Now that we are beginning to feel the relief of the economic uncertainty that has been hanging around us for the past few months, I am beginning to hear a lot about the invention of some new roles inside organizations looking to get “social media”.
Typically this means hire someone who knows our “space” really well and someone who is an expert in social media.
Well it’s the latter part that is the hard part. Consider that in Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book The Outliers he goes into a discussion about Violinists and how long it takes them to become a master at their craft. So without spoiling the book for you – the bottom line was – it takes 10,000 hours to become a Master Violinist. This got me thinking about how it could apply to Social Media and how long it would take to become a Social Media Expert.
So if you practice Social Media on the job for a few hours a day, let’s say 3 hours a day learning more about social media and 2 hours a day practicing social media times 5 days a week that means you could become a social media master in 7.6 years. Throw in the weekends and that drops to 5.5 years! But wait, social media hasn’t been around that long!
So since you can’t hire an expert, what qualities would make for a good social media marketer? Here are 4 macro competences to look for:
1) Story telling – in social media you need to tell good stories, stories that people will be attracted to, identify with and want to share. Story telling is key!
2) Packaging – they need to be able to package the stories up and be able to make them shareable this means the content can be found in a variety of media forms not just one.
3) Reach – they need to know how to reach people with their content, the more forms the better. So that means they need to be fluent in many social media sites.
4) Measure – and finally the hardest part for most people is the measurement of the effectiveness of the media and the efficiency of the story being spread in those media.