Today: Jason Falls, the man behind Social Media Explorer, a strategic services agency and an information products company focusing on social media marketing and digital marketing, and co-author of No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing. He can be found on Twitter as @JasonFalls:
"The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both the written and spoken word," says Falls.
"Clarity in communication is probably the top skill you need for any job, but this world is all about connecting audiences with messages and vice-versa," he says.
"Gotta be able to communicate well.
"Technical aptitude is secondary and not always 100 percent critical, but it sure does help if you know you're way around a computer, the web, HTML (to a degree) and connecting to your relevant communications points through various devices."
What separates a successful social marketer from the others?
"The ones who have a marketing and communications background versus those who have just 'grown up' with Facebook and other channels tend to be far more mature and sophisticated about the basic use and implementation of social media," Falls says.
"And then those who can move beyond just communication and understand the underlying technologies, data, data manipulation, using the social graph and more ... those stand out," he says.
Social marketing is critical for most (not all) businesses, Falls says.
"This is simply where consumers are playing ... where they connect with others.
"While many platforms are not the best formats for marketing, brands and marketers are still potentially viable connection points for consumers," he says.
"So, providing another touch point for consumers where they spend a lot of their time is critical for awareness, customer service and sales."
So, what do you think? How important is social marketing to the future of marketing and what skills and knowledge MUST graduating students have?
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
10 More Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: Wanting to connect and being inquisitive are keys, says Lisa Grimm
Social Marketing: Create a social media company personality, says eModeration’s Tamara Littleton
Social Marketing: Utility leads to success, says Google’s Avinash Kaushik
Social Marketing: 'The lighter fluid on the marketing bonfire,' says author Ric Dragon
Social Marketing: Understand how marketing fits in, says Amber Naslund of SideraWorks