When I first started this list, there were about 8 names on it, just about every day, I continue to add more names, and I’ve thus had to segment the list out by verticals. What is this list? It’s a list of full time social media professionals at Enterprise size companies.
As noted in my recent research report, there are two main roles that are appearing, the social computing/media strategist (I count 54 folks on my list), and the community manager (I count 47 folks). When I wrote the report it was focused on interactive marketers, so it didn’t include an R&D viewpoint, as such, I’ve now added a third category to the list of product managers that create social media products (no surprise they are all in the tech industry)
So what does this mean? What we’re starting to see is that companies are putting actual resources (headcount, programs, budget) around social media programs, it’s no longer a toe-dipping exercise that someone does part time in their role.
A while back Steve Rubel suggested that these skills will fold into everyone’s role, and there will be no need for these single specific roles. In the long run, yes, he’s right. We should note that there are currently web marketing managers, (web strategists) email marketing managers (called direct marketers), and advertising managers –all of which are focused on being efficient in their mediums. So unless those specific roles go away, there is no indicator that these full time social media roles will go away.
So, if you’re trying to indicate to your management or client that this movement is indeed happening, forward that list to them, and let them see the trending for themselves. Do note that many in the non tech industry will discount this as mainly as a tech industry ‘thing’, I’ve heard from multiple clients that when tech companies adopt new technologies, traditional companies like consumer goods, finance, will often retort “yeah, but that’s the tech industry, it’s not reflective of our space”. Quite possible indeed, but you should watch the tech industry in order to anticipate early adoption of technologies, and as it moves up the curve, you should be prepared to adopt.
Also, if you plan to submit, please carefully read the requirements, I screen each submission for accuracy, description, to ensure a solid, defensible list. Frankly, a wiki, just wouldn’t result in the same vetting quality.