Reacting to Ryan Holmes “The Social Media Manager is Dead. Long Live Social Media.” Nick Lewis and Allan Blair Beaton debate the alleged life and death of social media management.
Both Nick and Allan have also individually responded to the in their respective You Still Need A Social Media Manager For Your Organisation, Despite What Ryan Holmes
“3 Reasons Social Media Managers Are Reasons Social Media Managers are Dead (Part and Allan previously had a short conversation on this issue, which can be viewed here:.
my name is nick lewis of interest communications i’m a marketer who focuses on my marketing and social media and today I’m very privileged to be joined by Alan be beaten who is I think one of the country’s leading experts Newt sweet and is very informed about social media and online marketing as a whole both Alan and myself recently wrote articles on the same topic which was in response to an article about where the social media managers are still needed which was written by wine homes who is the CEO of Hoot.Suite Alan and I came to slightly different conclusions even never a million miles apart and the articles can be read on our respective blogs links of which we will ensure pops up on screen on the final video version of this recording so I’m Alan um when I read your article comes into power and I think of my taking the second part of your article first cause I think one thing which I took away from your article is when we talk about social media managers we saw end to end up talking about them in being in a singular for those who haven’t read the Ryan Homes article yet he’s really talking about how social media and she biggity means that it’s going to be quickly devolved to independent actors within an organization on the company therefore when doing a social media manager role almost redundant but it seems interesting that the conversations always framed about talking about social media manager at just one individual rather than one team letter T more social media managers and thus wondering if you could to respond on that and just give your take on how you would view social media operation being organized in a hierarchy of it if there is a high market yeah i think you know i read most of Ryan stuff is also a that influences as well so if you follow Ryan on linkedin you’ll get all of his blog post and the other you know Claire party publications that he is able to participate in but in this particular post about how social media managers are dead or you know they’re dying breed or what now it’s it’s always been that philosophy for me very beginning was that you can’t do it for someone else appear if you’re really trying to grasp the true concept of social media yeah and that is almost in a modern world analogizing to a telephone answering service we’re a virtual office where you are you are acting in that space but you’re not actually in that space you’re outsourcing that communication and so for smaller companies in part one of my response i talked about how they there’s no reason why they should be outsourcing because it’s not on a small scale it’s not such a big deal so they should do it themselves but then on a larger bases and i’m talking about you know big big SME blue chips government organizations or public and third sector they have to do it themselves five in agreement with ryan suppose i think yeah more people are becoming technologically adept to handling social but i still don’t think you should be outsourcing that particular job role to another party i think it should be embedded into traditional communication tools with people and that’s what i referenced in part to that blog post was there if your if your contact and say for example BTW on twitter you want to make sure the person answering on twitter is from bt and it’s probably in the correct department for you when you’re when you’re calling through or you’re tweeting group it’s just like a menu that you get when you call a telephone line and you get automated a options yes though short could be segmented that much for bigger companies that you only to conversate with a particular account or profile based on the offering or the service provided and then that should be handled internally by that apartment I agree I mean I think a good analogy almost as if you think about call centers or some services in the UK I know I hardly ever do it now due to the internet but when used to call up national well inquiries when you would often get someone based in india and then if their use of english was fine I’ve got no complaint about that but they just literally did not have a sense of the physical geography of the UK where number ones trying to get her train times from Paddington to come Arvind in West Wales and then they told me the train journey was going to take 12 hours and then I could be figured out that they were sending me to canal them in North Wales so I think EU right there you’ve got to sub in sure that the person who is managing the feed member of their in house or out of house it has an inbuilt knowledge and as a suitably briefed I mean with with the delegation of the social media duties within an organization how much training do you think is actually required or how much oversight has required in terms of actual people that how people actually broadcast on social networks well I think you the the question of how much training that someone need will be very specific on their job role and their remit on social I’ve helped a couple of local councils in Scotland and Wales set up Hoot. Suite dashboards and in some instances one or two of the users only had two or three streams to monitor because it was that specific of a job function and then in those two or three streams they only had maybe one or two inquiries a day so it was hyper local and hyper job specific social responsibilities they had so the training was very simple I think that the most training that involved is in the creation of the platform in the infrastructure and then the super admins because they almost have to have an IT background some in managing or properly as far as the technical aspect but no I think just a couple of hours on socially it’s about conversation it’s about informing people with the right information the right tone and in word usage and if you have to point them to a website or a web page for further information or sign out or plate or you know data capture whatever then that’s just using a keyboard to type yea though you Arden’s conversating i mean i used to work for a local council in london and it’s interesting to hear you insight into that and one thing which I remember working