I was a social media intern as early as 2009 (Facebook got huge in 2006). When I was taking my journalism degree, many of my reports were about social media: The convergence of media in journalism and how Twitter was impacting the industry, What Google+ was going to be about (they were undecided then and still undecided now) and whether it was going to succeed (no), and how our rhetoric has changed in this age of social media (lol). I then used social media to get an internship, and after said internship, I joined a social media agency.
I don’t know what you think, but I think that’s a lot of social media.
It’s great to be an ‘expert’ in a specific area, but I believe that it’s important to diversify our skill set – in the early stages of our careers and even after – so that we do not fall in too deep in our specialisation that we bury ourselves in a dark pit, hiding from anything else outside our little world. It’s why people travel right? To learn and to experience other cultures and lifestyles, it helps us appreciate what we have and to help us aim for better.
Some people have lost sight of what the right thing is for their clients because they haven’t considered other solutions. It’s normal for traditional agencies to suggest advertising on traditional media, it’s normal for social agencies to suggest activity on social platforms.
I’m a big fan of social media. Trust me. I love how I’m able to get help from my friends and family to get an internship, I love that I can spread the word about of issues that bother me, and I love that I can get recommendations on a good tailor. I also particularly enjoy getting updated on the lives of others, especially if they are my boyfriend’s psychotic ex-girlfriend (no link there, sorry).
But I’ve learnt that social media isn’t always the right answer for brands and products, and it has always been very limiting. Social has to be integrated for it to work, just as ideas have to be intrinsically social to be effective. Even if the clients’ budgets don’t care about integration and social media budgets are usually always separate when it should be an ingrained cost in all marketing efforts.
So I’m not looking for a job in ‘social media’. I’m looking for a job to help brands become more human.
Update (15 Aug): I am no longer looking!