Back in February I went to the GSMI Social Media Summit in SF where Jeremiah Owyang did a keynote on the Career Path of the Social Media Strategist. (If you haven't read his full study on this topic, you can get it here.) He was a great speaker, of course. But I was especially drawn to the topic of his presentation as it focused a lot on the death of the title "Social Media Strategist", and this type of backlash is something I'd already seen in effect to some extent.
Even back in 2007, when I first started consulting in Social Media I was worried about calling myself a Social Media Strategist (or, god forbid, "Social Guru" *cringe*), because I foresaw the obsolesence of the role. Actually, anything too niche always freaks me out a little bit. But now that 2012 is approaching, I can say with confidence that even if the title gets phased out, the duties of a Social Media Strategist are still very much in demand.
That said, I think the title is sometimes applied willy nilly across various roles, and I've seen many a Social Media "Expert" fall flat on their faces once they get into talking ROI, strategy compliance, and even best practices across platforms. So, it makes sense for any of us that are in the Social Media field to consider how the duties required in our current position are evolving, and how your job description could be tweaked to better reflect this evolution. Always be prepared, after all. Right, scouts?
In my current role as Manager of Social Media at SapientNitro, I spend everyday consulting with internal teams and their clients to ensure that we've thought about the consumer experience within any TV, digital, mobile, or social piece we're creating. A client wants to build an e-commerce website? Well, then how are we enabling the consumers to get advice from their trusted circle of friends or other thought leaders who may inform a consumer choice? Are we adding in social share functionality or integrating an open graph authenticator like Gigya? Or perhaps we're incorporating Bazaarvoice's Ratings and Reviews social commerce functionality (and adding to our SEO).
So I mainly consult with agencies and companies on the value of including these platforms and the infrastructure to best facilitate their consumer/community experience. A deliverable for a standard project will often be a deck that outlines a roadmap toward getting a social plan in place, and some type of vendor vetting or analysis document.
I also spend a lot of time planning for Content Marketing and Content Syndication that promotes a Social Approach. This usually requires a few deliverables:
-A High Level Content Strategy (that may require a Social Media Management System to support if the Strategy is for an Enterprise sized company, so some vendor recommendations and vetting will be required)
-An Editorial Calendar with a cadence plan built in that combines larger pieces of multi-media brand content with a meta dialouge supported by social media conversation & content
-A very clear reporting plan that combines metrics from the .com site, all social platforms, and revenue indicators into a single dashboard to meausure success
-Some training guides and videos and potentially a governance plan to get field marketing going across regions or across global outposts
What don't I do? I don't really ever community manage for companies anymore, although I used to do quite a bit of that when I first started out. Nor do I concentrate mainly on uncovering Consumer Insights like a traditional planner might.
So with all this in mind, how is my title impacted? Personally, if I were to evolve my title, I may move toward something along the lines of Consumer Experience Advocate or Social Experience Planner.
But ask me a few months from now, and I'll probably have a new title in mind. Medias change so quickly these days...
Anybody else out there want to ring in on the "death" of Social Media Strategy as a title?