Approximately 73% of Fortune 500 companies have a Twitter account; 66% have Facebook Pages. However, many of these organizations lack experienced personnel to truly unleash the power of social. According to a survey by Harvard Business Review of 2,100 companies, only 12% of those utilizing media feel they use it effectively. Further, online job postings requiring social media skills have gone up 87%; there is now demand for proven social media professionals. This is great news for all of my Social Media grad students! This leads me to believe that not only employers accepting social, it is now a requirement for business (a notion many of have been shouting from the rooftops). Along with this comes the need for employees who can accomplish social strategies for businesses. In order to do so they need to understand come core social media marketing concepts.
Many believe that social media is simply having an active Facebook profile or Twitter feed. I assure you it is not, there is a method behind the madness! My social media MBA courses offer students the opportunity to learn and apply skills relevant to their career or career goals. These courses are part of a traditional MBA program, requiring courses in accounting, finance, management and more. Students utilize all of these classes together; not in a vacuum. They learn to be strategic and analytic. Upon their completion of the MBA with the social media marketing focus, a student should be able to demonstrate the below competencies. These are not necessarily individual skill sets, but cover a broad spectrum of skills that if used together, make the individual more proficient and marketable. These topics below are addressed more fully within the courses I teach, but are a great resource to look over and evaluate yourself. View this checklist and assess which social media marketing concepts you have conquered and which you can improve upon:
Social media is so much more than simply knowing how to tweet, how to use the various social platforms, and how to navigate the different tools available. It’s knowing how to utilize them together (effectively) to reach your organizations goals. This involves high levels of strategic thinking, a very critical skill. Strategic planning is more important than ever given the significance of integrating social with other brand communications. Aligning social media goals with the goals of the business as well as business objectives is often overlooked. Strategic planning in business today must include more than creating outputs (tweets, blog posts, and videos), it should include the actual building of relationships that lead to an increase of the bottom line.
My graduates know that no one is truly THE social media expert, guru, Jedi, ninja, rock star, king, (you get the idea). I even reprimand those who might use those phrases with my name in the same sentence. We are all learning from each other and are actively taking social media to the next level! I believe that is what I enjoy most about social media: those who truly love the field and love what we do want all to succeed. Making this community of social media folks one that is full of individuals helping each other, communicating successes and failures so others may learn, while also “checking in” with each other “just because”. This is so different than any other business sector that I have been in partly due to the nature of social media, but also due to how business has evolved since the early 90’s.
What social media marketing concepts and skill(s) will you try to focus on and improve?
The views expressed are those of the author, and do not represent those ofTexas A&M University-CommerceorSouthern New Hampshire Universityunless stated explicitly.