Why the social media industry needs to specialize: no one can do it all!

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A lot of things have been said about the social media manager's question. The type and quality of the training was discussed as well as the question of the professionalism of some providers. So far, however, this discussion has always been reduced to a circumstance: the question of his education. Here, however, the tasks and activities will now be part of a possible specialization.

Why the social media industry has to specialize: no one can do everything! social media manager

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Here writes for you: Katharina Heder is Digital Media Manager and Consultant. Profile

Egg laying wool milk was yesterday


In essence, many social media managers have a relatively broad portfolio. A specialization in the narrower sense can or could not be done so far, because the claim was mainly to advise the customer holistically.

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The complexity of the platforms and the different orientations show, however, in many case studies that the pure knowledge and daily use is not enough for a professional implementation of projects.

Good advice can be expensive in crises


Just recently, the example of a raffle showed that good advice can often be very expensive if social networking guidelines are ignored.

In this example, Romy Mlinzk made a very good review of the problem, including the perspective of the training company, as part of a blog contribution. In essence, it is clear that the quality of the training does not necessarily depend on whether someone is doing good or bad work in his or her profession.

The consequence of such examples can only be that one is specialized.

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Facebook 1, rest not available?


However, this does not mean to ignore the other platforms, but to engage more intensively in the networks, which are particularly important and in combination give a good overall picture, and to advise customers mainly in this segment.

It is questionable, however, whether it is, for example, wise to focus only in image and video networks.

Credible and reliable


For the customer - and this is no less important - this approach has the advantage that he can rely on the provider, since he can assume the competence in all areas and this includes an increase in the credibility of the entire industry.

This opens up new perspectives for the many social media managers, since the specialization may have a different effect and thus create new business potentials.

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The quality of work is increasing


However, the quality of work performance continues to increase, as concentrating on certain tasks allows the more effective use of existing resources: For example, those who previously had to look after Facebook, Twitter and Google + had less time to take care of developments on Twitter.

Not to mention using things like Vine. If Google is gone now, because there is not the core competence, then this opens up further possibilities in the intensity of the care of the other channels.

Workload increases daily with the change of user needs

Many Company have not yet understood that social media has no business hours. In this respect - depending on the channel to be supervised - it often happens that inquiries or interactions take place outside working hours.

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Especially with urgent concerns, for example, after 18 clock, it does not necessarily send until the next morning from 10 clock to answer. In this respect, specialization also creates resources to tackle such problems.

Disadvantage: Companies can hardly keep pace with professionalization


The real drawback lies with companies whose financial resources are barely sufficient to employ a social media manager. Because these can hardly keep up with the ongoing professionalization.

So it will - in much the same way as in classic advertising - come to a change of course: who does not have the means to keep pace, he has to live with the fact that he buys a latent risk.

The surplus value is lost


In addition, the actual added value - the value added chain of the company - is lost in the care of (too) many channels: The dialogue with the customer, the inclusion in developments and actions to increase reach and communication are often artificially pushed through competitions.

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However, the customer does not always take part who already uses the product for several years, but many people feel compelled to participate by the pure profit.

Resources must be manageable


In order for the quality of customer dialogue and interaction with the company to increase again, it is important that resources remain manageable. Essentially, the job of the social media manager is as a mediator between companies and customers.

However, the many requirements that the platform has plagued him in the past have taken the time to deal intensively with the contributions and make full use of the value added.

Too many cooks spoil the pulp - we all know that


If one summarizes all these arguments, then one thing becomes clear: The professionalization of the Social Media Manager does not depend on his education, but rather on the question of dealing with the learned.

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An economist is more likely to focus on marketing, for example, than in his profession as an economist. Social media managers must finally take this step.

Many are simply overwhelmed


If the discussions about quality of education are raised to this level, then it is easy to see that many are simply overwhelmed by keeping themselves up to date, creating mistakes that harm all sides.

This step needs courage because it goes hand in hand with a clear confession, which is not self-evident: not to want to be able to do anything to the confession, but to be especially strong in the areas that lie with you. This is not for everyone, but do we all want to wait until many mistakes have happened and the industry has its reputation gone?

Hardly likely.

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  1. Edna McCullar

    It is a pity that there are so many anonymous discussions on blogs today - I would really like to discuss real names.

