Yes, the best social media strategist is focused on the translating business objectives into socially adept interactions and not focused on it solely as a media channel.
If you are in the space, you must be following the hundreds of discussion threads around the ever changing role of the social strategist. I want to showcase the common misunderstanding in this space. Social Media is not another silo’d channel to ‘communicate’ to. It’s not a one way broadcast medium. It’s certainly not all about tools, follows, likes either.
It’s about understanding the medium to build a leveraged social network which can be utilized for various activities. From thought leadership to building real relationships. Not mere connections.
Your strategy should be built around the way the audience uses the medium. The way you use LinkedIN is significantly different than how we use Facebook or Twitter or any other ‘X’ platform that comes out next. A great social strategist focuses on the translation of the social dynamic and momentum into the business objective in a manner that facilitates collaborative storytelling.
Anyone can tell you how to use Facebook, or best practices for engaging Twitter. Any community manager can build an engaged audience for a half decent product or brand, especially if they goodies to give away.
A strong strategist doesn’t just put you on Facebook, he doesn’t just build value for your community, he or she facilitates the translation of the brand into the social context, ultimately helping to deliver the transformation of the brand promise into a social brand state.
Quoting Jon Burg,
“Typically, the aspiring strategists can use social tools and technologies to help drive a defined business objective. A great practitioner can translate and deliver business results leveraging the social dynamic overall. A fantastic strategist can transform the business overall for the socially connected world. At the end of the day, a social strategist is a business strategist focused on leveraging the unique dynamics of the social construct to drive a business. Everything else (knowledge of the platforms, best practices, technology) is the foundation of a strong strategist, not the definition of why he or she will excel.”
Kevin KC Lee says, The Best Social Media Strategist understands Social Media NOT as media, but as Social. Kevin, you are right. The premise of social is about engagement. And nothing else.
Social Media is perpetually evolving and changing. Not simply because technology continues to get better and enables new capabilities, butbecause the way people interact and the meanings of each ritual & action continues to be interpreted and reinterpreted by different peoples, different groups, and different regions, creating new opportunities and insights about how digital technologies can add value to their lives.
Today’s social media practitioner is occupied with learning these platforms to build clicks, impressions, likes, followers, re-tweets, comments, etc.
The problem is
Again, reliance or building your expertise around a specific ‘tool’ is not a good long term strategy.
In this fashion, the social media practitioner is constantly playing catch-up, and never fully delivering on the client’s key needs. Let’s try to understand the users first before we tackle down the ‘reason’ for engagement. Social intelligence technology has come a long way in the past few years, go out and try to learn more about the space. Culturally and Contextually.
Let’s build a mutually beneficial relationship.