When I read below this excellent insightful research study, I find a lot to like, and would consider it mandatory reading for anyone in the social media nascent arena.
Hope that the HR world will take notice on it, as so much of social media is polluted with old-school “broadcasters” who don’t get the concepts of opt-in and consumer controlled engagement.
As new technologies have emerged, and consumers are adopting them. Social media is no longer the latest “shiny object,” as 79% of corporations have undertaken social media efforts. By that, every business unit is affected – it is requiring coördination across the entire enterprise.
To meet this challenge, the Corporate Social Strategist has emerged to fill this role, as it defined:
The Corporate Social Strategist is the business decision maker for social media programs – who provides leadership, roadmap definition, and governance; and directly influences the spending on technology vendors and service agencies. While this place doesn’t exist officially by title in every corporation today, this role will become pervasive in the coming years, just as leaders who manage the corporate website have become essential.
Based on a similar study that conducted by Altimeter Group, over 41% of Social Strategists reported to the marketing department, their primary responsibilities included leading the social program, participating in social media, and acting as a corporate resource for business units. Yet most Social Strategists and their programs lack maturity. But only 23% of Social Strategists had a formalized program with long-term direction. This market, and role, is nascent.
Despite market excitement around this new role, Social Strategists are plagued with a variety of challenges, below are the 6 of them:
1) Resistance from internal culture,
2) Measuring ROI,
3) Lack of resources,
4) An ever-changing technology space,
5) Resentment and envy of the role, and
6) A looming increase in business demands.
Depending on how these challenges were met, the study discovered that the social strategist has two possible career paths. Be proactive, or be relegated to a Social Media Help Desk.
As social media continues to become a mainstream technology, Social Strategists will meet more demands from customers and internal business units.
In regards to the career path, Social Strategists have one of two career paths:
1) Fall behind in requests from vocal customers and internal business units, thereby becoming reactive, or
2) Develop a proactive program that gets ahead of the demands, and operate from a strategic planning position.
As study pointed out that, because the programs can cause internal strife, executives must give air cover and clear roadblocks, and then appropriately reward their Strategist with challenges and compensation – or risk losing this key person to companies who can understand and leverage their skills.