A few days ago I was perusing my Facebook newsfeed for industry info, relevant blog updates, and videos of animals and infants interacting. As one does.
Then I saw this.
At first I assumed he was being sarcastic. April Fools! Joke’s on you! Ha ha! Ha. Ha. Ha…
You see, this post was written by an intelligent, well-meaning, professionally successful millennial I know who works for a global financial organization. Not only that, but 25 of my other peers had “liked” his post about the uselessness of social media! (The irony was not lost on me.)
We’re not taking about my grandpa here, folks. It astounded me that so many professionals in my immediate inner circle would so casually laugh off social media proficiency as a worthwhile professional skill. It struck me the same way it does when I’m watching an old Saved by the Bell episode and everyone’s laughing at Zack Morris for making a call on his gigantic, seemingly-needless “cellular telephone.”
Kudos to that other social media nerd’s epic takedown in the comments, though.
Of course, I’m naturally biased. Social media as a skill is a major part of how I make my living, and I’ve spent a great deal (like, a great deal) of time reading, researching, engaging, studying, and honing that ability just like some of my friends have in their respective specialties: real estate, management, and law. If you ask me (and Ad Age and Forbes and the U.S. Government), digital marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, 93% of marketers use social media for business.
Social media as a skill isn’t a fad. It’s not a hobby and it’s not a waste of time and it’s certainly not something you should leave off your resume if you happen to be good at it. Businesses simply can’t afford to ignore social media any longer and those that are just now coming around are struggling to catch up. Social media is an absolutely critical part of any successful marketing and advertising campaign (both local and global) and the smartest, most forward-thinking hiring managers know to look for employees who already have a background in the industry’s various platforms. It’s just good business.
Don’t believe me? How ’bout if I told you that:
- Social media has now eclipsed porn as the #1 way people spend their time online
- Since 2005, social media use has grown by over 800% worldwide
- 73% of all U.S. social media users log in at least once per day
- Fastest growing group on social? That’d be the impossible-to-reach 45-66 year old demographic
- LinkedIn gets two new members every second. Every second! Instagram alone has over 150,000,000 members
Now, should everyone with a Facebook account put “social media” on their resume? Probably not. Real social media professionals wear a lot of hats. They’re Public Relations Experts, Analysts, Advertising Creatives, Copywriters, Gatekeepers, Account Managers, and Developers. And as if that’s not enough, they’re really, really good at hashtagging stuff.
One thing I’ve learned, though, through forging my own way in a new media industry over the last few years? If someone’s trying to compare what I do everyday to an Excel pivot table then they probably don’t get it. They’re not the kind of client who’d understand my services or value what I bring to the table. And that’s okay.
I’ll just be over here, working for their competitor, poaching all their referral traffic.