Alongside the rapid rise of social media as a cultural phenomenon has been the equally rapid rise of the social media manager. With many organisations struggling to really grasp the new landscape within which they found themselves, the role of social media manager allowed them to assign the job of ‘being social’ to an individual or a department (usually within marketing).
So I must say, it’s incredibly pleasing to see a new study by recruitment website Indeed.com showing that growth in the number of social media manager roles slowed faster than ever before over the past year. Now of course, some context is good here, and it has to be said that social media manager jobs still grew by 50% over the past year, so it’s not like the role is going away.
But maybe, just maybe, organisations are beginning to appreciate that being a social business involves everyone. It requires that everyone gets involved in crafting the strategy for the organisation or in providing input into new products or giving great customer support or providing performance appraisals.
These things all require social skills, but they are all things that we should each be taking on board, wherever we sit within the org chart.
“We are seeing an increased demand for social savvy candidates across the business — from human resources to product to customer service,” Amy Crow, Indeed’s communication director said upon release of the study.
I’ve written previously about the need for employees in a social business to look beyond their job description and look to apply their skills and abilities wherever they’re best suited.
The social media manager role by contrast was created out of the belief that the various social networks and tools on the market were so popular with users that someone had to be employed to do something on them. Very seldom were these appointments made out of a pressing business need, which is a major reason why so many companies still struggle so much with the ROI of social media.
It seems unlikely that people place telephone or email skills on their CVs now, and there certainly aren’t many jobs dedicated to those tasks. Rather organisations have grown to appreciate that these technologies are merely tools they can use to do work more effectively, and as such they should be something all employees are skilled in.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that we are at this stage with social yet, but hopefully as each month skips past, we get closer and closer to the very notion of a social business merging into just ‘business’.