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21 ridiculous social media job titles

Social media is massive now, we get it. You don’t need me to tell you that Facebook’s 1 billion monthly active users and Pinterest’s meteoric rise mean big business (and big bucks) to savvy companies.

But with this rise comes a boom in business for self-proclaimed social media gurus, and I should know. That said, there’s no excuse for the boom in bloated job titles, from ‘Digital PR Commando’ to ‘New Media Ninja’, that is sweeping through LinkedIn like a trending topic. In fact, someone’s even created a social media job title generator, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Here are 21 of the most ridiculous social media job titles that you’ll come across in your travels.

Social media specialist

1. Social Media Rockstar

What is this? Are you a drummer or a guitarist? Working in social media marketing does not put you on a par with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.

2. Director of Chat Marketing

Presumably this isn’t purely limited to Facebook Chat.

3. Senior Social Media Capability Architect

It’s not even worth having a guess at what this means – presumably, it’s like being a Junior Social Media Capability Architect, only with a slightly better salary.

4. Social Media Tactician

‘Strategist’ is forgiveable, but ‘tactician’? When did managing a Facebook page turn in to World War III?

5. Blogger-in-Chief

One can only presume that this is the Editor-in-Chief (what’s one of those?) of the blogging world.

6. Social Media Wizard

Unless you went to Hogwarts, you’re not a wizard.

7. Brand Promoter

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s clunky and vague – surely everyone in the marketing department qualifies as a brand promoter?

8. Director of Community

I can see where they’re going with this one, but you can’t direct a community – the community chooses its own direction. At best, you can gently guide it.

9. Social Activationist

I’m guessing that this guy, who shall remain nameless, sets up Facebook and Twitter pages and then just leaves them to be buried by abuse.

10. Chief People-Herder

What? You can’t say that!

11. Social Media Ninja

How many times? You’re not a ninja/pirate/rockstar/wizard.

12. Client Engagement Manager

Again, there’s nothing specifically wrong here, it’s just a great way to make a warm, organic process seem cold and unemotional.

13. Community Data Guerrilla

According to Google Define, this means that you use data from the community to ‘fight a stronger force by sabotage and harassment’. Do you really want that on your business cards?

14. Social Media Enthusiast

You’re a professional ‘enthusiast’? I’m enthusiastic about beer, but I have yet to find a way to monetise it.

15. Idea Inventor

This is simultaneously vague and big-headed – what ideas do you invent? A revolutionary new type of toaster, perhaps? Oh, you mean you’re a social media marketer? I see.

Idea Inventor

16. Online Community and Social Media Czar

Seriously, a czar? An early European ruler of social media and the online community? If you say so…

17. Social Media Whore

I bet your parents were so, so proud when you first told them what your title was.

18. Conversation Manager

This is a bit like being a ‘Free Speech Dictator’ – conversations are thriving, organic creatures. Sure, you can guide them, given enough subtlety – outright managing them is both impossible and counter-productive.

19. Social Media Missionary

Okay, so I can appreciate the use of metaphor to suggest that you travel to foreign lands to spread the word about the good (Face)book, but unless you worship the internet as a god then you should probably leave this title well alone.

20. Social Media Evangelist

If missionary is a bad idea, so is evangelist – besides, we’re no longer in the dark ages of the internet. People already know about social – if they’ve not seen the value by now, they’re unlikely to change their mind after what can only be described as one of your sermons.

21. Social Media Guru

This is the one that you’ll hear most often — even those with more reasonable titles find themselves described as gurus from time-to-time. The problem is, they’re not Hindu mystics sitting on top of an isolated mountain in the Himalayas.

Which ridiculous social media job titles have you heard? Have you used any of these yourself? Let us know with a comment.

Cartoon: Hugh MacLeod

116 Comments

  1. Pingback: 21 ridiculous social media job titles | Chocolate-Covered-Grasshopper.com

  2. Kurt Steinbruch

    May 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Anyone that has read this kind of information in the past knows how hard it is to get a fresh view on it. You have made this task a little easier with your article. Thanks.

