Digital Distress reveals that while
more than three-quarters of marketers
believe their world has changed more
in the past two years than in the previous 50, less than half feel highly proficient at digital marketing.
An informal, unscientific review of
postings for social media jobs and jobs
that include social media responsibilities doesn’t do much to reassure you.
For required skills, companies list qualifications like proficiency in analyzing
and interpreting data; proficiency with
basic tools like HTML, TweetDeck
and Radian6; and of course written
and verbal skills.
What’s missing from these listings—and from the overall approach
to preparing the workforce to work
socially—are the specific competencies
required in order for staff to execute
against the social and digital strategies
the company is trying to achieve.
Two of my colleagues and I have
identified 34 distinct social and
digital media competencies. For each
one, we’ve listed the requirements to
work at minimal (or foundational)
levels, up to advanced levels.
Let me disclose that we’ve done this
work in order to sell related consulting
services, but that’s not the point (and
I’m not linking to our work in this
column). The point is that there are at
least 34 competencies in which communicators with digital responsibilities
say they are underqualified, yet companies are moving headlong into delegation of social and digital media to all
In a 1 October Fortune article, HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes points to a
“marked slowdown” in social media job
hiring. He cites data released by career
site Indeed.com showing that growth
in positions with the title “social media
manager” has dropped to 50 percent in
the last year. Before that, double- and
triple-digit growth was common.
It’s easy to account for part of this
decline. It wasn’t that long ago that the
job title “social media manager” didn’t
exist. Companies created the positions
in a flurry of HR activity and staffed
up in just a few years. Now, as managing social media becomes a common
It is in companies’
interest to help employees get good at
social media, if for no
other reason than to
by the numbers
According to Digital Distress, a study conducted by Adobe, only 48 percent
of marketers rated themselves as highly proficient at digital marketing.
Check out this video for an overview of the study’s findings.