If you’ve ever searched for a job in marketing, you’ve seen a job listing for “Social Media Expert”. Usually the requirements call for extensive experience running the social media channels for a large brand, somewhere in the listing it might explicitly say or imply that basically they want you to create and manage “viral” (can we all agree to stop using that word?) content in a way that garners likes, follows and favorites. This leads to brand loyalty and brand recognition and eventually sales (supposedly).
Does it sound like you qualify? Well, truth is you probably do. At my age now, I can say that I have almost ten years experience creating, posting and editing content for social media channels. In twenty years, people entering the job market can say that there wasn’t a time in their life that they don’t remember running multiple social media accounts. Furthermore, as much as we’d like to pretend – the content we choose to post to our channels is never happenstance. There are choices and debates that we all have in our heads before we post something. Something that makes us choose certain angles, certain filters and certain channels to post content in.
This is great news if you’re a child dreaming of working in marketing (which by the way is no one). But for everyone else this is just a new reality. It’s becoming necessary for kids to know how to use social media. Not for a job, but for your personal life. Apps like Kuddle, as highlighted in Tech Crunch, is one way to teach your kids how to responsibly use social media. It’s as writer Sarah Perez put so well, Instagram with training wheels. We’ve all accepted that kids at a younger and younger age will be using social media, so now parents have to make sure that they’re being taught how to use it correctly – how to become responsible social media experts.
That’s all we’re doing – creating personas which at the purest form is just a digital reflection of our real lives but in reality is a heightened and polished version. So we might not all have millions of likes or followers, but we are all becoming acutely aware of what sort of content is appealing in an online format.
At a younger and younger age, we’re all becoming the directors and stars of our online lives. We create personas which we fine tune to ensure we look good. That we look attractive, successful and for lack of a better word…popular.
Soon companies won’t need to hire specific social media experts because we’re all just social media experts in the making.
Marketing Minute is a weekly-ish post on marketing musings, rants, complaints and observations.