    My Page : Social Media Specialist

  3. cherylann

    May 15, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I’m no rockstar or ninja, but in our industry, we should be building people up, not poking fun at what they call themselves. Too many ego’s getting in the way of great work… so who cares what people call themselves, the proof is in the pudding… and great work speaks for itself, despite a title.

  4. GrammarNazi

    May 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Nope.
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating…

    Proof in a pudding? No no no.

  5. cherylann

    May 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Haha, thank goodness I’m not a copywriter ;)

  6. Simon Espley

    May 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hmmm, so no title is safe? Personally I think this post is cynical and poorly written. Yet another list-based headline – can we be cynical about lists too?

  7. Cuthbert

    May 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    You’re also no stickler for good grammar, apparently.

    I jest, but the inability to use the English language correctly is much more of a crime than the dishing out of overblown job titles.

  8. Hugh MacLeod

    May 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Dear Memeburn, that’s my cartoon you’re using, with no credit given and with my signature removed. When a commercial blog like yours does that, I consider that theft. Please email me so we can rectify, thanks :)

  9. bradshorr

    May 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Tricked-up titles trivialize SM, which is the last thing we need to do. That’s how I feel, and if you don’t like it you can eat my pudding.

  10. Dave Kragenbrink

    May 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    While I am in agreement with most of these (wizard/rockstar/guru/etc), i disagree with some too.

    Companies have Directors and Managers. The titles connotate responsibility not always literal “direction.”

    I think you’ll find that corporations have a LOT of meaningless titles. Heck, I’m a “Solutions Administrator” – I’d give you 10 guesses to what I actually do. You’d be wrong.

    Focus on these people DO their jobs and less on what the title it.

  11. robin ngai

    May 16, 2013 at 4:13 am

    “i’m ceo bitch”

  12. Hugh MacLeod

    May 16, 2013 at 4:52 am

    PS My email is gapingvoid@gmail.com Thanks :)

  13. zed_man

    May 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Seriously people. This article lightened up my day that’s for sure. Yes job titles have been played around with way too much in my opinion and they are becoming completely absurd when it comes to social media. Still though I cant believe some people “dont like” this because u “should focus on the job quality instead of the title” lol seriously? Are you guys not on the internet? Do you not see the name of this website? Lighten the f^%$ up or get the hell out! Great article!

  14. Stuart Thomas

    May 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Hi Hugh,

    We’re terribly sorry about that. The author of the piece had not indicated to us that the image came from another source. The cartoon has been removed.

    Stuart.

  15. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

    That’s a very fair point :)

  16. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Thanks!

  17. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Be cynical about everything!

  18. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I agree, Brad – if you tell someone you work in social media, they automatically presume you spend all day on Facebook Chat and watching Epic Meal Time on YouTube. Call yourself a wizard or a Jedi and people are going to take you even LESS seriously!

  19. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

    My mistake Hugh, I thought I’d included a source link in the copy!

  20. Aweh

    May 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Haha you said blow job.

  21. Jovan Sterling Noel

    May 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    In the spirit of humour, I’ve come across community DJ a number of times

  22. Pooja Lapasia

    May 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Are you sure people did not say out their titles sarcastically and you had a whole post for it? This is unbelievable.

  23. Andrew Fairley

    May 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I think the problem is that the blanket term “social media” trivialises what social media actually is – say social media, and people think Facebook and Twitter. However, if you look at social media courses at universities, it is very different to that – social media is sociology, informatics, computer science, network theory, mathematics, and quantitative & qualitative research methodologies combined.

    My gut reaction is that anyone who calls themselves a ‘social media guru’ because they run a Twitter or Facebook page, isn’t a guru. People who actually get what social media is, won’t be that visible on social media – they’ll be too busy making sure that their brand becomes prominent whilst they stay invisible.

