Hello Biznology Readers! I am so proud to join the digital marketing experts who contribute to this blog. A special “thank you” to Mike Moran who invited me to join the ranks. Over the years, I’ve known Mike as an author, a research partner, and a consultant. I continue to learn from his ever-expanding expertise and innovation in marketing and share it with my own colleagues, network and students. This is my first post – the introduction to a series spotlighting leaders in social media strategy. Let’s start this conversation by getting to a core definition of what social media is – Wikipedia does a great job here:
Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people, companies, and other organizations to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.
The work and the job titles emerge
The “social media manager” – job title was not common ten years ago. Since even Facebook was in its infancy in 2006, the title probably did not even exist. But in 2016, organizations have a real business need to put someone in charge of listening to social media. They need to have someone responding to inbound inquiries on social media: someone developing strategy to leverage this evolving medium to support business goals. Industries and organizations have grown their social media work in many different forms. In my own experience, as a digital marketer in the education space, responsibilities for social media started as an “add on” to my existing work in the digital marketing mix. I raised my hand and said “pick me” to lead early social media initiatives! Now I lead a social media marketing team of – yep – social media managers.
The cool stuff – innovation in organizations
Social media is an evolving landscape – new features and new networks launch monthly. When evolving technologies, especially communication technologies, are used by prospects and customers, organizations have to do more than just be there. Why? Because communication with prospects and customers, when designed strategically, can lead to opportunity. Many different business functions communicate with prospects and customers: sales, pr, customer support, and, of course, marketing, are only a few. The opportunity for innovative work by people in these areas is simply awesome. How can social media be used to positively impact the organization and support its goals? Someone (or a group of someones) has to build a strategy and test its impact. So who “owns” social media strategy?
Where does social media strategy live?
In order for organizations to facilitate innovate work in social media, they need to hire the right type of leadership to drive it. You need an innovator, an explorer: someone willing to fail, brush themselves off, and get back to work. This blog series- social media strategy leaders- is dedicated to those people. These folks are my own colleagues, and they have grown alongside social media and turned it into their work. Social media leaders are now hiring, training, and mentoring the first real generation of social media managers. They are a diverse group of people with unique backgrounds: some rising within industries, others coming from consulting or agency backgrounds. I hope you are as excited as I am to learn where these folks sit in their organizations and what their professional and educational backgrounds look like. Watch for our first interview next month!
Do you find this topic as engaging as I do? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.