The social media professional is currently a jack of all trades.
Mix together some marketing, technology, html, a spoonful search engine optimization, a splash of public relations, a hint of advertising, 2 cups writing, and top it off with some digital media, cook it on twitter for a few months and you have yourself a warm delicious social media professional.
Calm down, that highly inaccurate recipe is meant to be funny, but also to display a point. This space is a mess of practices all mashed together. A while ago, Beth Harte wrote about how “Communication silos don’t work“. I couldn’t agree more. But now, it’s as if we’ve completely broke down the silos so that their contents are spilling everywhere and messing together.
Is this a good thing? Should people trying to become “social media professionals” be jacks of all trades? Or should they focus on one area? Seems most job offers require this wide array of expertise, and if one were to focus on one area, they wouldn’t be qualified for most positions. Will this just make us practice more things not as efficiently?
A community manager is not a marketer is not a public relations pro is not an SEO expert etc…
It’s great that we’re breaking down silos to integrate multiple practices and open communication but there’s a reason that silos exist in the first place…focus, and that’s a good thing.
We shouldn’t be breaking down silos, but rather connecting them to create a network. I’d rather take one person that focuses on PR, one for marketing, one for digital media, and one for community building and put them to work as a team, than four people who do a little bit of each of those things.
Maybe the “social media professional” is the middle man for the other areas. Maybe they’re the 5th member of the team team that can bridge the gap between the silos.
Help me out here. Are we losing focus by mixing everything together in the social media space? Or is social media the answer to integrating the focus of other areas?