Wednesday, 10 October 2012

'Social Media Expert Wanted'

Social Media Cat Expurrt

Thought I'd take a break from normal transmission to share this nugget of a job with you:

Social Media Expert


Sent to me by a mate, I opened it thinking I’d find another funny status update from Failbook, or an Oatmeal comic (which it seems I cannot escape any more, or have the option to hide from - a bit like Paddy McGuinness or a Nuclear war).

But it wasn’t.

It was a post on somebody’s Facebook wall asking for somebody to refer a ‘social media expert’ to them.

When they were called out on it by another individual, he/she comes back with the feeble reply of ‘loads of grads are social media savvy’. Well yes, but you don’t come out of college or university as a ready made expert. I should know - I was a bit of a muppet by all accounts until around the age of 26.

My fear is that people actually think that it's fair to somehow snag a graduate fresh out of university, call them an expert, pile work on top of them that they may not be prepared or skilled for, and pay them a salary that for London is verging on scandalously low for a professional. I’ve lived on it there, in fact I moved up there in 2004 on a salary of £12k - shopping on £5 per week is not a fun experience, let me tell you.

It’s not fair.

The phrase ‘expert’ used in conjunction with social media is toxic to many people in our profession for a reason. Why?

I think Peter Shankman sums it up best:
“Being an expert in social media is like being an expert at taking the bread out of the refrigerator. You might be the best bread-taker-outer in the world, but you know what? The goal is to make an amazing sandwich, and you can’t do that if all you’ve done in your life is taken the bread out of the fridge.”
Taking that logic and expanding upon it, I could vouch for my expertise in a number of key skills:

Things I am an expert in:
  • Spending at least 20 minutes at a time on the toilet
  • Not understanding card games
  • Using Spotify to listen to music from the 1980s
  • I am a skilled Barista - well, I make three cups of instant coffee EVERY DAY. But it’s good coffee - my trick is to put the milk in first
  • Fright Night (1987)
  • Fright Night 3D (2011)
  • The Lost Boys
  • The Lost Boys 2 screenplay
  • Folding my own laundry
My point is this - yes, you could get a graduate, hire them in and call them a social media expert, but it’s the same as making a six year old a television producer because they watch a lot of it.

I wonder if this ‘dynamic and established American brand’ is aware that somebody acting on their behalf is suggesting getting a graduate or a ‘second jobber’ to fully handle the social media aspect of their launch in the UK? Handling the strategy, working with multiple departments, generating ideas, implementing them? Really?

Really?