My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Sunday, Nov 11, 2010

Is there any money in Social Media?

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In a recent issue of Marketing Mag they published a salary guide for the Canadian AD industry (side note: Did you know that a top tier Creative Director can make up to 600k a year but an Art Director tops out at 250k) and was interested to read that a Social Media Strategist with under 3 years experience can look forward to earning around 25-35k a year and with 10+ years experience you max out at 90k a year.

First off, does anyone really have 10+ years experience in Social Media? and secondly, reading this I am reminded that in all positions there are kids and adults and in the social media market place this seems even more evident because your choices in hiring people for projects seem to be either the shiny social media kid who have lots of followers on social networks but perhaps are missing the skill set of understanding how to match a campaign to the actual goals of the client (Customer Acquisition, branding, PR, actual sales, Community building and Customer Service are all possible goals and all accomplished in different ways online) or you can hire a seasoned person for a lot more money but may lack the sizzle that the shiny person has and charges a lot more.

So what you are left with is the shiny people are bringing the price of the market down and the seasoned people are pricing themselves out of the market on the other end and all that is really happening is that projects may not be getting the right people and because of this the results turn the client off of social media and putting the cause back a bit.

My solution to this, and it may be a silly one, is for the kids and the adults need to be partnered together in an apprentice like program where both sides benefit from the nuance and speciality that both sides posses with the ultimate goal of doing greater work for more money and actually building trust with companies so that they may loosen the reins to do some innovative projects.

We could even start a group and call it Nasmbla. The North American Social Media Benevolent Love Association.

What Says You?

  1. A huge fan of partnering across disciplines and, yes, “age”. As a GenX dotcomer, I see lots of strategic considerations working in silos, or worse in conflicts, when “shiny social media ideas” rein. Sizzles are good but let’s also make sure the meat is first grade as well, I say.

  2. Seems a little arrogant to suggest that the “shiny kids” need to learn a thing or two from the “adults” about client goals like customer acquisition, etc. In many cases the “shiny kids” understand the consumer and how to achieve the client’s goals far better than an “adult” whose spent twenty-five years entrenched in a creative firm – often with mediocre results.

    How does the shiny kid get tens of thousands of followers on Twitter without being interesting enough that people want to pay attention to them? All effective communication is about being interesting, interesting enough to pay attention to, interesting enough to remember.

    Everything else is power point – and the world could use less power point.

    • Hey Drew,

      Your point makes sense if your goal is PR/Getting attention but what if the customer goal is customer retention or Customer Acquisition? I would handle all of those goals differently and “just being interesting” isn’t enough in my opinion. Also Followers should never be the way you judge a future hire because the some (not all) people with their nose down and doing interesting work are two busy to cultivate their own followings but their clients have great results and followers.

      my .02


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  4. Nathan Hangen about 9 years ago

    Isn’t this kind of like your piece on Spec Work? The firms that hire the young upstarts without any real sales or marketing experience really get what they deserve, just as the person who gets a logo from a design contest or does as well.

    Put a guy like Mitch Joel next to your average “I’m a SoMe expert” scammer and there’s no comparison. Any company that can’t figure that out simply gets what they deserve, no?

    • Hey Nathan,

      Thanks for commenting! I agree that people get what they pay for but I was also trying to comment on the fact that there is no real market price for this sort of stuff since there is no real industry or industry standard. Until the scammers find the next shiny thing to jump on there will still be a lot of confusion as well as broken promises that may prevent the practice actually maturing and allowing folks to make some real money for real work.


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