Last night I had the pleasure of entertaining one of my favorite folks from the Seattle social media scene – Kevin Urie. Kevin, the president of Seattle Social Media Club (at least for the next month) is one of those rare finds in the marketing industry. He’s driven by passion, and it’s clear that he loves what he does. Conversations with him are always refreshing and inspiring, thoughtful and rich.
So over drinks I couldn’t help but bring up some industry frustrations to get his thoughts.
Me: I’ve been thinking a lot about our industry direction, and I have to tell you, I’m really tired of haphazardly slapping social media lipstick all over antiquated campaigns.
Kevin: Yeah, I think that’s something we’re all struggling with in marketing. What do you think is going to be the next phase of the industry?
Me: I am just waiting for people to stop selling themselves as ‘social media experts’ and ‘social media agencies’. I want to get to place where the industry thinks about communications plans holistically and their social impact both on and offline.
And after much back and forth, we landed in similar place.
Kevin: I think we’re going to be forced to become more full-shop agencies offering up all services. And only the super niche/boutiquey agencies will continue to live on.
…relieving to hear, as I just recently joined a niche/boutique.
But to his point, I agree. I’ve been saying it for years – why can’t social strategy be a horizontal that is naturally woven in to campaigns and not a vertical offering? Isn’t social media just a marketing tool?
I think it’s time we challenge ourselves to be MORE than just ‘social experts’. It’s time to push ourselves to become GREAT marketers and with that, it naturally means we understand online channels.
What are your thoughts? Is social media still different enough to earn the name as a separate practice?