  24. dougshaw

    May 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Slightly embarrassed to reveal a friend of mine has chosen the job title ‘Head of Fresh’. It would be OK if he worked in a bakery – but he doesn’t, he works in a recruitment consultancy. Hey ho…

  25. Clive Jones

    May 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    “2. Director of Chat Marketing” – that wouldn’t happen to be the Director of the company he owns, which is called Chat Marketing, would it? Wouldn’t really class that as a ridiculous job title, more like a statement of fact.

    Perhaps a bit more research before publishing would of helped, although I’m sure Alan will appreciate a bit of free advertising…

  26. Tommy Young

    May 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    But what if, like my wife, you are a missionary and you are in charge of the organizations social media? Doesn’t #19 fit?

  27. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Yes, that’s allowed Tommy – and Chris Hadfield is also allowed to be a Social Media Astronaut, although that’s debatable now that he’s back on earth!

  28. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Well the concepts that social media work by have been around since civilization began I guess, except for a poke being seen as a friendly gesture, which is new.

  29. Dane John Cobain

    May 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    To be fair, the post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek – I’ve used wizard sarcastically before. I think it’s worse if you have it on a business card than in a tweet, though!

  30. Robert Pratt

    May 17, 2013 at 6:40 am

    The cartoon is still there, and you put the attribution in the wrong place. It should go underneath the cartoon, not at the end of the long article. And if you really feel like sprucing things up, ad a clear texty looking link beside his name, rather than just a hyperlink in the name. Have you never read attribution for Getty Images or Reuters or MSNBC, or, you pick one. It’s pretty much standard.

  31. Alan Martin

    May 17, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Thanks very much for the mention, even if not quite correct!

  32. Stuart Thomas

    May 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Hi Robert,

    The cartoon was removed and only put back in place once we had received Hugh’s permission. The way you see the image credited in the article is our standard. A cursory glance through other articles on the site will show you that. It is also far from unusual. Go to other technology sites such as The Next Web and you will see much the same form of attribution.

    Kind regards,
    Stuart

  33. Amar Sanghera

    May 17, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I can’t seem to find many of these job titles on LinkedIn. Perhaps not a lot of people are using these.

  34. Templar Wales

    May 20, 2013 at 8:33 am

    a lot of people here take life way too seriously. have a laugh, even if its at yourself, for once.

  35. Scott Williams

    May 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I agree that some of these titles are really crazy but what are the correct job titles then?Some alternatives please?

  36. Emma Lovell

    May 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    This was brilliant!! I’m a Social Media…content creator? Manager – Argh! Now I don’t know what to call myself. Social Media Specialist generally.

    I have people call me “Social Media Guru” and I flinch and smile politely. It puts a lot of expectation on your expertise and I have most certainly not reached enlightenment in the area of social media.

    Great laugh!

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  40. Lyndon

    June 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    The problem with using titles like Rockstars and Ninjas, Wizards, Jedis and Gurus [and yes, I’ve met them all] is they don’t relate to anything. I’ve met Ninjas with only one year of social experience… and no marketing or PR/comms experience. These kinds of names give the impression that the people that use them are hiding something… no self-respecting communications professional will use a title like this!

  41. mebuell

    July 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    ‘Social Media Missionary’ = vanilla position.

  42. Imran Hunzai

    July 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks God Digital Media Executive isn’t in the list. Saves my bottom.

  43. Chris @ Rizzo Tees

    July 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Because you forgot my favorite, “social media maven,” I throw my own list into the ring: http://www.rizzotees.com/blog/if-you-work-in-social-media-what-should-you-be-called (p.s. I think your list is better. “Community data guerilla!”)

  44. Chris @ Rizzo Tees

    July 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    that wins today

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  48. OsKaRR

    July 25, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Now that’d be a Ninja

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  56. Pritam Thakur

    July 26, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Are these really some official titles ? I find it both surprising & hilarious !!

