Who to Hire For Your Social Media Management Needs in 2011
In a presentation about the future of social media at Le Web, industry analyst Jeremiah Owyang called 2011 the year of integration. Integration, you scoff? The ad industry tried that already, right? Well what Owyang is talking about is a bit different. He's not talking about pulling together several advertising-related functional areas into one giant holding company. He's talking about permeating the practice of social media across and throughout a company's DNA.
Social media efforts will integrate across across all departments from marketing to customer service to the customer themselves. A polished "Director of Social Media" will understand the purpose of aggregation and curation, the importance of socialized advertising, the need to create brand advocates among customers, the necessity of tying social media programs to and brand's CRM systems and, above all, to speak the language of the Board Room.
Because when it's all said and done, social media is just like every other form of marketing; it's about selling stuff and being able to explain which elements contributed to increased revenues and how those elements were used to accomplish projections.
While relevant to the process of social media management, the number of tweets, retweets, fans, followers, check ins, uploads, downloads, likes, comments, shares, etc. are irrelevant to the greater business mission of a company.
How many units were moved? Did brand equity improve? Did revenue increase? And was their a positive return on investment? If you can tie a company's social media efforts back to these metrics, you deserve the role of managing a brand's social media efforts. If you can't, you're just a player.
At the end of 2010, we will say goodbye to the "social media guru," the well-known Facebook "expert" and the hot chick with a hundred thousand followers. In 2011, we will say hello to the seasoned marketing professional (remember them?) who knows the importance of measurement and ROI and has the ability to translate results seen through social media efforts into a language top management can understand: revenue and brand equity.
Who will you hire to manage your social media programs in 2011?