The rise and fall of the social media manager

The rise and fall of the social media manager

Written by Rob Smith

Research by US recruitment site Indeed revealed that growth in jobs with social media in their title reduced to 50 per cent last year. This is a significant decline from previous years where triple and quadruple growth occurred.

The research also found that jobs with social media in their description increased by 89 per cent over the past 12 months. What does this mean? Well, in the first instance, it means businesses are beginning to understand that social media is a delivery mechanism and not a discipline.

Social media is a channel, just as a website is, or indeed traditional media outlets are. The one constant in the ever changing world of advertising and PR is the need for powerful strategic ideas.

These are what ultimately lead to the creation of valuable, engaging content that can be disseminated across appropriate channels using an integrated array of tactics. It is short sighted for brands of any size or stature to think of developing isolated campaigns for social media.

Another factor behind the death of the social media manager is that brands and individuals within organisations now realise that there is no mystique in using the medium.

They have realised they can do it themselves and that it is a powerful way to connect and engage with the audiences that are important to them. Many in business effectively dipped their toe into social media waters with LinkedIn. From there Twitter was a natural progression.

When that happened the penny dropped for many organisations that they do not need to employ social media managers. Instead, they realised that their people are ideally positioned to provide authentic, knowledgeable voices to represent the brand.

This change also represents an opportunity for PR agencies like ours to work with clients to devise integrated, authoritative content strategies based around a powerful campaign idea that utilises all channels to maximum effect. In addition, an integrated approach has a significant positive impact upon online visibility.

With the well-documented effect of Google’s Penguin and Panda updates on the now largely discredited link building tactics employed predominantly by digital agencies, the balance of power around visibility and search has shifted.

It now lies where it should be – and some would say where it really has been all along – with the creators and providers of genuinely engaging, interesting and sharable content.

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