Moving Under the Social Media Umbrella

Moving Under the Social Media Umbrella

By John Jantsch

Big companies have rushed head long into the social media space creating social media departments and titles like Social Media Strategist, Community Manager, and Director of Conversation. You know, I’ve never been very big on job titles, but I also think stuffing social media participation into a department or job function limits the way organizations should be thinking about social media.

social media umbrellaOn the other hand small businesses seem fixated on figuring out if Facebook is a more valuable play than LinkedIn – again missing what’s going on all around them.

Perhaps in the beginning the new set of social tools dictated some restructuring and scrambling as people were trying to figure out what to make of this new space, but a funny thing happened on the way to those discoveries. Social media behavior just sort of poured into every corner of the business, regardless of size.

The notion of social media as behavior suggests that you simply can’t contain it to a department, an activity, something more to do, even if you try.

Social media activity has proven its value as a way to create awareness, trust, leads, opportunities, content, customers, employees, service, referrals, collaboration and communication in its multiple forms.

Social media is an umbrella behavior that has life in some form in every department. (Hint to PR and social media consulting firms this is how you should position your work.)

It might be safe to suggest that marketing has this same sort of pervasive reach and that it is the rightful home for social media integration, but there’s something less tangible, yet more pervasive about this evolving business behavior that feels more like business strategy.

So, instead of planning that suggests lists of social media tactics it might be more appropriate to simply start asking – how will we be more social? How will we use social behavior to change our business, our customers, our people, our community, and our industry?


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