SXSWi 2012 - Your Social Media Job is Dead. Now What?


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Our panel at SXSWi 2012 featuring Angeline Vuong (Sr Strategist, Huge), Ana Andjelic (Digital Strategist, Droga5), Sonny Gill (Social Media Mgr, US Cellular), Natalie Rodic Marsan (Account Supervisor, VaynerMedia)

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  • My background is actually in social media. I started out as a community manager for a startup called crowdSPRING and became the Social Media Editor & National Community Manager for After brief stint as an Account Director at a social media agency, I landed a job at HUGE. For me, it was kind of a wake up call because I had been in these specialized roles focused on one aspect of digital, and there were so many other disciplines and broader segments at huge. I’m sure a lot of you in this room have social media-related jobs and have been at the point in your career where you wonder, “What’s next?” And, what happens as social media becomes more and more commonplace?
  • The social media field is a hot market with many opportunities….
  • …and many people claiming they know all about it. Over 1.1 million in my LinkedIn network actually.
  • And with all these roles and crazy titles, Everyone is now a social media expert / guru / ninja / maven. (and if you use those words, you should reconsider)
  • Where are our VPs of Email? Or Email Ninjas? They aren’t touting their skills on linked in like the 1.1 million people touting their social media prowess. You may laugh at that idea, but social media is quickly on its way to becoming even more inherent than email in our digital behavior.
  • …and when you look back 5-10 years ago and think about how in demand Flash developers were compared to now, those who didn’t learn other languages or how to develop apps are probably hurting a bit.
  • When I started at Huge, I was surprised to see who was responsible for the social media efforts / strategies for our clients and also within our agency. As the “social media specialist,” I didn’t understand really why someone else handling the strategy if there was a specialist. And honestly, I felt a bit threatened and wondered how long I could last as a specialist.
  • It also struck me strange as we were named 2 years running as OMMA’s social media agency of the year, namely for the Pepsi Refresh Project, when we have zero strategists with the words social media in their titles. Social is just something that’s inherently a part of everyone’s digital lexicon within the agency.
  • And when you look at one of the most acclaimed viral / social media campaigns to date, Old Spice Nobody on the list of W+K’s credits has “social media” in their title.In fact, when I searched LinkedIn, nobody came up at Wieden & Kennedy with social media in their title. But it doesn’t mean they can’t do it well.
  • So, I thought that maybe it’s time to re-think social media as a profession. It doesn’t (and it didn’t) take a social media guru to come up with compelling experiences like Old Spice or the Pepsi Refresh Project.
  • The Altimeter Group has some great research about the role of the Corporate Social Strategist. And what I found interesting is that more than strategizing, social media strategists are typically just evangelizing this new standard of communicating.They’re really evangelists of new technology & initiativesand helping show how to best apply emerging technologies within their organization
  • In our increasingly digital world, we must understand how to best utilize new tools as these technologies become available.But, if you’re in any digital-related field, you are in the business of developing experiences that meet your brand’s objectives and make customers happy.
  • And I wanted to bring other people I respect within the industry to share their thoughts on this timely topic. So I’ll let sonny take it away. . .
  • When we get to this moment where social is just inherent throughout the business, as a social media manager now, where do you see yourself in 5 years?How is your agency / client relationship structured?
  • When we get to this moment where social is just inherent throughout the business, as a social media manager now, where do you see yourself in 5 years?How is your agency / client relationship structured?
  • What do you think happens to specialist agencies? i.e. Social media agencies? Mobile agencies? Do you think there’s still room for them?
  • The answer is not-really. They won’t die, but if you want to do more than the current position….
  • Over the next 5 yrs
  • Over the next 5 yrs
  • Over the next 5 yrs
  • Over the next 5 yrs
  • Over the next 5 yrs
  • SXSWi 2012 - Your Social Media Job is Dead. Now What?

