A Public Service Announcement: Drop Guru, Ninja, and Expert From Social Media Job Titles

The Case for Serious Social Media Job Titles

Jeffrey L. Cohen makes a great case for why your company needs a Chief Social Officer – a C-level executive with expertise in and responsible for Social Media. He makes some great points and then says, “If you currently have ninjaguru or expert in your social media title, it is time to drop it. If you want to be taken seriously inside the organization and out, you need to take yourself seriously,” and at first, I took it a little personally. Not that long ago, I was checking out as a possible domain. Then I started thinking.

Executives Question Social Media

In many organizations, it’s already hard enough to sell social media to executives despite silly job titles. Many company executives question your ROI and don’t understand your strategy. They think that your social media staff is playing online, or better yet, that the job can be done by an intern. By having quirky titles in your social media group, you might be able to add some flavor to your LinkedIn profile but it could come at the expense of your department being taken seriously within the organization. Besides, when downsizing comes, are you more likely to layoff the Senior Manager of New Media Communications or the Supreme Overlord of Internets?

Take Yourselves Seriously

Only when we’re able to take steps to change silly job titles collectively as Social Media industry can we be taken more seriously individually, across our organizations, and collectively as a profession. That’s how we’ll be able to earn budget dollars over traditional marketing channels and that’s how executives can start to understand our place within the organization. Pick a title that shows the value you provide to your company, not the methods through which you accomplish it. Lots of people have a blog, thousands of Twitter followers and have set up Facebook pages. Use that title to communicate the value that you have and can contribute to your organization rather than what a big shot you think you are now.

So when your director asks you what you’d like on your business card, please don’t add any of the words at the Social Media Job Title Generator:

Thank You.

Do you have, or have you heard of any funny social media job titles? How do you feel about making social media more serious? Let us know in the comments below.

The Best Social Media Job Application EVER: How 22 Year-Old Lindsay Blackwell Applied for a $110K Job

The Story

Late last year, I saw an opening on LinkedIn for the first Social Media Director at the University of Michigan. As my wife was originally from Michigan, I submitted a 10-page application with a two-page resume, cover letter, professional biography, and a 30-60-90 day business plan. I even placed Facebook and Google ads aimed at Communications Department staff at The University, which my wife said was complete overkill. Only last week did I hear back that the position had been filled – I never got called for an interview, and I found out why: because I was up against the likes of Lindsay Blackwell.

Last month, I was searching to see if the position had been filled and came upon – a website conceived, developed, and designed by Lindsay Blackwell and directed solely at Lisa Rudgers, the Vice President for Global Communications and Strategic Initiatives at University of Michigan and I was stunned amazed floored.

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