Everything goes digital. And then there´s social media. Where the heck is the Social Media guy best placed in the marketing department and is a social media strategy the same thing as a marketing strategy nowadays? Of course every employer want a Leonardo Da Vinci and often, for some reason, someone “good at social media and/or computers” is quickly dubbed that one. Well, even though we´re a bunch of generalists out there, a little look at what normally needs to be done from the marketing function can help sort things out. Here´s my 5 cents on the subject.
First of all, the Internet infiltrates every aspect of marketing. Even though most people and organisations haven´t yet been fully online-ified, it´s definately where they´re heading. From an organisational perspective, there is a (quite obvious when you actually do it!)difference between publishing and distributing your pamfletts and brochures online and engaging with your community. The first requires mostly design, language and computer skills. The latter requires mostly social skills.
If you look at the chart above you´lll notice that both offline and online marketing can be divided in information and social respectively. When sending a representative to a fair or to mingle at a customer meetup you of course send someone you know is good on relating. Which doesn´t necessarily need to be the guy good at converting photos for web formats etc. So, just like there´s a social guy for the offline things to be done, there needs to be a social guy for the online things to be done:
Better than organizing the marketing staff under a offline and and online director is to organise them under information/advertisement vs social/PR. Then production skills plus campaign and deadline-thinking are the organizational culture of one group while conversation skills plus 24/7 and listening-thinking are the organizational culture of the other group.
Now, it seems to be a lot of cultural wars going on to no use and a lot of frustration when people from the “old” information age feel annoyed by the “new” social age people that all of a sudden have gotten the microphone. If you by chance happen to come across someone that is equally good at creating smashing website and brochure design and at the same time entertains a large community of followers – you probably can´t afford or convince her or him to get into a regular employment position. But, that´s just a guess… ;-)