The first was for an "expert" who would report to the CEO, develop SM strategies, develop and execute campaigns, drive a lead management effort and basically run the entire company-all for $13.50 per hour. This is totally absurd to think that a seasoned professional is going to come into a company and have the ability to lead change management, develop digital strategies etc. for this kind of pay.
The second was for an intern with a small agency who would basically " help to develop and execute social media marketing campaigns for clients across product categories" for Canada's biggest brands. This 40 hour per week joy fest paid nothing but an "honorarium".
The third was for a "Social Media Account writer", which is a starting position which paid $14.66 per hour.
So clearly these agencies are looking for entry level people, offering minimum wage or nothing to bring in people with no demonstrated skills to work on paying client's strategic growth initiatives! Some brands are large manufacturers which I would be embarrased on their behalf to include their brands in this post.
I seem to recall the outcry of foul in the web development industry where larger developers exploited skilled graphics/ web dev people and marked up their toiling, spawning a fractured and freefalling value cycle. Well Social Media is well down that cycle now based on the gap between real and perceived value.
The embarrassing take away is that you are paying for a level of integrity on the backs of kids with ties trying to find work. Some agencies actually have the experience and ability to work with clients in a strategic capacity. Being a large agency with lots of people does not automatically qualify them for same.
I would demand CV's of the team lead and all other levels of those working on my account. Subcontracting to a no name, no pay intern is not acceptable.
Some could argue, that as long as the work gets done-who cares? Well for that matter, the agency should realize that the client could save a whole lot of time and grief and hire their own employees from Craigslist and get the same crappy results for less.