Study maps the career arc of social media strategists

Altimeter Group study lays out the skills they need and the challenges they face, and it warns against relegation to ‘help desk’ status.

If social media strategy is your profession, your goal could be to work yourself out of a job.

That’s according to a recent report from the Altimeter Group that aims to map the career path of a social media strategist. The report touches on the challenges that strategists will face, as well as their potential obsolescence as social media moves from being regarded by many as a novelty to something that most employees will use every day.

“The wise social media strategist will realize that what they’re learning to do—counsel companies on how to use technology to achieve business tools—will always be valuable, but the subject matter will change,” says Shel Israel, CEO of SI Associates and one of the study’s interview subjects.

Welcoming obsolescence

Once social media becomes completely ingrained in the way a company does business, a social media strategist “would be about as valuable as a fax strategist,” Israel says.

“If we succeed, we put ourselves out of business,” he says. Israel says that’s how it should be, because trying to slow the march of technological progress is a losing battle.

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