for the local counts was they were very keen on controlling the messaging coming out of the comms department very much trying to ensure that the council’s of message partly because historically that council had quite a bad reputation 70s the 80s laid there they were very apprehensive of any story or messaging sort of getting out of hand or misconstrued we kind of think about the political sensitivities you know which series like to think of it you know cover you can still try and extrapolate from that when it comes to actually doing outreach rather than responding how do you think sort of most people away from say marketing or comms well should actually engage with other people who may be interested in an organization’s services products or just general well being d are you asking that question on like a micro sized business or a larger organization or I’m thinking I think in this case a larger business because obviously the micro business things a lot more controllable and literally though you can have people the other side of the office he’s sort of being able to refer back to a superior quite you know or someone in a seniority quite quickly but you know the kind of organization size is like we’re talking about in a mention councils for example you talking hundreds of people so I just like your take on that really yeah i think larger organizations and in this particular instance public sector they already have an audience offline and that’s the physical people in the land that they might own in the buildings in the roads they build and if you even just create profiles on any of the social properties you’ll immediately get an audience because of your not fame and notoriety but just because of your organization that you are um to reach out to people or to try and grow your audience that is more about listening to the web and listening on facebook and on twitter and blog posts and things about what people are talking about so that in real time you can either offer assistance if it’s you know monitoring floods during a you know a flood season where there’s multiple rivers in the area and you people what you’re talking about the riverbank it was busted where you can send response units they like a category one scenario or you just listen to people asking questions about the rubbish collection or you know where they could go to get this public service then you’re almost being proactive in saying hey we’re here to help and you know listening to what you have to say um I think that creates a lot of goodwill as well I mean the Sabbath attack that organizations are because you to be as proactive rather than reactive yeah you know long as long as it’s done in the right manner of course but I mean I think it’s quite good if someone is sounding off say on twitter about a service which isn’t being delivered if the council representative manages to pick up they all p sorry to hear about these troubles could you give us a call more information I know when I was living in Swansea I had some issues with parking outside the block of flats arts living in at the time and I could came to the council via Twitter they actually were very very quick in their response which is heartening and this is about four years ago so Toxie the way things are going in terms of that sort of micro communication when it comes to service provision in terms of crafting a company’s larger message or brand if we kind of work up that some hierarchy if a social media managers role if we take the right homes models going to be diminished who’s going to be responsible for kind of crafting so say a company on organizations narrative and how’s that going to be sort of instilled if everyone has been sort of empowered as it were through kind of devolved social media operation well I truly believe that we live in a sufficient world now and I think long about that in the past where you know everything about what we do whether it’s worth player rest is socially motivated with the way we connect with our friends on Facebook and how we share our lives and how are a big companies like for example like hoots they want the people in their organization to talk about their brand to talk about you know how great it is to work there to share their sense of community so yeah I think it’s because everyone should be using a within your organization for lots of different things I think the management of voice will be down to particular departments and how they operate it will also be the voice of the brand in general um you know Hoot. Suite as a brand is quite quirky or maybe Corky’s not that I’m phrase but they’re quite arm for thinking then you might have a very conservative brands or perfectly a public office that has to then a policy around the types of communications of those and out you know if it’s if they do offer QA or support is it like you know the views and opinions expressed here are not bound by any laws or are not medically certified if it’s you know something about a flu vaccination or something like that yeah yeah the bigger orgs they would certainly have to create a brand in its own that they are going to stick to but if they have multiple offerings through their own service then they probably need to segment that that message as well deafening panel is really clear on what message they’re sharing but also who the target market is because then you can you can amend the vocabulary depending on who you’re speaking with you know b2b conversations with acronyms we can throw those back and forth but if you’re talking to a new client that doesn’t know anything about you have to speak in layman’s terms so maybe it’s a combination of all that I mean they’re going on about ads of larger organizations and sort of certain areas of sensitivity I think the larger the organization and depending on the sector the more sensitive things could possibly become for example I used to work as a communications manager for medical device manufacturer and everything that that manufacturer produces in terms of marketing material has to abide by quite stringent regulation and I think in the latest iteration of the medical device directory they do include social under that remit which is really problematic because if you think about to say something like Twitter you’ve only got 140 characters so how I don’t take and obviously direct people to links but how do you emphasize the disclaimers say I mean obviously can work things into the backdrop I oh and other things but in terms of if the message was taken in isolation if the tweet was taken in isolation it’s almost no way that you can actually sort of cover some of the