Do You Read? What to Look for in a Social Media Manager

By March 21, 2011Social Media

I have been postulating a theory. Stick with me while I draw you through the rivulet of thought; the theory is that readers are more  easily inclined to engage in social media. That, leading to the hypothesis that social media managers for businesses will be more successful if they are readers. I’ll come back to that in a second.

I posed the question on Facebook and in results unsurprising to me, found that a majority of my friends identify themselves as readers. Truth be told: I might be a bit of a snob in this area – I tend to have more in common with readers, being a voracious one myself.

It has been downright shocking, then, the number of people I’ve known in business relationships who say “I’m not a reader,” or “I don’t read,” especially when those people have been in marketing or communications roles.

Who are all these readers, then, who are the millions of Kindle users, who are buying up Nooks?

I suspect that they have much in common with the 500 million active Facebook users, than half of them login to Facebook daily. I suspect these same readers make up the 78% of internet users to read blogs, who participate in Amazon by not just buying, but ranking and leaving comments, and allowing others’ thoughts to guide their buying decisions.

Of those readers, those who are writers are doubly blessed; they read, listen, watch, engage, and (be still my heart) PUBLISH.

If you’re looking for social media managers, ask them if they read.

Go ahead — let me have it if you are a non-reader — I want to hear from you, too.


  • Ken Mueller says:

    I think you may be on to something. Certainly those who read are better writers. But some readers, might be less social? I dunno. Just a thought. I would say being a reader is one criteria, I’m curious what the others might be.

    Also, I get annoyed when people tell me they ONLY read business books. That seems narrow to me. And somewhat…mercenary.

    And…did you say PUBLISH???

  • Marijean says:

    Anybody who tells me that they only read business books is a) full of crap b) a tool and/or c) too boring for my attention.

    I did say PUBLISH. So what does PUBLISH mean to you? To me it means blogging, posting video and photos, it means developing, generating and sharing content. Maybe a book, but certainly all the above.

  • I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but one of the questions we ask when we interview is, “What do you read?” If people can’t tell us they’re reading fiction, which blogs they read consistently, which traditional media they read, AND which business books they’ve recently read, they don’t get on to the next step. Joey Strawn and I have this conversation a lot, too. Reading enhances creativity and makes you a better writer. It opens your mind and makes you wiser. I’m with you – business leaders who don’t read are stunting their growth.