Wick Communications

Do we need social media editors?

In Online media on 30 May 2013 at 4:41 pm

social media

One of the biggest buzzes from the news media world this week came from BuzzFeed and the virtual pen of Rob Fishman. Essentially, he argues that we no longer need folks who are focused entirely on feeding the social media beast.

I agree, and I agree with his reasoning as well.

There was a time when dinosaurs ruled the mainstream media landscape. Even five years ago, many in positions of power at newspapers and other news outlets didn’t see the logic behind social media. They didn’t think that reporting the news had anything to do with having a conversation with readers. Until recently, they argued that only snarky twentysomethings had Twitter accounts. They didn’t understand the potential of Pinterest. Many even barred folks in the newsroom from using Facebook.

It didn’t take long for those of us who remain to understand that this was shortsighted thinking. The fundamental purpose of what we do is communicating truths to the masses and, therefore, it makes sense to go where the people are.

In 2013, there is general agreement that we must be a part of social networks in order to succeed and stay relevant. Now, virtually everyone in every newsroom participates in Web updates of one kind or another. Ad reps are quick to work Facebook and Twitter to look for leads and to help clients make the most of their advertising. Publishers are actively engaged in integrating all these things together.

We don’t need one social media evangelist these days because he would be preaching to the choir at this point.

I suspect this is just one thing we have learned in the very new brave new world we all live in. Just as it once made sense to segregate online and print operations, it used to be that working social media was a one-man job. No longer.



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