On some level, most larger businesses are engaged in social media. I say larger only because we have discussed the plight of the SMB in this space before and it is not safe to assume they are doing anything at all with social media.
To what degree and with what level of success these businesses use social media varies across the entire spectrum of runaway success to abject failure. This is not unusual because that’s how things work with everything in life, not just social media.
A recent study by Ketchum and FedEx tries to capture just how or to what degree most businesses are jumping in the social media waters. eMarketer shared part of their study with this chart.
This chart almost mirrors a classic bell curve (10 percent on one end, 80 percent in the middle and 10 percent on the other end). What the main differentiator in the middle and upper levels of this scale is not really how they are doing social media but the recognition that there needs to be dedicated personnel to perform the practice or the hiring of additional outside counsel from an agency.
So all of you job seekers that have a Facebook account and use Twitter to some degree or another it’s time to put some lipstick on that resume. Just like the days when search was the hot hiring topic, it looks like your biggest decision is going to be whether you are an expert, a guru, a maven, a ninja or a (fill in the blank).
Let’s face it there are going to be more business and job opportunities in the social media space than qualified bodies to fill them. Mainly this will happen because the industry is still very young. Also, because those who are most savvy in the space regarding the tools have the least amount of business experience. As a result, the application of the tools in business and being able to build a strategy for effective business application of these “fun” tools may not be as available as many businesses would like.
The industry is in for an extended period of settling on hires vs. making the best hire. Before you get your knickers in a twist, I am not saying that younger people who are social media tool savvy aren’t smart. What I am saying is that they lack experience in the business world and thus will be limited in effectiveness in many (not all) cases. That’s just a fact. Same goes for young accountants. You may know all the techniques but how to apply the tax code to the best advantage of a business v. a text book case study is very, very different and something learned through experience.
So for those of you looking to hire social media staff, what do you look for? What are hoping to get from your hires? Are they strategic hires or are they ‘rank and file’ hires? Let us know.