This is the topic I suggested for DigiDay Social happening today. Since I'm not going to make it to the event, I thought I'd post my thoughts and ideas on my blog. Here's the topic:
"Most agencies and brands now have the Social Media Guru and are building teams around them. But ultimately, social will be a part of everything we do, so is this model of building separate teams sustainable? Meanwhile, different groups are trying to "own" social on behalf of brands. Is it the job of a digital agency? A PR agency? The tech platform provider? The fact is, Social is a new channel of communication and requires expertise in a new discipline and a NEW way of thinking"
1. First off I'd like to propose dropping "media" from Social Media and just calling it Social. Why? So that media people don't get confused thinking that this is just another platform to buy on... it is not. And because we need think more about the behavior and motivations of people, not the platforms like Facebook.
2. Social is not another marketing tactic. What I mean by this is that it's not..."how can we socialize this idea" or "what is the social media component of this campaign". It needs to be part of a new way of thinking about marketing (and of course doing business), not just advertising.
3. ..And because this is a new way of thinking that will eventually be just a common way of thinking, integration is key! I love the way Geoff Livingstone phrases this:
"The siloization of social media within communications departments and their agencies represents a strategic error. Integration is the key. And I’ve said this before when I was a stand-alone social media firm. Every marketing department, every communications function, each practice area, and all teams should have this capability."
That's the theory bit, now for practical implementation.
The Agency Role (communications agency, could be digital, advertising, whatever...) in Social - Own the conversation around initiatives
1. Listen for consumer insights and opportunities to be a part of the conversation.
2. Turn these opportunities into conversation focused initiatives and useful content and tools.
3. Partake in relevant conversations that has to do with initiatives.
4. Measure and analyze.
The Client Role - Own the conversation around the product and brand
1. Listen to consumer conversation and partake in the conversation in a helpful manner.
2. Respond to people who have product issues, questions, and just general comments.
3. Listen for product insights to feed back to the product team.
The Social Media Guru/Agency
1. Help client and agency set up process and workflow to manage the shift from messaging to conversation. Share best practice.
2. Provide industry knowledge and insights on trends and how to leverage them.
Yes, this is over simplification and there is a lot more to it... but we have to look at this as an integrated model where each party has a role to get this thinking through our organizations. Outsourcing these type of efforts is not a sustainable long term approach.
I'll post some examples of work recently completed that demonstrates this, shortly.