sensitivities which a large organization is expected to deliver according to the regulatory body so I think there’s quite a lot of challenges that because it does realize I think it goes back to your argument but you do need someone fully informed about the sector in which they are broadcasting about so they can avoid some pitbull say a third party marketer might not necessarily pick up on but i will move about the way I’m approaching this is really about some walls of you know control and oversight because say the tweet goes out from a medical device manufacturer or pharmaceutical company which doesnt abide by the regulations or doesn’t make clear or clarify a claim it is making you know that could result in a fine of thousands and thousands of pounds so I mean I think where i was going in my blog is yes you know you can empower people and yes training needs to be given but ultimately who takes that responsibility for the social voice of a company like medical device manager manufacturer or pharmaceutical company mm hmm well again I think there are compliance issues with every sector particularly financial services are very difficult for those people engage on mass socially without fear of some kind of implication but yeah I think if you just adapt you know traditional communication policies that are industry standards or national standards or we know government legislation for within that then again I don’t feel the need to have someone there to push the buttons on that communication if the culture of the businesses that their social and that a vast majority of their workforce have social skills now because we’re all using these products more and more and more and I think title or the the knowledge of social media savvy I think what’s about two minutes itself I’m actually writing a blog as we speak today I hopefully publish of the day brilliant and it’s called on it’s called digital skills and it’s how perhaps as a foreign language we need to start empowering students with coding and programming skills because in the world of computer science and technology in the web the languages of the internet is code in programming it’s not French or German or Italian and so I don’t get in 10 years time that might be kind of a normality and then everyone in the company understands technology so it’s just giving the authority to conversate to the correct person in that organization or in that department I mean do you also think actually they’re probably be a need for classes or some kind of education provision on how to actually interact with people on social networks beyond the technical side of things I mean I mean it will be green all names of various high profile call cases and other things where social media has either been misused or something which has been said in jest has come back to haunt someone at quite a significant way but if people are more technically savvy anyway in terms of how you tweet how you post on facebook how you upload to jpg to Facebook isn’t there greater onus actually on the sort of the marketing side of it as a worm you know I’m trying to think of a better phrase of marketing but in terms of the sensitivity of publishing in the public forum I mean would you say that’s got a greater president of coding or do you think they will depart um I mean I think having a skill of coding and programming is something unique in itself we’re talking more about the conversational side of the right now and yeah and the technical ability to do that well you know big companies themselves they always train from within normally unless it’s like if you take a call center for example yes you might have an outside party come in and give you some customer service training um but the actual usage of the internal operating system is going to be done by someone who already works there who’s been there for five years if every time they have a new intake of staff they’re the one to do the training and that creates culture and in more cultured and publicly about how 28 youth technology with we wanna do this pivotal check on the food sweet or whatever and then be it’s the culture of how you use it and the best tips of how to use it and then the culture of how you guys communicate with each other in customers through role play and training will then become just a natural part of your job role and I there and knock that instance I think people like us with our skill sets will not be needed in that context anymore before this be widely available but there might be people like us we create technologies and platforms and then have to do a training scenario but that would be almost over stuff that would be very you know government and the types of information and then it’s not just me or Alan giving that education in people and also I suppose I mean the argument go is if we’re living up to the claims that we make about ourselves we will be keeping abreast with the next generation of social network or social media technology which is coming along I mean yes you know in Ryan Homes writes about everyone is getting more equipped with social media today and the basic principles of it is right but we’re talking about the larger social networks which should be widely adopted to Facebook’s Twitter worked as an extent linkedin but given the speed rate of evolution when it comes to on my marketing and online interaction there’s going to be something new in two years time there’s something else for years time and the vay nature the platforms always changing I mean what I tend to find is when I blog about something within four weeks it’s almost redundant term and I did a blog about him a Facebook page rank about two months ago and then I discovered within 2 3 weeks it be modified yet again so my blog had already been sort of relegated to history so I I mean you know there will always be an evil people like I think you and me Tess will keep an eye on the next development in the changes because I think when you’re are embedded in an organization even in a social media manager type Bowl within an organization you don’t necessarily always have the time or the luxury to sort of be to keep up to date with every single change or development on every single major social network or the emergence of new social networks and of course as a matter of sorting out the wheat from the chaff as well because you know for every successful new social network i’m sure there’s about 10 which haven’t taken off for whatever reason so if there’s always going to be this onward progressive march of technology you know the social media manager is going to sort of survive in one form or other isn’t he or