflict-resolution to handle all the company’s HR needs…

Wouldn’t happen, right? These roles require specific education and training. There’s a distinction made between (1) personal hobbies and natural talents and (2) professional careers. Yet, in the world of social media marketing, many employers and business owners have assumed that just because a worker uses social media–or perhaps because the worker is the most knowledgeable about social media–that such a person should be asked to run a social strategy.

See the disconnect in this way of thinking?

Social… Done Right… Is A Pro’s Job
You can take the DIY approach to social media. If you understand the platforms, the way users communicate on the platform, AND are naturally savvy when it comes to sales and marketing, then you could be able to pull off your own social strategy just fine. However, these people are few and far between.

Not many people possess all of the skills (to say nothing of the time) required for effective social media marketing:

  • Writing
  • Design
  • Project management
  • Conversation
  • Customer service
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Understanding of all platforms

…the list goes on. So, if you aren’t cut out for social media marketing, don’t sweat it. Just because you use Facebook at home, doesn’t mean you can–or should–do it professionally. That’s what your agency is for!

What do you think? Have you found social to be harder or easier than it looks?

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