Why Social Media Is A Fulltime Job

Many financial institutions delving into social media simply shovel the additional workload on top of the existing marketing staff’s responsibilities.

Reality Check: Even if your marketing department has the experience to pull it off, they are probably already stretched thin and don’t have the time.

It’s very easy to underestimate the amount of time and energy it takes to create any kind of success in the social media space. Just to run a blog, it take a bare minimum of five hours a week, and more realistically 10-20 hours. Add another five or so hours a week for Twitter. If you run promotions, or integrate video into your social media initiatives, the hours really start to balloon.

now-hiringHere’s something to keep in mind. A couple of days ago, the Washington Post reported about the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s approach to social media.  After two years of intensive efforts to boost its Facebook profile through social networking and hiring two full-time people, the breast cancer cause had acquired only 135 fans.

Reality Checks:

  • You can’t just hope to put a few hours a week into your social media projects and expect any kind of success.
  • Social media may be free, but it isn’t easy. There are no short cuts. Just like with anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.
  • If you’re going to take social media seriously, you need a new, full-time position.

Smart financial institutions are hiring this person months prior to launching their social media projects in order to have them (and their expertise) on board during the development phase.

This person could be called an “Online Community Manager,” “Director of Online Marketing” or a “Social Media Manager.” Whatever titles are used, expect to see more financial institutions hiring these kinds of people in coming years.

There is perhaps no better illustration of this than a recent Fifth Third Bank ad for a new Social Media Strategist position. The Cincinnati bank is looking for someone to “unleash the marketing potential locked within everyday conversations about our brand.”

The bank’s help-wanted ad outlines the position in great detail, a blend of both tactical skills and strategic acumen. On one hand, the candidate must have direct experience with social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. On the other hand, the applicant should possess “a strategic vision of the social media landscape and a game plan to infuse social media best practices across all aspects of the business.”

Fifth Third Bank – Social Media Strategist

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Oversee and manage program and project development from definition through delivery including indentifying key measures of success.
  • Develop ROI models around Social Media engagement and prioritize projects based upon a solid business case as well as determine guidelines for evaluating benefits and risks for certain Social Media engagements.
  • Translate business strategy into applicable interactive experiences that drive business results and meet business and user goals.
  • Be the primary interactive marketing point of contact for assigned key initiatives.
  • Work with various management teams to gain appropriate input and buy-in on social networking strategies and execution.
  • Serve as primary content developer for brand and corporate social media sites including Twitter and Facebook.
  • Develop corporate blog strategies and write or review Line of Business blog posts.
  • Monitor trends in social media tools and applications and appropriately apply that knowledge to increasing the use of social media.
  • Obtain appropriate regulatory and compliance approval for all social networking endeavors.
  • Ensure that all social networking strategies are compliant with brand regulations.
  • Supervise integration of efforts among external partners (advertising agency, digital/direct agency).
  • Work to ensure consistent messaging between advertising and internally produced communications.
  • Stay current with new social media sites, platforms and emerging technologies.
  • Manage program costs, scope and schedule.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Business, communications, journalism, English or related field, and/or equivalent work-related experience.
  • A minimum of 3 years experience in interactive marketing; 5 years experience as a professional communicator.
  • Experience sourcing and managing content development and publishing for social networking functions.
  • A passion for social media marketing and other inbound marketing strategies.
  • Excellent written and communication skills.
  • Experience with social media, SEM and SEO.
  • Expertise in writing and maintaining a blog.
  • Self-motivated and able to manage multiple takes and priorities within specified time frames.

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