Last year at SXSW, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley joined Frank Eliason (previously @comcastcares), Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang and me on stage to discuss the shifting landscape of social engagement. While I focused on the sociology of engagement and the impact it is having on culture and society, I also sought to balance the conversation by demonstrating the impact of digital actions and interaction between people and businesses.
In part one of Rethinking the Future of Business, we examined the state of social media in business. Once again, we take a look at a recent report published by Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang,”Career Path of the Corporate Social Media Strategist.” As part of a study on social media strategists and the divergent career paths that lie ahead, Owyang reviewed the social framework for socially renowned enterprise businesses as well as corresponding strategies and resources for 2011. The results says more than we may realize at first blush. Most importantly, we’re given a looking glass into the genesis of a next generation business that’s more sociably aware and responsible.
Whether you know it or not, the path that social media follows within the organization is in your hands. But as we’re learning, mastery of the latest social tools does not guarantee a place in the ranks of upper management let alone a place on the team period. The role of the social media champion is not timeless; in fact, the days of its designation are numbered. However, your role and the role of new media in your organization is developing as we go. Organizations need leaders right now.
Guest post by Chris Heuer, Founder/Chairman Social Media Club
What’s the biggest problem in business today?
It’s not access to capital, though that is a real problem in that it inhibits growth in some places where it shouldn’t. No, it’s not command and control management hierarchies, despite the contribution they certainly make. It’s not the problem of “the other” that plagues broad swaths of our society, though that is a close second. I contend the biggest problem is that each business has too few people looking after the whole of the business. This is not only seen in the concentration of power in the hands of the C-Suite and the Board, but also in the org charts that map an often too real silo like operational structure.
I pay attention to emerging technology and trends on a daily basis. While I track many networks, tools, and services, I take the time to share those that appear to gain traction or offer interesting prospects for tomorrow’s business, today.
If it’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years of studying social media, business, and the pursuit of influence, it’s that we are competing for the moment in order to earn and maintain a semblance of relevance. For businesses struggling to gain traction through Likes, RT’s, comments, clicks, friend and follower counts, the moment for which we compete, never really comes. It is perpetual.
As I was thinking about this idea for an upcoming post, I paused when I heard the following lyrics to Airplane by B.o.B.
I am certainly no stranger to the conference circuit. Over the years, I’ve helped many friends organize conferences, advised organizers on programming and positioning, and presented at or attended scores of others. It is at these conferences where I am fortunate to meet and support many friends and new friends alike while also learning from the wisdom of my peers. Nothing will change…I’m passionate about all of the above. But, I do have some news to share with you…
Over the years, I’ve written extensively about the need to extend opportunities in social media beyond marketing and customer service to set the stage for the social business. I believe that the impact lies beyond the socialization of business; it introduces us to a genre of an adaptive business, an entity that can earn relevance now and over time by listening, engaging, and learning.
I was recently interviewed by Israel’s BuzzInNews about new media and business. The conversation was translated from Hebrew to English, to share with you here as well. The discussion explores the evolution of social media in business from attention economics to B2B to ROI and concluding with a discussion of the brewing cold war between Google and Facebook.
In early 2007, Chris Heuer, Shel Israel, Deb Schultz, Giovanni Rodriguez, and I explored the evolution of social media within the enterprise at an intimate business event in Palo Alto. One of the more memorable discussions focused on the rise of an official role within business to listen to social discourse and channel inbound questions and comments as well as official responses. The question eventually arose, how do we classify this new role within the organization? The designation of “Community Manager” earned the greatest support that day, but it did so with a caveat, “communities, by organic design, could not be managed.”
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.