Social Media Specialities – Have You Got What You Paid For?




If somebody tells you they’re a social media professional, you may well ask them what their specialitist band of social media is. And if you pay for social media in any shape or form – from an employee, consultant or agency – you need to make sure you’re getting the specialist skills you actually need. And don’t believe anyone who tells you they’re across it all: BS!

I’ve listed below the different specialisations you’ll commonly find amongst ‘social media’ professionals. Some folk may be competent at a number of these, but everyone will have varying degrees of strength in each.


The Strategist

  • Clarifies organisational online objectives, identifies and canvasses opportunities.
  • Aligns social media objectives with available resources, budget, timeframes and measurables.
  • Speaks and presents in business terms – not technical or social media jargon.
  • Delivers actionable plans, reports or recommendations.


The Campaigner

  • Brings insight learnt from personal exposure to past campaign work.
  • Understands the importance of mapping out a strategy prior to execution.
  • Proficient at adjusting social media campaign tactics on the fly.


The Content Publisher/ Curator

  • Inclusive of all forms of multimedia – text, video, images and audio.
  • Respects the norms of third party content use, reuse, and repurposing, i.e. Creative Commons principles.
  • Adept at cross-promoting and syndicating content across various social media touchpoints; makes full use of RSS (Really Simple Syndication).
  • Leverages sharing & recommendation social media functionality to get their content exposed to a cross-section of aligned communities.


The Community Manager

  • Knows how to build rapport and trust within a community.
  • Speaks with a distinct, confident and consistent online ‘voice’.
  • Expects and wants to add more value to the online community pot than they will ever draw from it.


The Classicist

  • Knows how to effectively utilise ‘older'(!) social media platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, blogging, podcasting, Slideshare or Wikipedia.


The Cutting Edger

  • Early adopter and experimenter with emerging social media platforms, e.g. Foursquare, Quora, Instagram (or anything new FB rolls out on a frequent basis).
  • Always looks for the business case – doesn’t buy into the buzz.


The Platform Specialist, typically in one of the following:

  • Facebook generally, or FB sub-specialties such as campaign execution, business pages, commerce, or external FB functionality.
  • LinkedIn
  • Business blogging
  • Locational social media


The Industry Specialist

  • Not a social media person per se, but adapts quickly to the new channel opportunities.
  • Knows one industry sector very well, or is possibly a subject matter specialist.
  • Capable of taking on specialist outsourced social media work, e.g. business blogging, or other social media related publishing.


The Educator/ Trainer

  • Informs, guides, empowers – doesn’t sell.
  • Teaches people the hands-on, how-to aspects of social media.
  • Provides ongoing technological or market updates with the hype-filter on.


The Corporate Presenter/ Trainer

  • Paints the big picture; puts options on the table with no specific agenda to push.
  • Can address the pressing business questions of why, rather than just the what or how.
  • Often assists in bringing social media into an organisation via senior executive or Board level.


The Coder

  • Skins blogs.
  • Customises Facebook business pages.
  • Integrates social media functionality across platforms, e.g. universal login’s, sharing and recommendation buttons, commerce.


The Measurer

  • Focuses on social media generated ‘conversions’ through the organisational website.
  • Utilises and cross-references onboard analytics from other social media platforms.
  • Presents insights, not data.




Image by robynejay




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