BEST OF 2011: The 12 most ridiculous social media job titles

Are some of the overly creative (some might say inane) titles on business cards or Twitter handles driving you nuts? If so, this post will drive you even crazier.

This week, PR Daily is counting down the 25 most-popular stories on the site in 2011. This story, which first appeared in June, is No. 9. To see the original version, with all of the reader comments, click here. – editor

Let’s first frame this post with the question:

Why do businesses assign job titles to individuals?

The purpose of titles is to provide a descriptor of the individual’s job function. They are as important to the employee as they are to the customer.

For the employee, they establish ownership over their job responsibilities and maintain structure within the organization. For customers, they establish the expectation of the interaction they may have with this corporate representative.

For the most part, businesses stick with the norms: executive, director, manager, assistant, and so forth. However, somewhere between the tech boom and the development of social media, job titles seem to have become more of a statement on personality than job function. Or maybe social media has simply changed how people operate within today’s business.

Either way, many marketers are taking too many liberties with their job titles and no more so than social media marketers.

In my business and online travels, I’ve seen an alarming trend in the manufacturing of unusual job titles. Someone has to stand up and say, “Enough!” So, I’m going to call out the 12 most ridiculous social media job titles, in no particular order, in hopes of curbing this trend.

1. Web Alchemist

2. Head of Interactions

3. Ant Colony Foreman

4. Chief People Herder

5. Chatter Monkey

6. Community Data Guerrilla

7. Social Media Guru

8. Social Media Swami

9. Public Happy Maker

10. Social Media Evangelist

11. Social Media Rockstar

12. Social Media Missionary

You’ll notice that I left out the ever popular: “Social Media Expert.” It was omitted purposely. It’s simply too ridiculous to make even this list. The reality is Social Media is simply too new and evolving too quickly for anyone to legitimately be called an expert. Even if it wasn’t, a “social media expert” is akin to being a “talking expert.” It has no real meaning.

These ridiculous job titles are the “dress-down Fridays” of business culture. While they may make some people feel more comfortable or relaxed, do they really offer any measurable business benefits in productivity?

Or is the intended wit enough to justify them in our collective business lingo? Do you agree? Disagree? Did I miss any? Share with the class by listing your ridiculous job titles in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: I’m empowered to call out these 12 Most Ridiculous Social Media job titles as I myself have a rather ridiculous job title: “Chief Strategy Sensei.” Yes, it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

Sam Fiorella is a globetrotting interactive marketing strategist who has earned his stripes over the past 20 years in senior management roles with corporate sales & marketing teams as well as consulting for more than 30 marketing agencies. Sam’s experience with over 1600 interactive projects during the past 15 years spans the government, finance & insurance, manufacturing, national retail and travel/tourism sectors. Currently, Sam is the chief strategy sensei at Sensei Marketing, where he is charged with strategic campaign guidance and marketing technology development that power the Sensei Customer Lifecycle Methodology. Sam is a respected blogger and popular keynote speaker on marketing, branding and social media communications having presented at more than 200 conferences in the past two years. Follow Sam on Twitter or Connect with him on LinkedIn.

This story originally appeared on the website The 12 Most … It’s been republished with permission from the publishers.


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