Get out of “social media.” That’s my tl;dr version.
Earlier this week I announced my new job change. Actually not just a job change, but a career change. I’ve had a few people ask me (mostly people who don’t know me very well) after investing so much time in social media, why I would get out.
I believe that in another 3-4 years there will be very few jobs left for “social media” people and most of those will be community managers. Even the community manager role will only exist at companies who put most of their marketing efforts behind social media, or big companies with enough need for a dedicated team. But with very few exceptions, there won’t be many senior level jobs as community managers. Community managers will report up into marketing or PR.
For the next 3-4 years all of the social media strategists will continue to evolve into social business strategists, which is their way of moving up the ladder. This is the right move to make but as more strategists do this, there will be more fighting for the limited social business work. In 5-7 years, social media and even social business, strategists will be all but extinct. What will be left is just business/marketing strategists. If you can’t talk credibly - with the experience to back it up - about complete business strategy, then the best you can hope for is implementation. Implementation will done by a variety of agencies who have strong digital capabilities, not “social media” only agences.
I’m not saying social media will go away, I’m saying social media will just cease to be a thing because it will be part of everything. Social media will disappear like the Celts, not because they were killed off, but because they assimilated themselves into every other European group of people. They’ll take over from the inside.
This is good if, like me, your job has been to integrate social media into the rest of the business. But my advice is to move so you’re working from the other side. Stop integrating social media and take a role where you can use social media (and every other tool that makes sense) to drive your business forward.
Don’t believe me? That’s fine. You still have a good 3-5 years ahead of you, depending on how good you are. But when it’s over, if the only thing you have in your resume is “social media” experience, potential clients or employers will look at you and say, “yeah and what else you got?” Because everyone else will do social media AND other stuff.