Posted August 20, 2010 11:32 am by with 7 comments

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While it should come as no surprise that the rapid fire pace of social media change can be dizzying, it doesn’t make it any easier for marketers to stay ahead of the game.

emarketer reports on a study conducted with marketing executives asking just how tough it is to stay ahead of the social media wave. The study was conducted by The Creative Group and found that the majority of executives surveyed are being challenged by the pace of change in social media.

Honestly, I call BS on the 35% that said it’s not challenging. Why? Because no one knows everything about social media. I figure those are the folks that never admit anything anyway so they are more like outliers (or maybe just liars?) anyway.

Just because it is a challenge to keep up with the change doesn’t mean you don’t try. Here are where these executives are turning to in order to get ‘edu-ma-cated’ on social media.

In reality, it is actually not even the executives that are in the greatest need of being aware of these trends and the like since they usually don’t get their hands dirty. Could this be a bigger part of the reason that staying ahead is tough?

Most marketers rely on in-house staff to handle their social efforts, but employees still require adequate training and also the time to keep up with the latest developments and trends among both consumers and their competitors.

Does that mean that the executive level marketers should just let the ‘little people’ do the learning and the work? Not if they want to keep their jobs. Has there ever been a time in business marketing history where it was more important to have a strong working knowledge of how the various marketing and social media tools available in the marketplace serve to help grow business? Probably not.

So C-suite marketers it doesn’t matter how tough it is to keep pace these days. You are either in it or on the sidelines. Where are you and your organization?

  • Within the last year it seems like the sentiment towards the C-suite has really started to heat up with regards to social. First it seemed like we all admired the few execs that embraced social. Then it seemed like we all were acknowledging that we were going to up our spends in social and that we didn’t know nearly what we needed to. Now over a third are already social media ninjas? I hear your call for B.S.

  • Mike

    My bet for the 35% saying it isn’t challenging at all would be the exec-type “marketers” that I already have (too much) experience dealing with. “Twitter will work how I tell it to work” types who basically give a high-level outline or a flow chart on exactly what to post and when in regards to blogs, forums, articles, press releases, facebook, twitter, linkedin… you name it. “Make sure you say “company, company, company” and “product, product, product” over and over again.”

    They see it (and therefore use it) as a push marketing tactic. Quote from CEO, “1500 people following us on twitter is the same as 1500 people subscribing to the company newsletter.” Applied reasoning that followed was based on that logic… “They must want to know all about the product and hear about it relentlessly.” Therefore all tweets were spammy as hell, losing the majority of followers, and getting the account red flagged via Twitter in the end.

    “This Twitter thing is simple.”

  • 3 things:
    1. I love your analogy on OUTLIERS vs LIARS!! Going to use this analogy in the future for sure.
    2. Very surprised Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin updates aren’t higher on the list of leading resources for staying current in Social Media.
    3. Staying current with Social Media trends is nearly impossible, but your point of “doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try” is so true, and such a great motivator for keeping up to speed, even if you only have 2 hours per week.

    Glad I landed here on your blog. Great resource center, and thanks again for the info

  • Staying on top of social media trends isn’t easy because nobody can predict what’s going to be the next big thing, People twitter thier time away, or feel a sense of celebrity by making an elaborate Facebook page. I think for a business to succeed in it, you have to have someone in the trenches who loves doing it, and responses to customer messages. Relationship marketing is very important, 63 percent of business is lost due to perceived indifference. You can twitter and facebook all you want, but customer interaction is a really big deal to get benefits from it.

    • I’m with you. For me, it’s all about community and actually r’ship bldg versus r’ship marketing. That’s me. I don’t count followers, I don’t count fans. I know that my social media Q will ultimately reflect the quality of my effort in building community and r’ships. I could hire someone to get me 1,000 fans by Labor Day but that doesn’t mean I’m engaging with my community. My experience has been that my business grows b/c people enjoy being in community with me. I’ve gotten speaking engagements, TV shows, etc. by simply being real in my community, soooooo “Viva la communidad!”

  • Absolutely agree about the large percentage who say keeping up isn’t challenging. Gimme a break. It changes constantly! And because it does (change constantly), if you’re depending on seminars to keep up, good luck!

  • haha. yes agreed. I dare say the 35% are mostly people… who don’t know what they don’t know.

    anyone who claims they are on top of everything.. clearly doesn’t know the rapid pace in which social media keeps involving.

    If i was interviewing someone for a social media position and they said they knew everything there is about social media.. i would already be suspicious.