Upcoming Research Teaser: What do Employers Want in a Corporate Social Media Strategist?

Altimeter Group is doing thorough research on the role of the Corporate Social Media Strategist. I’ve got bits of data below, and a bunch more coming.

Who are these people? The Corporate Social Media Strategist are are decision makers of social media within an enterprise corporation over social media programs. In fact, I have a growing list of actual Corporate Social Media Strategists right here.

Our research will involve surveying them, analyzing job descriptions, analyzing LinkedIn Profiles, looking at HR salary information. Beyond that, we’ve completed 49 interviews over the past few months of strategists and those they work with, that’s right, 49 to find out what works and what’s keeping them up at night.


Teaser Data: Here’s what Employers Want in Corporate Social Media Strategists
Here’s a teaser of just a small part of the research findings, based on analyzing 51 (not 50) real job descriptions:

Employers are seeking experienced professionals:

  • 5.2-6.6 years of real world Business Experience
  • 2.3-3.6 of actual Social Media Experience

Education Requirements:

  • 76.4% request a Bachelors degree.
  • 11.7% prefer (yet most don’t require) a MBA.

Degree Preferences

  • The primary segment of requested degrees is in the area of focus of Communications, Journalism or English.
  • The second segment of degrees was closely followed by either Marketing or Advertising degrees.
  • Thirdly, a handful had web, technical, IT, or general business degrees requests.

Now to be clear, that’s just what employers want, that’s not actual reality. We’ll be comparing what employers want –vs what real strategists actually do in our report.


The Many Other Questions Our Research Will Answer
It’s interesting stuff, and part of our research will to analyze and compare what employers want –vs what really exists from these actual professionals. What else will this report answer?

  • Background, responsibilities, and skills employers want from this role
  • Their actual background, experience, and skills
  • What makes them tick: about their mindset and personality
  • Top challenges they face
  • What they measure
  • How large team sizes are
  • How sophisticated programs are
  • Spending trends on Software, Agencies, Consultants
  • How they organize their programs
  • Where they go to learn about new technologies
  • Who they rely on to make decisions
  • What they think their role will become in 5 years

I have that role: I want to take the Survey
Are you a corporate social media strategist and want to take the survey? We are seeking actual social media decision makers at brands and corporations, if you fit this category, please sign this form and we’ll email you the survey.

I want to be in-the-know: send me the report, Jeremiah
Do you want us to email you the full no-cost report when it’s available? Sign up here to receive the no-cost Altimeter report, you can read much of my previous research on my research tab on my blog, look up, or view research.

Caveat: The above data should be assumed draft, wait until the final report comes live for all the detailed info.

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  • This new function can be added to Corporate Marketing or Corporate Communication department ?

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  • I have that answer from survey data –it's coming.

  • Here's some other preliminary findings (preliminary meaning that I'm still doing final analysis)

    This is the analysis from 50 LInkedIn profiles of actual strategists. I'm able to confirm their identity through the list I manage, see above.

    -64% were male
    -been working a total of 13 years,
    -38% have “Manager” in title
    -32% have “Director” in title.
    -Most have been in social media 2.76 years.
    -All have at least bachelors
    -20% with advanced degrees
    -average twitter follower count 3200

  • One little suggestion – I think people should have to pay for this information! Not a huge amount, but anywhere from $20 – $35 dollars. if it is important to you and your business you will invest the money for solid real world information. I think we are getting to accustomed to free this and free that. Plus the interesting side affect would be if I paid money for it do I provide better constructive feedback because I am invested with real money? Does the feedback come with more valid points because of the investment? Just a thought. I know I would pay for the work that was done! Sorry I can not take the survey, I don't fit your up front criteria…..maybe someday soon!

  • I could charge. Our recent report on Social CRM received over 50,000 views. if we charged $20 a view imagine the potential revenue.

    That's something to consider for the future, but for now, I enjoy advancing the industry forward under “open research'

  • That is a good approach too! Don't get me wrong I like that approach and will take advantage of getting great information with solid research and data behind the study! Keep up the great work you and the folks at Altimeter are doing for several industries!

  • Is there a danger in expecting emergent behaviors to match past proficiencies?

    If MBA's become a prerequisite I would think those folks would have a harder time maneuvering in the digital environment. From my experience it takes a different mind set and those most embedded in traditional business practices are least capable of deriving actual value from the digital venue.

    At this point MBA's aren't required as shown by the data, but the focus seems to be on trying to integrate former disciplines such as advertising, marketing, journalism, etc. into a new venue. While there are aspects of these vocations that are useful, there is a lot of retooling necessary to draw the real value of the digital experience out beyond simply accepting similar returns to traditional media.

    The early argument over number of followers is a perfect example. Valdis Krebs' work on network analysis, and really any thought to networks of human relationships, shows that identifying and targeting key network vectors is more important than scooping up a huge mass of less engaged individuals. This has been a military strategy since humanity picked up rocks, kill the leader (or in this case seduce the leader) and the rest falls into your lap.

    My concern is that the potential for digital culture to change and reinvigorate culture is going to be hampered if larger players, like corporations, try to dumb things down and reform older models.

    In light of the recent closing of a number of humanities programs at SUNY Albany, and the struggles at Middlesex to keep their world renowned philosophy department open, I fear that corporations will not step up to support the possibilities of cultural growth. Foundations have traditionally been responsibile for supporting the arts and humanities, and digital culture allows corporations to have a more direct hand in this. It's a serious responsibility and a wonderful opportunity, but old patterns of business are not going to move things forward.

    Perhaps my concerns are unwarranted and corporations will be changed externally through the pressures of the digital medium and the culture that is emerging, or perhaps it's simply that I'm standing on a different side of the coin and looking at an issue that isn't of concern to corporations.

  • Are you planning to do this same thing for employee-facing corporate community strategists/managers? Or does this research encompass that role, too? I was planning to do a non-research approach to this very thing myself as a follow-up to http://www.giatalks.com/2010/09/community-managers-part-1-definitions/, but would rather promote your more scientific findings.

  • This seems like a role that is going to be in high demand in the near future. Forward thinking applicants and businesses would be smart to be budgeting and planning for these types of employees.

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