Social Media has Everything…but Professionalism

ImageEliza McCubbing’s Blog post last week titled “Social Media is not a Fad, it’s Here to Stay and it’s Time to Learn How to Use it Appropriately” raises some interesting points, and even more questions.

It is undeniable that organisations and companies who neglect their presence on social media platforms ultimately lack online relevancy. McCubbing in her blog draws on research from social media strategist Dionne Kasian-Lew, who states  “…only 30% of CEO’s are connected with social media.” There are a key underpinning factors which would explain these figures.

Firstly, social media has been consistently marketed at Gen-Y, pushing all the platforms which fall under that label into a category which is automatically deemed inappropriate for a professionals, or organisation. Many organisations are concerned that Facebook or Twitter are considered somewhat ‘lowbrow’ and not reflective of their, or their company’s professionalism.

Secondly, those organisations or professionals who endeavour to navigate through the somewhat unchartered waters, of Facebook and Twitter, run the common risk of an ineffective social media presence.

A social media page can be ineffective in a myriad of ways. Drawing on the oppositions of an effective social media page as cited by McCubbing, those pages could lack appropriate content, ineffective use of hash tags or links and quite simply, it could be lack of engagement.  The effectiveness of a social media page primarily relies on the appropriate use of medium. This is imperative when you consider professionals or organisations. So far it is safe to say that LinkedIn is the only social media platform catered to professionals and to organisations.

“4.7 million people are on LinkedIn” according to Curtis Tracey from Ogilvy and “…LinkedIn is one of the strongest social networks in the world.” However even when you consider a social media platform catering primarily to professionals, there is still a level of support needed because according to David Meerman Scott: “…only a small number of Public Relations Practitioners are effectively using blogs and other social media…” Those areas of support are a Social Marketer, Media Strategist and a Content Marketer.

This all begs the question however, despite an obvious lag in social media mediums being utilized effectively by professionals, which is well documented, how is it possible that there is only one primary professional social media platform?