Archive for Social Media Director

Profile of a Social Media Director

[tweetmeme]The role of social media in promoting a company’s brand and services is so important that I thought it was time to examine the profile of the Social Media Director. I started by pulling up job postings to sift through the specific skills and experience that companies expect of candidates for this relatively new position in organizations.

My first stop was The Ladders, which only posts jobs of $100k or more, and they had no jobs listed anywhere in the country even when I searched variations on the title.  This was disappointing, because this position calls for a six-figure salary.

I then went to job board aggregator Simply Hired and was delighted to find multiple listings for Social Media Director and variations like Director, Social Media and Communications; Director, Public Relations and Social Media, SEO and Social Media Director, etc.  I was disappointed, though, that the first company listing that I found was, indeed, from The Ladders (so job searchers beware if you’re not successful searching this site).

Qualifications Required

Of the job postings I reviewed, the Social Media Director is at the middle manager level, usually reporting into the top PR or marketing executive. The job requirements I read are so broad and encompassing they would be impossible for one person to accomplish.  But not every job description included managing a team.  Good luck solo directors!

I was gratified to read in Motorola’s qualifications for a Senior Director, Social Media, “This is a new role requiring an individual who can harness marketing, brand building, corporate communications, stakeholder engagement and issues management expertise.”  These are big time responsibilities.

I believe that in the not-too-distant future the Social Media Director will be elevated to the executive suite and report directly to the CEO or COO.

7 Basic Duties

Based on my research, here is the profile of a Social Media Director:

  • Direct social media programs. Well, this is the obvious one.  Manage the company’s participation on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Develop communications strategies across product and service lines.  This is encouraging, because companies now understand that social media permeates every part of the organization.  Companies like Coca-Cola, Intel, Procter & Gamble and many others are launching product/service and educational campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube and they need skilled communicators to execute them.
  • Identify revenue opportunities.  Wow, this is exciting because the director is usually in a staff position (read: below the line on the balance sheet).  Finally, staff employees are being recognized for their ability to contribute to ROI.  Hurray!
  • Customer relations.  This is a big one.  Customers are gathering in online communities where they have a forum to vent their feelings about their experiences – both good and bad.  Companies like Comcast pioneered the concept of an instant response team to respond to customer concerns.  Go to @comcastcares on Twitter and follow the conversations between “Comcast Will” and customers regarding service issues, such as outages and email failures.  Or visit Motorola’s @MotoMobile for their interactions with customers.  Fascinating reading.
  • Enlist employees as brand advocates. This one is close to my heart because employees can be the best advocates for their company.  Frontier Communications’ requirements include identifying “brand evangelists and celebrity bloggers to virally spread Frontier’s value through relevant online communities.”  I’m not a celebrity – but I’m available, Frontier.
  • Reputation Management. In other words, ensure that the company’s brand and reputation are enhanced by social media activities.
  • Investor Relations. I only saw this listed in one job description, but it certainly seems like a good use of social media.  Many highly regulated organizations, like financial services companies, have put a lid on social media, but I think it’s often just an excuse.  They would have to draw up strict protocols, but it can be done.  Just see Wells Fargo and their Bon Jovi promotion.

Of course, I couldn’t read every job description, so I’m sure I’ve missed essential skills that some companies require.  All I know is that the Social Media Director is becoming a major force in the success of his or her company in influencing all its targets: customers, employees, government, investors, and the media.

Please leave me a comment if you think there are other job requirements that I’ve left out and we’ll build out the profile.  Thanks.

Is its New Social Media Director Important Enough for McDonald’s to Announce?

McDonald's has a new social media director

[tweetmeme]I’m not sure how I came upon the story first – about Rick Wion being appointed McDonald’s first Director of Social Media – but I thought it was great news because social media is so important now to every company and every human being, actually.  So, after trolling around the web to read a few more stories about Mr. Wion, I decided to go to McDonald’s website to read its press release with the official announcement.  Nada.

I tried searching his name, social media director, the name of his boss, combining them, and decoupling them.  I found nothing (I hope McDonald’s corrects this impression if they read this and I’m wrong).  I thought this would be a big deal for the company.

How important is a social media director in McDonald’s or any company?  I would think it’s very important – but maybe I’m “into it” more I imagine other people to be.  So I went to the trusty Google key word search tool and typed in “social media director.”  Not enough data to measure.  What?  Isn’t social media the greatest thing to hit since the manual typewriter?  Aren’t companies scrambling to attract beaucoup Facebook fans and Tweeps?

True, and I was relieved to find that Google shows 1,220,000 searches for “social media.”  That’s a nice hefty number.  But….that’s less than 1% of 307 million Americans (OK, we shouldn’t count new-born babies) who cared enough about social media to search the term last month.

I have visions of this very small tribe (thanks Seth) of social media maniacs who think they are part of a very large tribe in a world that revolves around pixels and blogs and Steve Jobs.  Not so.

There are an awful lot of people who still own the first cell phone they ever bought, could give a hoot about social networks (165,000 searches) and wouldn’t know a tweep if they fell over one.

I’m still convinced that social media and the Internet are essential as a tool for commerce and for doing good.  But it does surprise me how few true believers there are out there.  The numbers look big, but social media is still an * for most people.

Does Your Company Have a Social Media Director?

Does your company have a Social Media Director to manage the company’s social media strategy?  That’s a question I posed in a LinkedIn Poll last month.  With 22 responses, it is hardly scientific, but it was telling, nonetheless.

For detailed results by age, gender, job function, company size, and job title go to LinkedIn.  Overall results,

Yes    18%
No    36%
In the planning stages    18%
Haven’t thought about it      4%
I wish we did but no plans at this time    22%

The greatest number of responses was “No,” more than twice as many as said “Yes.”  Almost a quarter wished their company had a social media director but there were no plans for one.  Isn’t that too bad – social media is fast becoming the dominant communications channel in business, but many companies are still behind the starting line when it comes to establishing a strategic social media presence.

Here’s the kicker:  by age group, 100% of respondents aged 18-24 worked for a company with a Social Media Director.   That’s a wake-up call for companies that are resisting the new media world.  Your future leaders are joining the competition that are already on the social media band wagon.  Beware!