There is an odd dynamic going on in the marketing world these days. It seems like everyone wants social media, but no one really wants to pay for it. Or at least, they don’t want to pay a lot for it.
In recent weeks, there have been two postings for social media internships. While both are paid and will likely be highly enriching learning experiences, just looking at some of the responsibilities, it seems like these companies are asking for a lot out of an intern. I’m not alone in thinking this, either.
Now, it’s true that you don’t really need an advanced degree to be proficient in social media. Heck, you don’t really need a bachelor’s either. If you spend time interacting with people online, then you already have some experience of what’s involved in social media. Heck, if this guy can become internet famous, then anyone who puts time, effort and creativity to building an online community can successfully execute a social media campaign. Or you could just play World of Warcraft to learn how to be a social media expert.
And yet…and yet, things aren’t as simple as simply putting up a video online. With every new twist of online culture, what’s effective in social media changes. And this is where a solid understanding of not just social media principles, but public relations and communications principals is what will contribute to a campaign’s success (heck, campaign isn’t even the right word, since social media shouldn’t really “end” the way a typical marketing campaign does).
Success in social media comes from the same thing that success in PR and marketing does: it comes from a solid understanding of your publics, and a commitment to using communication to make their lives better and what you have to offer more valuable to them.