When I think of today’s community managers and social media professionals entering the workforce, I’ve noticed a significant gap between their talents and what’s often needed by businesses. I’m not incriminating anyone here; in fact, I was guilty of this a few years ago when I jumped into social media management head first. In the interest of helping those around me (and to help me articulate my thoughts), I will be writing up a series of informative and insightful posts about social business.
Is it buzzword? Perhaps.
Is it important? Yes.
Is it something that can be learned? Yes.
Should today’s breed of social media professionals adopt it? Yes.
Hear me out for a moment. I want to be sensitive to how I broach the subject of “social business” with you. If you already master key business skills, you’ll hopefully gain some additional validation that you’re on the right track. If you’re great at social media, but often face an uphill battle in the board room for your ideas, this will be beneficial for you. To be completely honest, I wish I was taught these skills when I began my career. In fact, I credit a lot of my success to working excruciatingly hard in order to achieve the goals in my career. In other words, I admit that early in my career, I was naive to what mattered in my profession and I had to figure it out along the way (often the hard way, too).
I’m not suggesting that social media is recreation, either. I know that you and I work hard to build community, serve customers and help others over the web. Caring matters, but sooner or later, you’ll realize that it’s a much bigger challenge to scale “caring” to the masses. When you implement core social business tenets into practice, you’ll be able to see your work carried out by others. And when that happens, you’ll get a deep, visceral sense of satisfaction that others can follow through on your vision. But getting there is almost always easier said than done.
I hope you’ll join me in this conversation. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I reserve the right to change my views at any time, too.* This series is also an outlet for me to finesse my views, learn and improve. I encourage you to approach your profession the same way. What will result is that you’ll improve your results, satisfy your clients and be proud that you are representing your industry well.
As a preview, here are several topics that I want to dive into:
- Giving up control.
- Establish your vision.
- Get more time by saying no.
- Prepare for challenges you’ll face.
- Social business versus social media.
- The big picture of social business.
- Examples of social business in action.
- Get your organization social.
- Resources for learning about social business.
- The next phase of social business.
- Lessons and failures that I’ve learned.
This is a little scary for me. I’ve never shared my insights, instincts and skills and put it out there this way. Will there be people out there who might steal my knowledge? Maybe, but it doesn’t bother me because they aren’t me, don’t have my expertise and don’t share my same vision. “Let’s collaborate because there’s enough work around for all of us,” is a phrase I hear often around Gangplank. Perhaps it’s true.
It’s has been suggested by a few friends that I venture into writing a book. I’m humbled, but I don’t feel I’m ready, but this series may help me synthesize my thoughts on community management, social media and might give me the permission to fail in order to succeed. I intend to turn this content into something a bit more organized, get some editors to proof my work and package this into a digestible format for more people to learn from.
* I’ll explain this further another time … hopefully soon.
Photo Credit: Eurodubs