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”?


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