  2. Pingback: All Social Media Academy or How to Keep Track: Differentiating Social Media Training | CHARACTER PICTURES

  3. Lars Hahn

    Good article. I also believe that no one can be prepared for all aspects of social media management. This is not only a question of knowledge, but also a question of inclination. The communicator is not always the best strategist and the monitoring specialist may have no interests in posting and writing blog articles.
    However, I still see the need for SMEs to be well-established with a broad but rather flattering knowledge. For in fact, these are usually rather with a responsible social media handle.

    • Simone Janson

      I am not questioning that a broad set-up would be better for SMEs. However, as we always notice in the consultation, this is mainly a financial / resource problem. What solution do you propose specifically?

      • SocialMedia.ID

        Dear Fr. Janson,

        If there was a solution, then I would immediately have them protected by copyright ;-) There are different ways that lead to the goal. At the moment, this discussion must first be initiated in order to obtain a common intersection of interests and possibilities on the basis of which the development of solutions seems possible at all.

        If I consider all of these things for myself alone, then I must say honestly: YES, a waiver of Facebook does not mean that I can no longer advise, but only that I advise customers more transparently and also do not shrink from risks and dangers.

        At the heart of my article and my criticism is currently the observation that too many people flow into the profession, which are differently trained, but at the same time however in no network really have the necessary depth, there from the beginning to give customers comprehensive advice.

        Yes, a lot of things can only be learned with the practice, but which newcomer deals with the big 4 networks (Facebook, Twitter, XING and G +) in the depths, that he is really able to be responsible for a complete marketing?

        Therefore, my appeal now is to leave the discussion on training qualities and to hire the companies for experts, because this will also new entrants forced to specialization, which is expected to be a cleanup of the market and at the same time a higher value of the work.


      • Lars Hahn

        Broadly educated social media managers who, in addition to their training, should always have a professional experience in marketing and / or corporate strategy, can do the operational handling for SMEs in my opinion. It would be good if such SMEs were competent social media consultants who are always up-to-date, especially in the legal context. We ourselves do so, and I know a lot of companies, which also handle it so. Competence inside plus support from the outside.
        In that case, further training of an already competent employee as a social media manager may be useful for an SME, eg with an IHK degree.

        • SocialMedia.ID

          Good evening to the second,

          it is not just the question of what people learn in the training, but also about what else they know, for example, current changes. Do you know how to educate and educate oneself?

          Your idea is right, but this raises the question for me again, if the support should not be specialized nevertheless.


    • SocialMedia.ID

      Dear Mr. Hahn,

      nice that you have got used to my long comments meanwhile ;-) In principle, you bring more arguments that support my theses. Today, G + also raised the issue of how to do it and what small businesses can afford.

      From my point of view, however, one has to ask the question: How many warnings and what amount of warning fees can a small company handle? How do you rate the value of a blocked or deleted fanpage on Facebook for abuse? How do you figure the work behind this to a) rebuild or b) in cooperation with Facebook again release?

      In my opinion, it pays off in the case in question to think about whether to go down other marketing measures or just to take care of less demanding platforms. Of course, not all are on Tumblr, just to give an example, but there are some exciting projects there (eg Vodafail). There, the maintenance intensity is lower, the chance to make mistakes manageable and the investment can also be throttled.

      A specialization can also be to help companies practice conscious renunciation - and this can be, for example, by specializing in the pure strategy, etc.

      In that sense: YES it is necessary and YES we all have to do something now, before the industry is banished, but for this we would have to be open to everyone for this discussion and already it fails with many.

  4. Michael Grippekoven

    Good evening! NO problem - I was very happy about the detailed answer! By the way: I am a So-Me-Manager in the early stages - did not buy my IHK license until April.
    So my B2B specialization is still too far hit - thanks for the hint! I also have exactly this fear that I now all channels at the same time en detail and learn to master - is hardly possible.
    And if I have a lot of "bad luck", I also acquire a customer, who then expects me to master all the depths in all platforms and to serve them on a daily basis. That can only go wrong then ..: o /
    Wish good holiday evening!
    Greetings from Ddrf.
    Michael Grippekoven

    • SocialMedia.ID

      Hello Mister. Grippekoven,

      yes, I understand your situation quite well, because this is how I felt. In fact, I believe that many customers - depending on the clientele - have this expectation because they do not know what social media means and what they really want and / or need.

