A Response to: Chris Brogan’s “Social Media is Not A Vocation”

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Chris Brogan published a thought-provoking (and a tad bit controversial) post today: “Social Media Is Not A Vocation” . It’s vintage Brogan.In it, he makes the point that Social Media is not a vocation, a specific job.

Although some of the post’s readers disagree, I am firmly in the “YES” camp.  Here’s Why

#1: Social Media is Still about Mastering (cool) Tools

Ask yourself.  If Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn didn’t exist would we still be talking about social media?  My vote is no.

Without these tools, many would move back to video, rich-media banners, and pushing the frontiers with blogging.

When a tool shapes the vocation, then the vocation is not ready for prime time.  A plumber isn’t defined by his wrench.

#2: Social Media Lacks A Guiding Methodology

A lot of smart people are working very hard to define what Social Media is – but we are not there yet.  Without a guiding methodology, anything and everything can be social media.  PR is Social Media, Branding is Social Media, Placing Facebook Ads is social media.

Vocations are characterized by their methodologies.  A carpenter has a set sequence of steps for building a home.  An airline pilot clearly understands the rules, guidelines, and procedures required to safely fly a jumbo jet.

Social Media doesn’t clear this bar…yet.

#3: Social Media is a Subset of Marketing

Marketing is still the Vocation we are engaged in.  It’s still our vocation.  We are defining an audience, studying it’s media consumption habits, designing messages, and placing those messages efficiently in front of the target audience.

Although social media has helped us take a quantum leap in our ability to build rapport, engagement, and positive opinion – we are still marketing.

Don’t Worry We’re Not Selling Out –

Social Media is still maturing.

Now more than ever, we are finally convincing brands that creating customer-inspired conversations is a mindset and not a tactic.  We are making Trust and Empathy a competitive advantage. And, we are showing that a guy in a towel answering questions via video is worth more than a superbowl commercial.

We’re making progress – but for now – we need to respect Chris’ reality check.

What do you think?

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

6 thoughts on “A Response to: Chris Brogan’s “Social Media is Not A Vocation”

  1. Brian the HOA Newsletter Guy

    I totally agree with Social Media not being a vocation. As you stated, marketing is the vocation. That being said, with the speed that technology now moves we are often required to be an expert in things that we are unable to clearly define. The important thing is to know your profession. Most people can define exactly what marketing is because marketing has been around for so long. People are much more likely to accept you as an expert in marketing with the understanding that the subset, social media, is evolving so fast that what is true today may not be true tomorrow.

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