Do Companies Really Need Social Media Managers?

JD Rucker February 20 Offbeat

As businesses continue to get more involved with social media as part of their branding, marketing, and customer relations, most are hiring “social media managers” to be their voice in Web 2.0. It’s a growing trend that many have said will burst in the coming years.

Is it real? When search engine optimization became important to businesses a few years ago, we didn’t see many companies hiring SEO managers. Most would simply hire firms to handle it for them. Social media appears to be different, most likely because it’s less technical in nature than SEO (even though some of the best in that industry have very little technical knowledge).

Should companies be hiring full-time employees to focus on social media, or should companies do one of the alternatives? Here are the choices:

  • Hire full-time employees to handle Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the plethora of other social media sites.
  • Hire a social media management firm to handle it for them.
  • Have the marketing or information departments integrate it into their messaging systems.
  • Set up RSS feeds and forget it exists.

Over the next year, the position of social media manager will undergo many changes. It will be hot, then cold, then hot again (and potentially cold again after that). The position is one that requires a very specific kind of person at the helm. What’s next?

This graphic by our friends at SocialCast takes a look at a day in the life of a social media manager. Click to enlarge.

Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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  • As more and more people join the current popular social media platforms, social media management will be a must. I think the question won’t be whether social media managers are needed or not. The question is and will be who is really qualified to manage your social media needs 😉

  • Rodlarking

    the speed with which social media develops means that a canny social manager is a must. however, i think they should work with the aim of putting themselves out of work within five years! i don’t mean this literally, but the breadth of social media means that content should be coming from all areas of the company/charity/whatever, and that everyone should be thinking of content they can share with those interested.