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Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Katharina Heder is a digital media manager and consultant. After studying German, Heder trained as a new media manager with a focus on sports and completed a degree in business administration with a specialization in online communication. She advises companies on strategic communication in social networks as an expression of part to understand one's own business model. At the same time, she uses social media strategies to develop new business models. Katharina is interested in the subject of training and further education for social media managers when she is not following various sports. You can also find more articles from her on the SocialMedia blog. Her portfolio can also be found on Torial. More information at frauheder.de/

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

Many things have been said about the question of social media managers. So far, however, this discussion has always been reduced to one fact: the question of his training. What about specialization?

social media manager

Egg laying wool milk was yesterday

The type and quality of training has been discussed so far, as has the question of the professionalism of some providers. At its core, many social media managers have a relatively broad portfolio. However, this is now about the tasks and activities as part of a possible specialization.

A specialization in the narrower sense could or could not take place so far, since the main requirement was to provide the customer with comprehensive advice. However, the complexity of the platforms and the different orientations show in many case studies that pure knowledge and daily use are not sufficient for professional implementation in 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 the present example, Romy Mlinzk did a very good work-up on the problem, including the perspective of the training company, as part of a blog post. In essence, it can be seen that it does not necessarily depend on the quality of the training whether someone does a good or bad job in his job. The consequence of such examples can only be that you specialize.

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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, as specialization can have different effects and thus new business potentials arise.

The quality of work is increasing

The quality of work performance continues to rise, however, since the concentration on certain tasks allows the more effective use of available resources: For example, who previously facebook, Twitter and Google+, maybe had less time to worry about 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.

Especially in the case of urgent concerns, e.g. after 18 p.m., it is not necessarily appropriate to answer from 10 a.m. the next morning. In this respect, specialization also creates resources in order to be able to address 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.

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.

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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18 responses to "Why the social media industry has to specialize: Nobody can do everything!"

  1. Edna McCullar says:

    It is a pity that there are so many anonymous discussions on blogs these days - it would make more sense to discuss with real names.

  2. Everything Social Media Academy or how to keep track of things: Differentiating social media training | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES says:

    [...] “Nobody can do everything” I have explained in detail why the social media industry has to specialize - namely because, as in every other area, experts [...]

  3. Lars Hahn says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 these things for myself, then I have to honestly say: YES, a renunciation of Facebook does not mean that I can no longer advise on this, but only that I advise customers more transparently and also not shy away 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, many things are only learned through practice, but which newcomer deals with the big 4 networks (Facebook, Twitter, XING and G +) in depth that he is really able to take responsibility for the entire 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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

      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, you have to ask the question the other way around: How many warnings and what amount of warning fees can a small company cope with? How do you put the value of a blocked or deleted fanpage on Facebook because of abuse? How do you quantify the work that is behind it to a) rebuild this site or b) in cooperation with Facebook to release again?

      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 consciously do without - and you can do that, for example, by specializing in 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 says:

    Good evening! Not a problem - I was delighted with the detailed answer! By the way: I'm a So-Me-Manager in the early stages - I only got my IHK license in April.
    So my B2B specialization is still too far - thanks for the hint! I also have exactly this fear that I should now learn and master all the channels in detail at the same time - 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 be able 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 says:

      Hello Mister. Grippekoven,

      yes, I understand your situation perfectly, because that's what happened to me. In fact, I believe that many customers - depending on the clientele - have this expectation because they don't even know what social media means and what they actually want and / or need.

      uniebook is often a synonym for social media and that has to be questioned, e.g. why would you like Facebook get active or what goals do you want to achieve? From this, further points can be derived that can and should be viewed critically. In any case, it is only then that you really understand the customer and his needs. You can then approach that 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 says:

        Great discussion. Then Frau Heder hit another nerve!

      • Michael Grippekoven says:

        HAllo Mrs Heder,
        I like to join him. My fear is also the following:
        Some SMEs will only decide in the management: “We now have to go to Facebook or something - it won't work without it soon ”. Then the youngest member of the GL is selected as the person responsible and a part of the marketing budget is “squeezed”. In the case of larger companies, a SoMe manager is then employed, and in the case of smaller companies, an agency is on the lookout.
        All without having asked yourself what specific goals you are pursuing - I agree with you.
        Michael Grippekoven

        • SocialMedia.ID says:

          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 job - and I think that's how we all define ourselves - I see more in the clarification of claims and possibilities, so that the entrepreneur, as the boss, knows that it won't be another fuzzy marketing thing that nobody understands anyway, but rather a comprehensible, transparent concept for communication is created.

          Unfortunately, that is not self-evident.


  5. SocialMedia.ID says:

    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.

    It has long since ceased to be a matter of simply filling the channels, but rather of meaningful use in the context of strategic marketing or strategic communication within a company. This has in fact changed the expectations of the participants in further training - and this should be taken into account.

    That is why I consider it a sensible next step if you allow yourself “gaps” and instead position yourself optimally through specialization. Nobody has to be an all-rounder and most importantly nobody should harm the industry by damaging 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.

    I still consider the specialization in B2B, for example, too big, since the requirements are not necessarily limited by the entirety of the portals - and that's exactly what my criticism is aimed at.

    Is it clearer for you?


  6. Michael Grippekoven says:

    EBen, I understood it to mean, for example. as a social media agency can only specialize in B2B, FastMovingConsumerGoods or other B2C. On the other hand, SoMeManager in the company can concentrate on the 2 - 3 target group-relevant channels. THAT is of course to find out ..

    • Simone Janson says:

      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 says:

    Exactly - the insight is there. The only thing missing is dividing the tasks among several heads. No problem for the big AGs. But we have a dilemma with SMEs ...

    • Simone Janson says:

      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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