Social Media is Not Cool

Social media is not cool.

Social media is not a fad.

Social media is not easy.

Social media is not for everyone.

Social media is not a silo.

Now that I got those five misconceptions out of the way, I want to get to the root of something that has been sticking in my craw for some time now.

Since entering the public lexicon somewhere between the second half of 2009 and 2010, “social media” has evolved from a curiosity and a cool new toy into a powerful tool for business.

It has also become an area over which many different components within organizations and agencies alike are battling. You see, instead of being a tool to break down the dreaded corporate silos, social media is becoming a silo all into itself.

Space shuttle on launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center: Merritt Island, Florida

The main reason for this is that everyone wants to show their supremacy and leave their mark in it. For lack of a better analogy it is a glorified pissing contest between professionals. Instead of seeing beyond who has a bigger Johnson, companies and agencies are falling into an age old rut and missing out on the obvious staring them in the face.

Unlike the Gold Rush in rustic California, social media has enough real estate to go around. Different prospectors – for example a company’s marketing department, investor relations department, and external PR agencies – need not going their own separate routes. The space allows them to work together to develop a lasting strategy that embodies the popular engagement notion while driving revenue and collecting valuable customer insight.

With that said social media is big business and is something that needs to become institutionalized within an organization to become a sustainable part of the business, and yes, this includes measuring everything. If you are missing this, well you are not alone. This is common from the smallest small business to the largest corporation.

So how do we get past the cool-zone and siloed structure within organizations? While I won’t go into a 20,000 word blog post today, over the next few weeks I’ll be writing a post a week  laying out a plan for companies and individuals to get out of the “here-and-now” and into an executable strategy to elevate social efforts to an institutional level.

If you have any specific areas you’d like addressed, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will work to incorporate them into the list over the next few weeks.

 

4 Responses to Social Media is Not Cool
  1. KyleHenderick
    May 9, 2011 | 2:58 pm

    Jeff true words, and my favorite are ‘You see, instead of being a tool to break down the dreaded corporate silos, social media is becoming a silo all into itself.’ Working for a vendor in the space we often preach the multiple use cases of understanding the value in social media data, but too many times businesses still want to silo it within their organization, which inevitably leads to what you speak to above. I look forward to the future posts to hear your thoughts on how to make this an integral part of a business strategy.

  2. jeffespo
    May 10, 2011 | 4:14 am

    @KyleHenderick Thanks for swinging by Kyle. While I can’t say that I am familiar with Alterian’s clientele, I will go out on a limb and say that teams or individuals coming to you guys for measurement tools in something that represents more of a makeshift raft than a pirate ship in terms of team structure. When teams start it is usually one guy or department tasked on figuring this stuff and tying back to a business value, well that is for those companies that measure.

    While this was great to get started, social touches too many areas of the company to fall under one umbrella to execute. With that said it is not a fleet of pirate ships needed, but rather a clear leader and cogs working together for the common goal.

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