Social media is still a specialism
Steve Rubel says it’s the “end of the road for social media gurus” and I disagree. I think there’s a long way to go before people stop earning a wage from specialising in social media. It reminds me of the whole “PR is dead and blogging killed it” meme from 2006.
These are the reasons I wrote in the comment section:
- As someone has already alluded to, in early adopter sectors (e.g. tech) this may be the case but in numerous other sectors it is not. In the last two weeks I’ve spoke with people from different sectors (charity, housing and retail to name a few) and they are way off.
- Social media is not *just* about PR and marketing. A social media specialist by definition should be working with the HR department, the customer services department and, to some extent, the legal team, as well as PR and marketing.
- I don’t need to tell Steve Rubel the rate of change in social media is phenomenal. No more than five years ago there were huge two-day conferences dedicated to just blogging. Because five years ago blogging *was* social media. Look at it now. It’s so advanced from that (in hindsight) primitive state that no doubt in another five years time we’ll look back on today and laugh at our naivety. Regular nine-to-fivers find it difficult to keep up and there will always be a need for that person on the bleeding edge who eats, sleeps and breathes social media.
- If Steve Rubel and Chris Pirillo believe something expect it to become mainstream in a minimum of five years. Steve you were talking about lifestreaming circa three years ago and even now we’re not totally there yet (although you were bang on the money with your prediction).
- How much of the US PR industry is using Twitter in either a personal or professional capacity? To be generous I’ll say 40% max. That’s still 60% who are still not even on Twitter yet. Obviously this is not scientific but if they aren’t using Twitter either in a professional or personal capacity one could assume they’re behind the curve in terms of their knowledge and understanding of social media.
- What about social media specialists who have operated in and understand multinational markets? Given their deep knowledge of social media in international markets are they irrelevant too?
The social media specialist/guru/geek/whatever will still be around in the foreseeable future.