The Experience Conundrum

I always enjoy looking at social media job postings. Not because they’re particularly interesting to me, but because of how they try to nail down an intangible.

You run into some that say 2+ years of social media experience. What did the social media landscape look like 2 years ago? Twitter was a no-name. Facebook was still pretty much just a way to connect with friends (but becoming more). I suppose MySpace was more important. Location based networks were not feasible. And the iPhone was still in it’s first generation.

Now, all of that has changed. What does it matter if someone knew how to promote something 2 years ago with a blog post and some banner ads? Social media isn’t so much a landscape as it is an ocean, constantly changing. Twitter is like a gulfstream, in that is propelled everyone into a new setting. Now you have location-based networks like 4 square and gowalla. Mobile ads are huge.

I say all that to illustrate a point. Social media experience is shorthand for trying to test someone’s skills in it. The best way is to actually try them out. Give them a test or a challenge to do with social media. This link really shows that this company understands it.

Rather than say experience or anything of the like, they put out a challenge. They had questions that had to each be answered in 140 characters or less. Brevity is the soul of wit indeed.

Think about that when you’re looking for help with social media. Experience is only as good as past successes indicate.

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