How Many Social Media Managers Work At Media Orgs?

twitter-logo.pngGuess. How many social media managers work at mainstream newspapers, TV stations, magazines and/or book publishers?

C’mon. Guess.

Two hundred, with most starting in the past two years, according to Forbes. This is mind boogleing. Two hundred?

We’re not sure whether this is a shocking and wonderful development (hooray that 200 news orgs were fast-moving enough to get on this) or shocking and depressing (how could 200 “social media gurus” con news organizations into paying them to Tweet?).

Forbes admits that Twitter, etc, isn’t a revenue generator:

Most newspaper RSS feeds don’t carry ads; neither do posts that break news. Lynn D. Johnson, senior vice president for social media at the Advertising Research Foundation, says news organizations aren’t earning “anything significant” from social media. She speaks from experience: Soon after Twitter launched, Fast Company hired Johnson to set up a blog network for the magazine. She did, but they produced little in the way of monetizable content. “Our sales team didn’t know how to fully position this,” she says.

Yet, the article continues, social media is a “conversation starter.” The question is whether that’s valuable enough to pay someone to do just that. What do you think?