“It was a nightmare. Everybody told me to take ‘one of those courses’ and become a community manger.” The speaker was one of my journalist friends, and the conversation recalled what had happened the day after the Great Recession.
The 2008 crisis had destroyed many jobs and, if you were a millennial with a literary profile, it had condemned them to precariousness or unemployment lists. Many well-intentioned people then tried to give you advice and fix your professional future. And many of those people ended up talking to those lyrics profiles to become community manager.
Or something like that. It was because work was a bit out of date, like the most modern thing you could do while working on the web. It is likely that many of these people did not know at all what a community or a social media manager was, but that was the name that was mentioned in advertising of training plans, in colorful reports in the media and in conferences and congresses on the Internet For businesses.
It was also the moment in which, despite everything, those responsible for the companies heard that they had to be on social networks, which was a kind of manna. The congresses used to all have a talk from some entrepreneur who had managed to expand his reach with a well-set up Facebook page (it was the pre-zero day era and still had great organic effects).
All companies wanted to participate in this gold rush and, those that did things better, wanted a trained professional who knew what he was talking about (those that did not end up leaving everything in the hands of poorly paid but young interns or the nephew of the boss, who did not charge and he also had ‘one of those Facebook’).
If you were looking for a job at that time in marketing and communication, the vast majority of job offers pointed in that direction. A decade later and a new crisis in between, the community manager has not become obsolete. It is still very important, but you are no longer alone. Companies have understood that social media marketing is complex and requires many types of expert profiles.
Also the social media manager or the community manager are no longer the most modern workers on the internet, the most groundbreaking and new profile. They have lost that luster because many years have passed now (and the internet years are almost like dog years). Your professionals are no longer in their twenties by default. The profession, in fact, is entering middle age.
The profession has matured
As explained in an analysis in The Wall Street Journal , which precisely addresses how the profession is reaching a maturity stage, some professionals already have 15-year careers dedicated to social networks and use them in marketing. 15 are, in the end, the years that the main social networks have already been on the market.
This has led to the profile being changed, but also the appreciation for who does that work. If 15 years ago the usual thing was that social networks were the thing of an intern or a very junior worker, with a miserable salary and who was not taken very seriously within the company, now companies have assumed that all this matters.
Although some managers still do not fully understand that social media marketing is a full-time job and that not everyone can do, as one marketer explains to the Journal, more and more people assume that this takes work and that it is hard.
Although right now there are still very low salaries in many social media marketing profiles (compared to average salaries in marketing and advertising), as pointed out in the Journal , it is no longer a job that is always entered with very junior profiles or that focus only on those types of professionals. Social media marketers have gained in power within the company and in weight. Companies are already looking for the best talent and this is what is done by default. They have matured within the squad.