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  65. Roberto Blake

    July 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    These titles may be ridiculous but I don’t think Social Media is going anywhere. Why? Because Social Media is about Branding and Communication and in some cases customer service.

    These are the communication platforms people use now, just like when Email and Faxing expanded our communication beyond Phone and Direct Mail.

    Google has effectively replaced the printed phone book at this point. That is the reality of the world we now find ourselves in. So no, Social Media is not a fad or trend that will disappear in 5 years.

    That is merely the wishful thinking of people who don’t want to embrace new technology and platforms that inconvenience them or weaken their value position within an organization or industry.

  66. Ricky Bobby

    July 30, 2013 at 4:15 am

    What about the title “Chief Yahoo” is that bad?

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  69. BigAl1825

    July 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Did you obtain permission of and compensate the owners of WW&TCF for the use of that image?

  70. Pri

    July 31, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Definitely have heard of a social media guru requirement…not sure what that entails.

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  76. Louise

    August 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Whelp, since it seems no title – clinically professional or creative – that pass inspection, what would you suggest?

    Words like ‘ninja’ and ‘wizard’ – while yes, technically inaccurate – breathe some creativity and fun into the workplace (especially fitting if you’re working for an ad agency.) There’s nothing wrong with trying to set yourself apart from the herd with a different title, right? Except for maybe whore. But that’s because I just don’t see the allure.

    And guru, I’ll give you that. There’s no way you know EVERYTHING. But that’s just semantics.

  77. Louise

    August 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Sing it! I spend SO much time on social media…but most of it’s for my brand. ANY time I get on, it’s for them…not for myself. Props for pointing that out.

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  83. Thomas Buyle

    August 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Some time ago, I created a tool to help you get your unique en awesome social media job title : http://socialmediajobtitle.com/ – Hope you’ll like it :-)

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  85. Andy

    August 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Either I am living under a rock or you just made some cr*p up – Social Media Whore! Yeah rite.. A little more research could have avoided duplication or just plain bullshi**ing. Or better still – say 15 titles instead of 21! What ever!

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  87. Stitches

    August 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Ridiculous job titles are great, though! I’d much rather be called a social media ninja than something all official and stuffy-sounding.
    Not to mention, stupid job titles are everywhere. Subway employees have the job title of “Sandwich Artist” for god’s sake.

  88. keepingit100

    August 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    So you’re a social media cartoonist? I though it was just paint and copy paste. Wow go patent that cartoon please fore I steal it.

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  96. Sean

    September 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    seriously? STFU.

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  106. jacob

    October 26, 2013 at 1:20 am

    You seriously can’t copyright a meme or words on it since it belongs on an image owned by a company.

    See also:

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Mel Stuart, Paramount, 1971

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  108. katibee

    November 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    He was referring to the comic at the top…clearly.

  109. Stuart Davidson

    November 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Brilliant! It’s been a while since reading an article of this sort and I actually chuckled to myself.

    I wrote a pretty comprehensive article on how to become a social media manager, which you can read here: http://stuartjdavidson.com/social-media-manager/

    Shame I didn’t find this article first so that I could have added a little humour in…

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  111. jacob

    November 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    At the time of my comment it was not there. and/or it didn’t load with the page. I clearly see that now. I am deleting the comment

  112. Momo

    November 24, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Community Director has been in use easily since 2000. There was a Community Director at IGN at that time (before it was called IGN.) Community Producer is another (they publish pages, proofread, write articles, edit, interview people, create quizzes etc.) Community Specialist is another one, same thing. Usually a person who works in online community building is going to be doing a lot of jobs — anything from writing and editing to coding and marketing, customer service, managing others, interacting with users etc. Social Media may be the latest name for it, but community has been around since Usenet.

  113. Tony Ahn

    December 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I own a digital PR agency. People that use social media in my agency are called “copywriters.” Pretty simple.

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