After reading and watching this week’s assigned blog posts and videos, you’ve seen Gary Vaynerchuk’s view of social media and the professionals he’s looking for and you’ve read Peter Shankman’s opinion about why he’ll not hire a “social media expert” and how social media has become as ubiquitous as answering the phone and it’s communicators and marketers who a company should look at. Both sides have been debated at length over a few years – which side do you agree with, and why?
As more companies expand their online presence and social media users and platforms increase, the field of social media seems to become more extensive day by day. As a result, professionals are becoming more familiar with this burgeoning style of communication in order to compete for the customer’s attention and further their brand identity. Inside the job market, however, there seems to be a debate about these professionals labeling themselves as “social media experts” or simply accepting that social media skills are already presumed of any of today’s communicators and marketers. I believe the answer to this debate is rooted in context. In less urban settings and in smaller companies, digital media may still be considered “new”. In such areas, a “social media expert” may be desired to launch a company’s online presence.
For example, The University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management posted a job opening for a social media student to handle the programs webpage and edit video. The Anderson School of Management is an accredited school of business for a digital savvy generation, and the facility saw it necessary to emphasize digital media dexterity, bolstering Vaynerchuck’s emphasis on social media.
However, social media, if not yet a standard of communication, is rapidly approaching this mark. As Vaynerchuck says, “the world is changing”. Large companies and urban areas are more established in digital media and may expect such skills of its communications and marketing teams. Because the University of New Mexico is located in a more rural area, social media skills may seem to be rarer than in these urban centers. However, such large companies may find it necessary to specialize with in these fields, which are also extensive in themselves. Also, while social media may become more standard in terms of business to customer communication, I believe brand identity takes this many steps further. Just because someone can post onto Twitter and Facebook, it does not mean that everyone can assume the identity and voice of the brand. I believe brand development may also fall into its own specification for larger companies. I believe social media experts are necessary in areas with a smaller digital presence, but it is ultimately a skill that will be demanded of most professionals in the years to come, actualizing Shankman’s POV.