Out of a whim, I posted a question via LinkedIn’s Q&A area. Within minutes, I’ve gotten heartfelt responses, which I’m hoping to get permission to share excerpts of. For those of you who aren’t on LinkedIn (and why not? Find me), here’s the question which I believe is currently looming over our head…
Most of you know me as an avidly curious blogger, so I’d like to ask you something I’ve been pondering about for a while: “If you managed a company, would you hire a social media strategist?”
In this open-ended question, I’d like to get a sense of whether there is a need for someone culturally strong in the social media space (e.g. blogs, forums, social networks) to help companies communicate with their relevant public. This is in contrast to hiring a traditionally trained marketing person.
1. Do you see a need for a social media strategist today? (Yes / No + Why)
2. If yes, what kind of qualifications do you expect? (List some)
3. Also, if yes, what kind of bottomline (returns) would you expect?
4. Any further thoughts?
Your collective response will help me understand if we should expect a “dot-com bubble” for the social media industry. I’ll share the results once I get enough replies.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
As you can see, the question is about a potential “bubble“, otherwise referring to what happens when we overvalue our prospects (the chance of bursting).
Indeed, there are many reasons to be critical about the hype, myths and evils of Web 2.0, even on how it negatively affects the media industry itself. As precarious as the dot-com era, there is still a sense of exuberance to this world of social media, celebrated by the fact that we’ve got hyper-trafficked sites such as TechCrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and so on.
By way of this little survey, I’d be able to determine the sentiment and commitment of those in the industry towards social media, and more significantly, the kind of rewards they get from “friending” and “conversing” online. Perhaps there’s no need to measure returns with precision, that this mutual service could be a widely understood norm. That’s something I’d like to find out.
Of course, do feel free to drop your response to my question in the comments here as well. I’ll share excerpts of any remarkable trend I find.
UPDATE 1: Via LinkedIn and emails responses, I’ve received around
20 25 conversant responses about this matter so far. Most of which acknowledge we do realize the need for someone in this areas, but to varying degrees. I’m following up these emails to determine how committed they would be to hiring someone in this area, what they’d look for and what their plans might be. A blogged report will come as Part 2. Respondents come from a diverse range of industries, some of who I’m conducting video interviews with for an in-depth look via Part 3.
UPDATE 3: Tantiana, a senior communication student from the University of Tampa, has her own research question relevant to ours: “… if companies will fully embrace social media as their marketing tool, then what will be left to us, average users, to connect and communicate with each other?” Fairly obvious answer? Take a look at what respondents have to say.