Well, a Bachelor of Commerce, but let’s not be so literal.
We come from all kinds of backgrounds. Some come up through the creative side, writing or designing ads. Some are business school grads.
Because of this diversity and lack of oversight, you also get your layer of pretenders without much practical experience.
Social media marketing and the self-branding smokescreen of virtual life are bringing such self-styled gurus out of the woodwork, with thousands of “social experts” clamouring for attention.
This is really annoying to some people, though I think personal hubris is a quality of stars and that people with real ideas deserve a chance, however “proletarian” their roots. And anyway, the lack of official permission makes for an exciting Wild West meritocracy, in all stripes of marketing.
Though there are no hard and fast qualifications to be a marketer, there are many knowledge and skill sets that are darn useful when it comes to social media marketing.
Let’s take a look at the qualities that shine in the online persuasion space. All definitions from Dictionary.com.
The act or process of buying and selling in a market.
Well that’s pretty interesting right there. Selling is a component of marketing, but so is buying. Marketers are consumers too. Put your customer hat on and see how your social media efforts look.
The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.
Hey, there’s a pretty broad spectrum there. Are you a great talker with a big smile? Make a video! Is visual language your thing? Design it without words. Use your strengths to convey your message.
Strategic thinking (struh-tee-jik thing-king)
A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.
The science of human behaviour.
Social media is about interacting with … people! People have a host of very easy to recognize (and manipulate, not that marketers ever do that) motivations. Know when to stroke egos, suggest inclusion, and foster tribalism.
The science of the fundamental laws of social relations.
Gee, what could be more useful to a community builder? Understand the interaction of content producers, joiners, lurkers, the people who comment and the people who brandvocate for you. Give them what they need to do what they want to do.
It comes down to understanding people.
Marketers are people who venture into the market – and let that conjure up a big ole’ funky flea market, rife with vintage delights, quirky gems and stuff you’ve never seen before, all fitting together in unexpected ways – and fulfill people’s needs.
If you’re useful, friendy, and facilitate people’s goals in the online space, hey … you’re a social media marketer!
Contributed by the wonderful Erica Glasier.