I recently read a blog post from Justin Kistner (through SocialFresh) where he theorizes that “social media” will reach its peak by 2012. If social media is dying how can organizations set themselves up for success in this continuously growing and evolving area?
We’ve all read blogs or articles that say “90 percent of social media is just showing up” and we likely know that success in this space can only happen if leadership embraces the strategy and is willing to invest in it. A good friend of mine, Bryan Willmert, gives an example in a post where references Ford is investing 25 percent of its marketing budget in the social web.
He also gives five thoughts on how companies can embrace the social web:
- Allocate budget to hire a “Social Media Guru”.
- Find the right person for the job (leverage social tools such as LinkedIn or Twitter to find that person).
- Work one-on-one with your “Social Media Guru” so they know how to market you (no one knows your business better than you do).
- Let them run with it and teach you along the way so you understand where your investment is going and what is coming back.
- Keep an open mind and don’t hang on to the ways that you always have done things.
In my perfect world, I’d structure the organization to have a Community Manager who manages a department responsible for the social web and new technologies. (Note: I’m coming from the perspective of a large corporation and this may not apply to smaller companies.)
The people in this role have a working and personal knowledge of how to leverage tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, and CitizenTube for business growth. They use the tools daily and have first-hand experience. They become a knowledge center for the company to educate other departments (c-suite, sales, marketing, customer service, HR, advertising, and PR) on how to best leverage for their area of expertise.
I’ve seen too many examples of companies that “sort of” jump in, because of the pact mentality, and add “social media” to someone’s already full plate.
Now…will this organization exist in 2012 where Kistner’s theory says social media will reach its peak? It may not in its proposed form. The social web, Web 2.0, or “new media” will continue to evolve, but it will be part of how companies are run, no matter what it’s called.
Are you and your organization prepared to evolve with this shift in how we get our information and communicate? Or will you just “sort of” get it?
Patrick is a marketing professional who is looking for ways to break the status quo of traditional “spray and pray” advertising and infuse it with the power of the social web and building relationships. More importantly, he is a devoted husband, proud father of four, and passionate Detroit sports fan and Michigan State University alum.
Editors note: GO BEARS!!