Jobhop Jobhop's blog : What To Do About The Social Media Skills Gap

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There’s a social media skills gap says Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite. His post Inside The Growing Social Media Skills Gap explains why he believes today’s workforce is poorly equipped. 

Why, when it seems that everyone is on social media there’s a social media skills gap? It doesn’t make sense I hear you say! 

It’s true, everyone you speak to seems to be on Facebook or Instagram, but they’re only doing it to stay in touch with friends and family or in some cases, to show off! 

Most social media users would not understand how to market a business on any of the channels; some could even jeopardise a business if they used a business account like they used their personal account. Some businesses don’t consider the risks involved when they say “Let’s get Kerry or Terry to do the social media because they use Facebook” How can they think that's perfectly acceptable and then wonder why something terrible happens? 

Some things a general social media user may share online which a business wouldn’t, would be:

  • A blazing row with an ex-partner
  • Getting sh**tfaced 
  • A heated political debate
  • Religious views 
  • An opinion without knowing the facts 
  • Confidential information
  • Copyrighted image 
  • Copyrighted music 

And more 

A general social media user may also have no idea on how to: 

  • Networking online 
  • Create industry related content like blog posts, infographics, presentations, visuals, etc 
  • Attract customers
  • Source customers 
  • Create adverts 
  • Create on-line events 
  • Produce videos
  • Produce podcasts 
  • Hold webinars 
  • Host Blabs or hangouts
  • Create email campaigns
  • Create competitions
  • Specialise in particular platforms
  • Understand SEO
  • Understand conversion
  • Drive traffic
  • Get traction 
  • Create guides 
  • Generate reports 
  • Create campaigns 

And more

Nearly forgot, on top of all that be professional, calm and social!  

Businesses need people with social media skills, not just someone who can do a few posts on Facebook, it’s a totally different machine! So what do we do about it?

A question I asked in an earlier post was...  “If the keyword in the digital industry with the largest number of job listings is #socialmedia then why isn't it being taught in schools?” 

Employers are asking for social media skills so schools should be teaching them. Social media skills are not only required for people who want to do marketing, but social media skills are required for most jobs these days. Because social has to be at the heart of every business for them to communicate with their customers, every employee has to understand social. Let’s take a chef, he or she doesn’t need to understand social media... wrong! Chefs use Instagram to showcase their work, they use Twitter to chat to their fans and they use Youtube to become celebrities, social media isn’t just left to the marketing department anymore. 

Teaching social media skills will empower students. They will learn how to reach out and network online with employers; they will also learn how to use social media responsibly which will benefit both students and employers. There's nothing worse than having a new employee damage a brand which has taken years to build because of a silly tweet.

So as far as I see it, to fill the social media skills gap schools have to wake up and start teaching social media.

Until social media becomes part of the daily learning process, then companies like Hootsuite is stepping in with their own Hootsuite University and their on-line social media course called Podium.

JOIN Jobhop and spread the word.



Julie Bishop Jobhop





  • Social media
On: 2016-01-24 19:53:01.911