A search of employment opportunities in social media inevitably turns up something like the following:
Social Media Associate: Act as administrator of the company blog and social media feeds as well as representing the company on all social media platforms. Create compelling content to drive traffic. Primary role is to engage community members.
In other words, the employer wants a communications associate whose main job is to tweet and blog.
Like many organizations, the employer represented here views social media as just another platform for advertising and communications. The person in charge of the social media efforts may be informed about the organization’s overall strategy, but his or her role is to simply use social media to communicate this strategy to the target consumer or constituency. This perspective on how social media fits into the organization can be very limiting and potentially problematic. Let’s break down the pitfalls associated with this line of reasoning.