The social business is rising and it is rising fast. Social media itself has changed dramatically in the last 7 years (see my review) and the business challenge is changing too.
While the “social media marketing” consultants from the last 2 years are stuck with building fan pages, evangelizing to their clients “you need to listen”, “you need to be in the social web”, “you need to do this or that” the social enterprise passed that point long time ago.
The early “blue socks consultants” (an internal term ;) are still where social media was 3 years ago. Having built a few cool campaigns no longer help an enterprise to do a cross functional customer engagement model. It doesn’t help to rearchitect a customer experience strategy and it doesn’t help building a framework and organization model that helps company leaders to engage thousands of employees in a homogeneous social strategy.
The Social Media Academy leadership did a review of the core methodologies including the four quadrant assessment model, the strategy hexagon, the dual presence strategy and other models and sees an interesting degree of maturity – while tools still change. This reiterates the importance of a sound strategy model in conjunction with a dynamic tools point of view. Foursquare didn’t exist in January 2009 when we started the company but the ComStar engagement model did not change. Sponsored Tweets wasn’t available in 2008 but the dual strategy presence model did not need to change because of that.
What the Social Media Leadership class continues to do is to adjust class material to latest tools but the core methodologies and frameworks are nicely maturing and consistency helps build the trust that we earned world wide as the most comprehensive social business education institute.
What students learn in both, theory sessions and hands-on social media exercises are documented and in form of a certificate verified. The “Social Media Strategist” is a certificate that provides a customer or employer with an idea what the person knows and experienced about social media – the strategic direction and the overall philosophy. More so it provides some security that there are many more consultants around the world that can be engaged based on the same model, using the same methods, the same frameworks and is able to complete a job somebody else – for what ever reason – was not able to complete.
Corporate requirements on social media experts need to include the following:
1) Ability to assess the market including customers, brands, partners and competitors. Does the person have proven methods and tools to do that in the shortest possible time?
2) Ability to build a strategy team that is beyond a few internal managers.
3) Ability to create a sound and executable social media strategy that is either in alignment with the overall corporate strategy or able to help align the corporate strategy with market requirements.
4) Ability to build an internal organization model to execute a social media strategy in a large enterprise.
5) Ability to develop an executable social media plan that is not just a marketing gig but a cross functional engagement model touching all market facing units.
Social Media Wonnabe’s and “Rock Stars” still measure their success by Twitter follower count, speaker engagements, cool video clips and lot of noise, mostly unable to quantify business success. Part of the Academy’s strategic teaching is “Measurable business success through increasing number of business accelerating advocacy in the customer base“. In other words if your customers help you sell – you recognize incremental revenue and decremental cost of sales. And clearly only a happy customers, happy partners, happy vendors and happy employees engages that way. That is the ultimate objective of our teaching.