2012 Digital Marketing Check In

2012 calendarThis was a great social year! And as much as I hate seeing it come to an end — I greatly anticipate the onset of the brand new year ahead. Say it with me 2012, say it louder 2012! [Read more...]


Personal Brand or Not – Who to Hire for a Social Media Strategist Role in 2011?

Does it matter if the person you hire to run your social media strategy development and implementation has been able to successfully build their own personal brand or not?

Would it bring added value to your company if  the successful candidate has been able to effectively build a social following by creating and sharing content that is relevant to social media strategy development?

What if that person has proven that they have a keen sense of how to actually be social and engage effectively with the right audience?

Companies will need to hire people with very specialized skills. Someone who is on the ball and able to identify the next big digital media trend. Then, quickly determine the best approach for your company to implement these new strategies into the current action plan. The key is for you to execute “goal oriented” tactics that will deliver cutting edge services to your customers before your competition.

Some of the specialized skills a social media strategist will have to be/become educated in include:

  • Web Analytics
    • Web Analytics 2.0 Style (Highly recommend knowledge source is the Web Analytics 2.0 book – Written by Avinash Kaushik – @avinash – your should follow him!)
  • Driving Customer Engagement Online - meaning how to respond & create community with your customers
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques
  • How to Create DUMB Goals: Doable. Understandable. Manageable. Beneficial.
  • Writing effective web content
  • Social bookmarking strategies
  • The importance of RSS – everywhere
  • Video marketing techniques
  • Blog & Website user experience optimization

I am not sure whether this list seems long or shot to you, however it’s just a very basic starting point from my point of view. There are so many niche area’s of specialization which make it very difficult to pinpoint exactly what a social media strategists role looks like. Perhaps, at your company you require other key skills?

Whatever your specific social media role may look like – personal brand or not? Experience or not? Degree or not? Track record or not? I have compiled a list of articles that talk about personal brand and the social media strategist role.

“Dealing With Employees Who Are Social Media Celebrities | Social Media Examiner

“Canadians look to re-invent careers as workplace change gathers pace, Kelly Global Workforce Index™ finds

“Personal Brand: Good or Bad for Your Company?”

“How To Be An Effective Corporate Ambassador”

“Why Social Media Is Optimizing The Personal and Corporate Brand”

“Personal vs Career Brands, it’s all in the Mindset”

How IBM Uses B2B Social Media

“Social media celebrities can boost or bust corporate branding efforts”

“The corporate brand is cramping my personal brand!”

“A Corporate Brand Won’t Shield Your Personal Brand Anymore”

“Why Personal Brand is Essential To Corporate Marketing Success”

What’s your opinion? What skills do you think are in demand from a social media marketing standpoint?

The Social Strategist Profile of 2011

Multidisciplinary, Passionate, Risk Taker… These are a few of the core competencies that describe some of the performance expectations that may be sought after from someone in a social strategist role.

With Social Media rapidly moving towards becoming a “mainstream” business communications channel, smart businesses have or will incorporate the “Social Strategist” position into their 2011 corporate payroll.

Being a relatively new discipline, the passionate social strategist will be faced with many challenges. The balancing act of fully defining their own role, while educating internal stakeholders is or will be a major priority in 2011.  Along with developing and leading education and training programs, the social strategist will have to work hard to gain  initial buy-in and/or support.

A few of the key questions when looking to fill this role might sound like “so what exactly does a social strategist role entail”?, or  “where do I go to hire the right person for this role”, or “who will this role report to?”, perhaps, “what type of education and/or training should this person have”?, and “how much should we pay this person”?

As with staffing any role, the hiring manager will be faced with many challenging decisions before they successfully “interview the best” candidate.

From my research and foresight in the social marketing industry, I believe those who are able to take a proactive approach and develop systems designed towards solving a business problem in align with the strategic vision of the organization will indeed succeed.

Those who are able to build their own personal brand should be given a priority. If one is able to demonstrate professionalism across the social landscape then this positive performance is a strong indication on what to expect in the future.

Other key skills that a social strategist may require in 2011 include:

  • Business processes modeling - designed to increase value for the customer and efficiency for the company.
  • Customer service orientation – the fundamental skills required to deliver exceptional customer service – the goal to develop a solution for all customers, including dissatisfied ;) to share product information and encourage product innovation through cross-channel solutions.
  • Self direction – the ability to self motivate while keeping in line with the businesses’ overall direction.
  • Cross functional collaboration – the ability to work with internal stakeholders and to lead internal education and training, and inevitably become the “in house” subject matter expert.

It won’t be easy for the social strategist, it’s a long road with unforeseen results and probably very little or no additional support.  The expectations will most likely be high, and the results unpredictable.

With that being said, some of the expectations of the social strategist in 2011 include:

  • Accountability for measuring and reporting ROI.
  • Accountability for developing strategy and planning.
  • Ability to lead the program forward.
  • Ability to monitor competitors and trends.
  • Ability to manage a team.
  • Ability to use inexpensive third party tools and leverage the crowd to the work for them.

In the end, I believe everything boils down to passion and the desire for success!

I kindly thank the following authors for providing valuable information which I used as major sources of research for this article.

Thanks to @jowyang for: Report: Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist: Be Proactive or Become Social Media Help Desk

Thanks to @sradick for both: Identify the Right People to Manage Your Social Media Initiatives and Social Media is Driven by the Person, Not the Position