    1. 1. March 13, 2012Your Social Media Job is Dead: Now What?Ana Andjelic – Droga5Sonny Gill – US CellularNatalie Rodic Marsan - VaynerMediaAngeline Vuong - Huge
    2. 2. Sorry. I normally don’t sound like this.
    3. 3. It’s actually more like this…
    4. 4. #SXSMJOBS
    5. 5. @angelineasaurus @sonnygill @andjelicaaa @rodicka
    6. 6. Whywe’re here.
    7. 7. +75% social media-related job postings in 2011.Source: #SXSMJOBS
    8. 8. Social Media ManagersCoordinators Strategists Editors Evangelists Directors VPs Developers Experts Gurus Ninjas Mavens etc…
    9. 9. But… How much room is therefor specialization? And is it sustainable?
    10. 10. Everyone was dying to have a Flash guru. Now, interest is dying…Source: Google Insights #SXSMJOBS
    11. 11. Digital strategist. Planner. Marketing analyst. Account director. Communicationsdirector. Marketing manager.Product manager. Customer insights manager. User experience lead. Content strategist. #SXSMJOBS
    12. 12. 2 years as OMMA’s 0 strategists with thesocial media agency words “social media” of the year in their titles #SXSMJOBS
    13. 13. Re-thinking social mediaas a profession.
    14. 14. #SXSMJOBS
    15. 15. Good digital professionalsdevelop amazing experiences that meet brand objectives and make customers happy. That’s it. #SXSMJOBS
    16. 16. So, is this industry really obsolete?
    17. 17. Sonny.@sonnygill
    18. 18. Yes.(well, sort of…) #SXSMJOBS
    19. 19. My social roots:Digital Jack of all TradesSocial Media Career Development –  Infancy > Working Knowledge > AdoptionBusiness acumen evolution –  Understand internal functions –  Bridge social & business #SXSMJOBS
    20. 20. Social career plateaus & pitfalls:•  Tactical•  Platform dependent•  Siloed in community management #SXSMJOBS
    21. 21. Depends on…Willingness to EvolveChange in Organizational DNA – Culture – InnovationAccepting Greater Responsibility – Business decision maker – Leadership – Governance #SXSMJOBS
    22. 22. Ana.@andjelicaaa
    23. 23. Yes.(definitely) #SXSMJOBS
    24. 24. #SXSMJOBS
    25. 25. #SXSMJOBS
    26. 26. #SXSMJOBS
    27. 27. #SXSMJOBS
    28. 28. #SXSMJOBS
    29. 29. Focus on digital behaviors.! #SXSMJOBS
    30. 30. Natalie.@rodicka
    31. 31. No.(simply evolving) #SXSMJOBS
    32. 32. Social media is just an extension of building community. #SXSMJOBS
    33. 33. 2 major aspects:Campaigns are marketing.Community management is a lifetime. #SXSMJOBS
    34. 34. Some role specialization is necessary(this isn’t unique to social media)•  Strategists: What’s the point we’re trying to convey? What’s the right thing to do?•  Community Managers: Real-time interaction & analysis; amplification•  Analysts: Deeper analysis of efforts & how they tie back into business goals•  Supervisors / Directors: Someone who has deep experience in one of the other roles, a general knowledge of all the roles, can ensure it all happens, and ties back to business objectives #SXSMJOBS
    35. 35. Community Roles spread across organizationManagers BecomingStrategists intelligence collectors Work with all businessAnalysts units to help fuel product development
    36. 36. In short… Your social media job may notbe dead (yet), but it must evolve.
    37. 37. Social media is a toolset. Customer service, PR, marketing and consumerinsights existed way before Facebook brand pages, sponsored tweets and Pin It buttons. #SMJOBS
    38. 38. Social media strategy is a myth. It’s really about best understanding tactics & execution. #SMJOBS
    39. 39. Social media strategy is a myth. Specialization strategy is valuable as technologies emerge, but good social strategists & managers understand how to go beyond the silo. #SMJOBS
    40. 40. Accept greater responsibility.As digital becomes inherently social & businesses becomeinherently digital, expertise on digital behavior must also adapt accordingly. #SMJOBS
    41. 41. Resources. #SXSMJOBS
    42. 42. #SXSMJOBS
    43. 43. Questions. #SXSMJOBS
    44. 44. What will the career growthopportunities be? Which roles will go away? Which stay? #SMJOBS
    45. 45. What is the future of social media within organizations? How will these roles be structured? #SMJOBS
    46. 46. How do people who have social media jobs avoid being pigeonholed? #SMJOBS
    47. 47. What do you think will happen to social media agencies? #SMJOBS
    48. 48. What social media-related skillswill continue to be valuable to employers? #SMJOBS