More and more I am hearing a lot about how easy it is to do Social Media and why would anyone want to enlist the help of an expert, and who actually is a Social Media ‘Expert’ anyway?
Nothing frustrates me further. Being an Academic who studied version 2004-2006 of Media and Communications at Monash University Melbourne, I understand what is meant when people talk about this new breed of uneducated ‘Social Media Gurus’. Idiosyncratically the pimply kid with the ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, a pair of Beats headphones, wearing skinny jeans, carrying a Mac Book Pro and a latte. As the current Social Media explosion is self taught and those whom fit into the above category generally are the experts.
As Social Media evolves quicker than the seasons change, so does the social landscape. A Social Media Expert knows this and actively participates in building and developing this landscape through understanding the culture in which they exist. A Social Media Guru lives and breathes Social Media Strategy. They post, share, emote, comment, RT, pin, blog and like in their sleep.
In response to the development of Web 2.0, Universities are finally beginning to understand and educate about the power of such a large medium. In the future we will see a Bachelor of Social Media And Communication. Our experts will be experts and educated accordingly.
Yes, anyone and everyone can jump on Facebook; upload a picture and make sense of it, but a Social Media Strategist is able to identify inadequacies in the work of a novice to the highly constructed and contextualised piece of an expert. As Covey once said “Begin with the end in mind”, we can apply this theory to the creation of a sound Social Media Strategy.
Let me make this clear, just because you can upload something onto your personal page does not mean that you can create an engaging and interactive strategy for your business. But then again maybe you can, and if you can you should really be working in Social Media alongside me.
From my experience in the industry, those who choose self management over external management rarely succeed in this ever changing landscape. With a wide range of errors on posts and general directional focus clearly identified by experts with one scroll on the page. With Social Media networks changing the rules as often as Google sends out a Penguin and Panda update, you need someone who knows what they are doing. Moreover someone who has ‘tried and tested’ beforehand.
Having been on Facebook before it was open to the public in September 2006, I have seen the changing face of the interface. And the way the initial Fan Pages have developed into advertising giants of the current version of Pages is a demonstration of it’s willingness to evolve into a highly marketable product. To turn the need for digital social interaction into a medium of considerable marketing opportunities for users and businesses is technological progression at its finest.
Social Media Solutionists are across a variety of different platforms in the most effective ways. We understand the environment we exist in, as we are the ones who shape it for the future. And yes, there is always something new to learn and to read and to follow. We connect and chat with other professionals and most importantly we love Social Media so much that we write blogs ourselves. We lead by example.
Part of my job is managing what people are saying about your brand and topics that relate to your brand, as well as creatively thinking and developing content for posts and branding. The last part is having my finger on the erratic Social Media pulse in order to develop appropriate strategies in line with Social Media trends.
Furthermore, the moment you hand over your profile you are not losing control of your brand, you are opening it up to your audience directly. Your company will still have access to every one of your pages and have the ability to create posts at any point. But before you post, I recommend that you send them to your Social Consultant instead so it does not disrupt the marketing and direction of the strategy.
Experienced Strategists will have worked within a variety of different industries and be able to understand the best use practices for the said audience. They will also understand in part the process behind the Search Engine Optimisation and how to increase your website traffic through the integration of Social Networks.
Having ‘tried it before’, experienced strategists will know what are the right mediums to engage your audience and what content will be the most successful online. We know it because we live and breathe it. We mimic our expertise on our own personal pages and we continue to learn and go.
Companies who do not dive into this landscape now will be left behind in the digital rat race. As we increase in social communication, we change how we wish to receive information. In the ‘olden days’ before Facebook, we could seek information through news and content outlets, we would search for the information and we would receive an opinionated and biased view of the news. Times haves changed and now we choose when, how and what sort of information that we want communicated to us, and by what platform in which we receive it.
Gen Y has moved so effortlessly into this technological sphere through schooling and are less and less reliant on televised news for current political, economical and social events. We are sitting on our smart phones, subscribing to RSS feeds and tweets. In addition, Gen Z is the first generation to not have lived without the internet. Technologically connected from the beginning and their exposure to content out reaching their capacity to comprehend it.
My point here is that in order to continue to ensure the longevity of your business, you will need to move with the times and tap into this digital market. As Gen Z will be your future and the decisions you make now will impact the likelihood of them continuing to build your brand.
So next time you are thinking about the value of a Social Media Professional, you must ask yourself if trusting the branding of your company to inexperienced hands is really worth it? Moreover why poorly paint your nails yourself, when you can get an expert finish at a Manicurist?
“Being social is more than a post.”
#NB: This is a repost of an original post by MsMMango – if you want to talk Social Media, follow me on Twitter @MsMMango or firstname.lastname@example.org