      Facebook is often a synonym for social media and this needs to be questioned, for example. Why would you like to become a member of Facebook or what goals would you like to achieve? This results in further points which can and should be viewed critically. In any case, you really understand the customer and his needs. You can then approach and develop solutions.

      In fact, the platform does not come first anyway and if I can explain to my clients what they are looking for and why they can opt for or against a possibility, I help you a lot more than selling my 08 / 15 concept B2B ,

      Social media is primarily communication and which has two sides: operators and users. There is no hierarchy, but the conversation takes place on the same level. Whoever has understood this and can realize it will understand why there is no way to pass the specialization.


      • Simone Janson

        Great discussion. Then Frau Heder hit another nerve!

      • Michael Grippekoven

        HAllo Mrs Heder,
        I like to join him. My fear is also the following:
        Some SMEs will only decide on the management board: "We have to go to Facebook or something like that - we will not be able to do that soon". Then the youngest member of GL is chosen as the person in charge and possibly "knocked off" part of the marketing budget. For larger companies, a SoMe manager will be hired, and smaller companies will be looking for an agency.
        Everything without having asked yourself what you are actually pursuing for goals - I agree with you.
        Michael Grippekoven

        • SocialMedia.ID

          Good evening Hr. Grippekoven,

          unfortunately again in the evening after a long day only found time to answer you: I am all the more pleased about the resulting discussion. Thank you first for your contributions.

          In fact, it is from my point of view part of our task to clarify the goal first. However, many companies have specialized only on the implementation, we post for them or we set up a specialized company. But you have not really achieved much in the end.

          Here I see currently also the lever or the need with companies: Meanwhile, almost all have arrived in the social web, but the few really deserve money or gain customers or have added value thereby. You are in the process of being there.

          My task - and I think that's how we all define ourselves - is more about clarifying claims and possibilities, so that the entrepreneur as the boss realizes that it's not going to be such a blurry marketing thing that nobody understands, but a comprehensible, transparent concept for communication is created.

          Unfortunately, that is not self-evident.


  5. SocialMedia.ID

    Good evening Hr. Grippekoven,

    I am sorry that I will contact you now, but I was traveling today.

    On your question: In principle, I am currently bothered by the discussion about forms of training. I have already blogged here a dozen times and wrote contributions to unt. Aspects in my own blog. In fact, it's no longer about the question of what is being learned, but rather about the fact that the requirements in the individual networks increase daily and become unmanageable for a single person.

    For a long time, this is no longer about the pure filling of the channels, but rather by the sensible use within the framework of strategic marketing or strategic communication within a company. This has in fact also changed the entitlement of the participants to further training - and this should be taken into account.

    Therefore, I feel it as a meaningful next step, if one admits to "gaps" and instead optimizes itself by specialization. No one has to be an all-rounder and most of all nobody should hurt the industry by harming customers through ignorance.

    If you take this risk, you should consider whether he drowned driving or one-way streets also gladly times against the direction of travel used. If you do not take this risk personally, you should ask why it exposes customers to this risk.

    The specialization eg on B2B I still consider too big, because the requirements are not necessarily limited by the totality of the portals - and that's what my criticism is aimed at.

    Is it clearer for you?


  6. Michael Grippekoven

    EBen, I had understood that, for example. as a social media agency can only specialize in B2B, FastMovingConsumerGoods or other B2C. On the other hand, SoMeManagers can concentrate on the 2 - 3 target group relevant channels. THAT is of course to be found ..

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Grippenkoven,
      I think both companies and agencies should specialize in the channels on which your target groups or those of the customer are located. This is with the finding of the channels relevant to the target group, I am quite right to you, obviously the biggest problem, I experience again and again when I lectures or counseling.

  7. Michael Grippekoven

    GEnau - the insight is there. All that's missing is splitting the tasks over several heads. No problem for the big AGs. But with the SMEs we have a dilemma ...

    • Simone Janson

      This is, of course, a question of money. On the other hand, the SMEs are also often specialized in certain areas, perhaps one should also select the social media marketing measures by target group.

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