Monday, June 22, 2009

Social Media Rock Star or Social Media Business Consultant?

The social web has been explored and rapidly taken over by the business world. What was limited to a social marketing campaign just a year ago to make some cool noise for coffee, skittles or a new blender is today strategically dissected.

The social media rock stars who do a few campaign masterpieces are finding new competition from business process savvy consultants who take social media way beyond the campaign level on the marketing side.

Social Media in product marketing and product design plays a wildly important role. Co-creation is the known buzzword, listening to customers and building the right next-generation product the executable part of it. Social media empowered support organizations leverage engaged users and support the "user support user" paradigm through social media in a whole new way.

Logistics and procurement departments conquer old supply chain problems such as customer buying trends and customer purchase behavior with social media where social web analytics serve as a much more precise early warning systems than anything we had in the past.

While LinkedIn is the prototype for job hunters and recruiters - HR or better said HT (Human Talents) has gone way beyond search techniques and use social media for skill identification beyond the profile, team communication, project qualification and much more.

The social media marketing campaign is only one piece of the cross functional social media puzzle. And today it is actually one of the last pieces to be put in place. Even before developing a social media strategy a comprehensive assessment - assessing customers, brand, partners and competitors - is typically the starting point. Following a traditional SWOT analysis, a social media strategy is developed based on components such as Purpose, Objectives, Benefits Actions, and a sound reporting framework. Resource allocation management and funds allocation including ROI calculations are standard elements in a professional social media tool box.

Now - to do all that - professionally trained business consultants may join the "Social media rock stars" with their 100,000 Twitter followers. In my experience - if all you want to do is a cool social media campaign and get a ton of followers - you are not much further along than the ones who hope to get 100 Million eye balls through sponsored links - no matter what the value of those are. But if you honestly care about your customers and try to develop a profoundly better customer experience – then think beyond the "cool" and start building a holistic cross-functional strategy - so that service, support, product design and sales are a homogeneous force and the customer experience is something your customer recognizes.
Some of the consultants who are working more strategically may be less visible in the social web - but does that mean they are less effective in their work? Are the pros working in the background the ones who really spin the web - way beyond the "cool"?


Social Media Academy


susan rice-lincoln said...

Thank you for this post. It was much-needed. As a student of your excellent Social Media Academy, one of the biggest things I have learned is that social media touches all divisions of a company-not just its marketing department. This simple-but overarching-idea makes the need for business and strategic-oriented social media consultants all that more urgent. The social media benefits for any given company are huge and need to be understood today-not tomorrow. Because one thing is clear. If your company doesn't grasp the huge potential of social media across the board, it is just a matter of time before your competitors see the light...Susan Rice-Lincoln

Wendy Soucie said...


I have learned more than I expected during the past few weeks in the Social Media Strategy and Leadership Class thru SOMA - Social Media Academy.

In reality, there are two wrong perceptions out in the greater community - social media is for advertising or we don't have time to waste on it.

Both are incorrect.

I have learned a thoughtful and cautious approach and methodology for each social media client engagement. Large or small, the steps you describe are key to a successful outcome.

I found SOMA using Linkedin, connected with people in the class across communities, blogs, skype, webinars, phone and soon in person! the value and extension of my network has become a valuable asset because of the class.

I hope I can continue to convey the message about social media and how it should work with each person I connect with. Can't wait for the next course.

business consulting said...

I'd say that it has been great that things like social media networks has been a significant tool in exposing techniques and resources for business transformation. Growing a small business is not that easy that is why every little bit of help is needed and thanks to social networks like twitter and others, getting to this resources is now easier.

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