Social Media Experience NOT Required

I bet you haven’t seen the headline of this blog in any marketing job postings recently. Experience managing the creation and distribution of content through social media seems to be table stakes for marketers these days.

And why not?  Social media is used by hundreds of millions of people every day and, when executed properly, is proven to be a highly effective campaign platform for generating awareness, interest and engagement for brands of all types.

But if everyone on your marketing team uses social media throughout the day to connect with news, people and entertainment, your brand is working in an echo chamber.  I’d like to draw a parallel to corporate efforts to diversify their employee base to illustrate my point.

It’s commonly accepted (although sadly not consistently practiced) that the best marketing organizations are those that include people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.  This is not because diversity is an end to itself, but because intelligent marketers understand that the significant demographic changes in the country over the past 20 years require a broader base of people from which to draw ideas and inspiration. The bottom line is marketing is about building relationships with customers, and if you fail to change with your customers your brand ultimatley will fail too.

Similarly, think about how differently people view the world depending on the source of their news and information.  I’m not just talking about Fox and MSNBC viewers.  Someone who follows politics on Twitter will see the world very differently from another who reads The New York Times or The Wall St Journal everyday.

I’m not making a value judgment on the merits of one versus the other.  What I’m saying is there is great diversity in how people engage with the world, and millions choose to do so NOT on social media.  In the rush to chase the shiny new object of social media marketing expertise, the value of of other skills and experiences essential to good marketing is being overlooked.

Something to think about before you post the next open position on your marketing team.



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