she well I’m great I’m agreeing with everything that you just said I’m just not agreeing with the title of the person because they wouldn’t do it to be a manager and i’ll give you my own business in my own consultancy as an example I I call myself a social media scientists because I am that person who gets up and reads lots of words every day and that conferences and social media conferences and participates on lots of different social networks and so I’m always learning new information or new techniques we’re just staying up to date with new developments in those platforms so that I can share those with other clients so that it’s a simple topping up of the integration model than a retail or restructure but I don’t think they’re still social media managers that will be your may be associated consultants of two broad stroke of description but I mean I call myself a scientist because I am experimenting all the time but amelie on mainstream platforms because of the three in the scope down but um you know those people will still exist I mean it’s a communication tool make so you’ve got to go back to the you know the very beginning of time of how we communicated with people and once television came in in the telephone then outside influences were then able to say hey you can use it in this way to conversate and broadcast in this way yeah well then everything just kind of grown from there so yeah they will always be really brought people like you this right I just don’t think they’ll be called social media managers because that person agree with collector might attack that I don’t think you actually manage any beads for third parties yourself am i right in thinking that all absolutely yeah yeah absolutely on my entire consultants here Mike my offering as a professional is just to offer on larger insights and specialist information on particular platform so yes I probably under the most important person on hootsuite in the UK yeah great quite confident about that and they’re not of social thought leadership I think I do possess it’s a pretty decent insights into some innovative applications of social networks yeah and so I just meet with clients on a weekly fortnightly monthly basis you then we development and updates and uh yeah consult with them on their traditional marketing and try to integrate it in the social so i don’t actually do anything for anyone we for the record i mean i’ve actually been on one of allen’s Hoot. Suite training courses last year and it was absolutely so for anyone who’s looking tercel gets killed of Hoot. Suite and we’ll talk a bit about that with Alan in a moment I hardly recommend him I mean I come from a slightly different angle where I actually aside from training people on the very basics of social networks and social media behavior I do so manage feeds on behalf of individual companies but really I I take the view of it’s not completely outsourced to me as more partnership where I actually am a kind of resource they can buy in to augment what they want to do we are I think when we go to the other end of the spectrum we talked about your large council bodies and other public sector organisations when you go to the other end of the spectrum and you’re dealing with either like a sole trader of a small limited company one or two people yeah I think people underestimate the time actually takes to maintain a good social network a good social network presence especially it’s got multiple social network presences I think you know it can be done as you said I think when people do do it well and do do it themselves it’s great but I think for very small organization I think it’s hard for a one individual to maintain more than two social networks adequately the above and beyond what they need to do for their business otherwise where it’s delivering their services or manufacturing their products and managing their books and everything else I think it’s the kind of nature of what you have to share on social media as well as hide from engaging people i think the the big issue is are you actually sharing content or value or use to your attended readership or intended intended customer base and when I look around I firing that so many companies just as a default mode mode kind of just going to broadcast mode and just going about themselves which i think is the biggest turnoff anyone can have really and when it comes to engagement I think it always goes back to engagement so that’s just before the benefit of people watching us recording just how Allen and I differ a little bit in our services but on that note I mean Alan can you tell us a bit about what you do I mean you’ve already touching the fact you can kind of some organizations but you also do various training session so if someone was to get a touch of you what would you be able to offer them yeah I mean I offer different types of services from a simple telephone or face to face chat up to a certain amount of hours for a short period of time up to you know a monthly retainer where I am part of your marketing and communication strategy and sit on you know board meetings or or something similar where I consult with bigger brands PR companies events companies and they white label my services um you know they take my ideas which I’m quite happy about and yeah they use them for their there’s their clients under their branding and their umbrella and I also do the training and workshops there’s tend to be at the moment they tend to be quite neutral on hootsuite but we feel that you already know about Twitter and Facebook and don’t there are people out there that will give you guys know type of training that I want to kind of stay on the more innovative aspects of social workshops so Hoot. Suite for me is one of the most important just because of its offering an eye out for that of different levels you know intermediate beginning in advance yeah and sometimes strategy workshops that I run is well they’re quite interesting because how you use social will be completely different to me next to a neighbor or business across the street because you’re offering or the reason for using it will be different so you have to have a unique strategy for that as well we want one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to social media engagement more with a little while at all well thank you very much Alan for your time Alan’s contact details will be appearing on at the end of this video along with mine and we hope that you have all found the conversation of using of interest and if you’ve got a question for Alan or for myself please don’t hesitate to get in touch thank you for watching you. .