Friday, August 01, 2008

How many social networking strategists does it take to change a light bulb?

I should probably start preparing something to say for my upcoming speaking engagement at Web 2.0 in New York next week. I saw someone had posted on their blog the question;

"How many social networking strategists does it take to change a light bulb?"

I thought, perfect this will be a great introduction to the topic of my speech which will focus on MY answer which is ...."1". I know, 1 is the antithesis of everything social but bare with me. If you are thinking about adding social networking (web 2.0) elements to your enterprise, you WILL need ONE person(Chief Social Media Officer) to manage it, one that reports directly to the CEO.

This is because social media can not, and does not encompass any one area of your business.
Your advertising lead will use it to advertise WITH your customers, and not at them.
Your HR department will use it to locate the best hires.
Your product development will discover new products not thought up on their own
Your logistics will use it to track & communicate with your fleet

The point being, that social networking best practices do not belong to any one area of your business, they will be integrated into every aspect of your business,your products,your customers,your employees....EVERYWHERE! So while your CMO might have their own ideas on how to incorporate aspects of Web 2.0, his focus is likely not on product development (as it should be in a corporate structure) it is more likely on marketing.

*truth be told, there is a social aspect to this post... I used LinkedIn answers to see what other answers might be out there (and as with most "power of the crowds" answers, I expect the best answer will emanate from there, not from me :-)

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