If Content Is King, Can I Be Its Queen? - Social Media Explorer
If Content Is King, Can I Be Its Queen?
If Content Is King, Can I Be Its Queen?

If you want to tick off a bunch of bloggers, call yourself a “social media expert.”

If you want to give Hugh McLeod fodder for some hilarious cartoons, call yourself a “social media specialist.”

In fact, it seems like a lot of people don’t much like the term “social media,” either.

If you believe Steve Rubel, social media expertise as a career specialty, soon won’t even exist.   (Darn, that was brief!  Guess I better brush up those radio announcer skills from my wasted youth…)

Then again, OnlineMarketerBlog is convinced that there are at least 5 social media careers that will spring up in the next 5 years.

Along similar lines, I really liked what Kristina Halvorsen had to say about “content,” and who should be managing it, on the Brain Traffic blog.

With the economy still stressing everyone out about their future career prospects, rather than get hung up on job titles, what are some skill sets that are going to continue to be valuable to businesses, and relate to collaborative, community-inclusive, content-centric websites (also known as “social media”)?

Or, if you’d prefer to stir the pot, and join Jason in taking a stab at prognostication, what are some job titles/specialties that you think are going to either:

(A) Die a horrible, ignominious death of obscurity;

(B) Suddenly appear on the scene as a viable career path;

(C) Experience explosive growth/Take over the world, Pinky.

On a related rambling, I recently mentioned a book I read on parenting on my own blog.  Within a week, I got a comment and an email from a “Director of Content” who thanked me for the mention, and offered a couple of copies for a giveaway.

I’d never heard of a “Director of Content,” per se, before, but I see the value in having someone who takes responsibility for all brand-related web content, including developing content for brand-owned properties as well as finding, rewarding and promoting positive user-generated content.   That’s a different mindset than OnlineMarketingBlog’s proposed “Conversation Manager,” to my mind.

IMO, the difference in mindsets run along the lines of the Serenity Prayer:

“Give me the serenity to accept what I can’t change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

A Director of Content is focused on making sure great content that is brand-consistent, honest and authentic keeps streaming onto all the brand-controlled channels.  Additionally, a Content Specialist would work to encourage, promote, reward and recognize positive user-generated brand references.  A lot of work, and most of it focusing on the realm of “what I can directly change/control.”

A Conversation Manager mindset would seem to me to be more about customer and media relations.  In short, it’s less about the words than the opinions of the people behind them.  I would think that the Conversation Manager would live firmly in the land of “what I can’t directly change/control” (but can influence) most of the time.  I could see a Conversation Manager jumping into an online conversation about a product quality problem.   I might be wrong, but I don’t see a Director of Content doing that.

What do you think? I would imagine that a lot more organizations are culturally prepared to have a Director of Content role than a Conversation Manager role.

Oh, and I can’t wrap this post up without a hat-tip to Avinash Kaushik, whose Web Analytics Career Advice post, in addition to some of the posts linked above, prompted me to write this.  Business insights are another important part of this vocational skillset burgoo, and even if analytics isn’t your primary specialty, you need a passing familiarity with it to do well in any kind of online marketing.

About the Author

Kat French
Kat French is the Client Services and Content Manager at SME Digital. An exceptional writer, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in content strategy, copywriting, community management and social media marketing. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, CafePress and more.

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