I was talking to a really smart person yesterday, way smarter than me, and I told her in no uncertain terms that eventually, this whole social media thing will eventually flatten out. Pretty soon, a lot of us, if not all of us, will have a pretty solid grasp of what social media is, and and how we are supposed to use it. So instead of just a few of us knowing what’s going on along with the requisite snake oil guys, they’ll be a whole slew of us running around who actually might know what they’re doing. It’s inevitable. For some of you snake oil dudes-the clock is ticking
Just like the early days of the internet and AOL, of email and using Hotmail and Outlook for some good ole’ email blasts, of SEO, of pay per click, of content marketing and so on and so forth. In each case there was always that big learning curve and once everyone overcame that, then all of a sudden you had people and companies left and right who decided to wrap whole business solutions around disciplines such as internet marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and content marketing.
What happens is, as more and more people learn social media, they then turn right around and flip that new found knowledge into a business that is either directly or indirectly related to it. That’s technology.
So then what happens is that some people are no longer deemed a social media specialist as much as they become a generalist. Face it, we all to a certain degree become generalists. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. It means that surface level discussions now have the potential to take deeper dives because we all have a general understanding.
Right now, we’re still stuck in a semi-education mode with social.
My point though is that the days of the lone ranger, of the actual social media knight in shining armor riding in to save the day, will start to wane. Eventually when a mar-comm person or an IT person, or a PR person is hired, the skillsets will include a healthy understanding of how to use social networks, how to build communities, how to engage users in social nets, how to drive engagement in social nets and how to measure social engagements. Those will be “must have’s” and not “would be nice” reqs-and that won’t be asking a lot either.
The day is coming. We’re not there yet but eventually finding a director of social media won’t be too difficult and having director of social media in your title will be the same as being a director or email marketing or SEO, they’ll be everywhere; which will still be cool, but as I said, eventually, you’ll see that everyone will have experience “with” social media on their resume right alongside all the other must have skill sets . We’re close but not yet. But when we are there, then the real fun will begin.
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Well, you know how I feel about this. It scares me that there are firms specializing in social media. I think it belongs to all of us and those who “specialize” in it are shooting themselves in the foot. But perhaps, by the time it belongs to everyone, there will be some new thing they can specialize in (gaming, anyone?).