Social Media Just Another Task In The Job Description

According to a new Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions survey, 65% of organizations pile social media on top of other duties, while only 27% employ someone who focuses exclusively on social media. The survey found that organizations are cautious about dedicating resources to social media, and adding social media to the list of tasks traditionally assigned to communicators.

Exclusive Team For Social Media Tasking



% of Respondents

Yes, have team


No, tasks assigned on top of current job responsibilities


No, outsource all social media efforts


Source: Ragan Communications, January 2013


Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications "... (communicators) are doing events, putting out newsletters, writing press releases... and now they're handed this task of overseeing Twitter accounts, Facebook and Pinterest pages... “

Major Findings in Key Areas:

  • 65% of respondents do social media on top of their other duties. For those who do social media exclusively, nearly 83% work on teams of three or fewer
  • 69% are dissatisfied or only “somewhat satisfied” with how they measure social media. Only 31% are satisfied or very satisfied. And many say they lack the time to track data or aren’t even sure what to measure
  • Only 28% saw their budget increase this year, while 69% stayed the same. Prospects were only slightly better for 2013, with 62% of budgets remaining static
  • Salaries for social media manager or director also showed wide variation, with 21% earning in the $25,000- $35,000 range, and 22% earning from $65,000-$90,000. Five% earn top salaries, which hover above $125,000.
  • A lot of people are still figuring out social media. Only 13% describe their efforts as advanced. Slightly more than half agreed with the statement, “We keep our heads above water, but not by much.” Another 23% describe themselves as “newbies.”
  • Facebook is by far the most popular platform, with 91% of respondents maintaining a page there. Twitter follows closely, with 88%, while 69% use LinkedIn
  • “Ownership” of social media is murky, and the question may even become passé as numerous departments within organizations jump in. 70% of respondents say marketing is involved, with 69% reporting that public relations played a role. Corporate communications trailed, with 49%.

Respondents from for-profit corporations made up 58% of the total. Nonprofits amounted to 24%, while 7% came from government. (About 11% answered “other.”) Organizations of more than 1,000 employees constituted 28% of the total; the vast majority were under 1,000, and 23% worked for organizations employing fewer than 25. Social Media is revolutionizing communications, but an organization not committing additional resources is not alone.

Most organizations don’t have an employee who focuses exclusively on social media. 65% of respondents do social media on top of their other duties. For those who do social media exclusively, nearly 83% work on teams of three or fewer. 42% say only one person works exclusively on social media, while only 9% report teams of more than six people.

Number of People Working On Social Media


% of Respondents









Source: Ragan Communications, January 2013

68% of respondents didn’t expand their social media department in 2012, and 78% don’t plan to hire in 2013. Both degree and experience weigh heavily in hiring. 45% say they rely on a combination of degree and experience. Some 25% weigh experience above all, and 18% consider writing skills foremost. Fewer than half a percent say they rely on degree alone.

In the era of social media, an education in communications (77%) or public relations (76%) is most highly valued for employment. (Respondents were allowed to click multiple answers). Marketing trailed with 65%. Only 20% felt an English major made a better candidate, compared with 42% for journalism.

The survey revealed that 69% are dissatisfied or only “somewhat satisfied” with how the company measures social media:

  • 26% are satisfied
  • 5% are very satisfied
  • 86% of respondents measure interaction and engagement, including followers, fans and “likes.”
  • 74% track Web traffic
  • 58% measure brand reputation
  • 40% track new leads
  • 31% measure sales

Many respondents felt there is no industry-accepted tool to determine the value of social media efforts. They say that they rely on impressions and general feedback. Asked about their social media goals, 87% said to increase brand awareness.

Organization Social Media Goals


% of Respondents

Increase brand awareness


Increase web traffic


Improve reputation


Generate leads


Increase sales


Improve customer service




Not sure


Source: Ragan Communications, January 2013

For more about this study and report from Ragan Communications, and access to the Whitepaper, please visit here.


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