Why Social Media might not be for You

Social Media Skills Gap Why Social Media Might Not Be For You
“Having a social media account doth not make a social media expert…”
- Anon

We are currently in the midst of a social media skills gap and it’s all ironically down to a miscommunication. While mainstream personal usage of social networks has increased, so have companies’ understandings of the potential they offer. However, many people have got themselves into the mind-set that all it takes to be a social media expert is to own a social media account.

Personal use doesn’t do near enough to equip an individual with the skills that it takes to un-tap that potential - yet too many companies are dispersing social media as a secondary responsibility across other roles...

From where we are now it’s difficult to imagine that businesses and organisations were ever hesitant about getting on social media. It is a phenomenon that has grown to be ingrained into our cultures. It has drastically altered how we communicate with each other on both a local and global scale. Our vocabularies are now riddled with verbs and nouns that were once mere references to an idea deep in the mind of social networking entrepreneurs. And all of this has happened in a matter of years.

Social media calls for a separate skillset

Social networks rapidly and continually evolve to meet the growing needs of users. No, strike that - the most successful social networks anticipate the next generation of users’ needs and meet them before they even exist. No wonder so much content is written on evolving trends and how to equip your business for future growth.

Marketing calls for meticulous analysis of data in order to identify future trends that can be acted upon - yet with social media we are faced with a marketplace unlike any other, and while the social networks move forward very little formal training has been developed. Therefore, social media skills have only really been able to develop within practice.

The misunderstanding surrounding social media

Regardless of what we may think, the knowledge and skills it takes to elevate a business account to new levels are not found in the general consumer's understanding of the social landscape. That means that, although you may think you are social literate because you’ve witnessed what some businesses have done across networks, when it comes to the crunch it takes more than that. Being successful on social means not looking at social, but looking to the future with social. It’s about understanding the landscape, envisaging trends, and working out how your campaigns could fit into them to actually get results.

We can be guilty of mistaking our day-to-day usage of social networking as all the training we would ever need. However, past instances of social media faux-pas and blunders make it obvious that this is incorrect. Not understanding or investing in individuals who truly understand social media marketing for business can lead to these kind of poor reactions to your business - or worse; no reaction whatsoever. In short - not addressing a lack of social media skills can lead to potential revenue and opportunities going straight down the drain.

Social media is now fully integrated in business - so invest in those skills

We have begun to address the issue - in more recent years Universities have been integrating foundation modules for understanding social media and the digital marketplace into degrees other than marketing. However, marketing isn’t the only facet to employee's engagement with social media. Many make use of social tools to help increase productivity and collaboration across their organisation such as Slack, Asana, and soon Facebook at Work.

Therefore companies want to be investing in a certain amount of social media literacy. This may call for on-the-role training. Whatever it means, now is the time to encourage the development of those skills across your team.

You need a social media marketing expert

Around 2 billion people across the globe now use social networking to some extent. Your social media accounts are your business’s front line of engagement to the three-quarters of those users who consider their buying decisions influenced by social networking. While you should be encouraging social media literacy within your organisation, if you want to ensure you aren’t missing out on that potential you cannot disperse social media marketing duties across other roles.

We at Giraffe have the social media skills your business might be missing - and we’d love to help you get the results you’ve been craving. Get in touch to see how we could help you.

Editor - 

Mark is our resident content marketing specialist, what this guy doesn't know isn't worth knowing. His biggest passion is for enacting positive social change through media. In his spare time he is also a keen comedy writer and singer.

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