Altimeter Report: The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist. Be Proactive or Become ‘Social Media Help Desk’
The full 27-page report is embedded below, if you can’t see it, please click directly to this blog post to access it.
This Social Media Decision Maker Must Choose One of Two Career Paths. This emerging role is critical to the success of social media programs yet, most Social Strategists and their programs lack maturity, with only 23% of Social Strategists having a formalized program with long-term direction. They are overwhelmed with six major challenges – with little relief in sight: Resistance from internal culture, Measuring ROI, Lack of resources, An ever-changing technology space, Resentment and envy of the role, and A looming increase in business demands. With demands just about to increase, they have two possible career paths: 1) Fall behind in requests from vocal customers and internal business units, thereby becoming reactive which we call the “Social Media Help Desk”, or 2) Develop a proactive program that gets ahead of the demands, and operate from a strategic planning position.
[As Requests Compound, The Strategist Must Build Proactive Programs Now –or be Relegated to Ongoing Cleanup as Social Media Help Desk]
Webinars, Events, Conferences Featuring This Resesarch
If you want to learn more and ask me questions, please join me in the following appearances to discuss these research findngs:
- Webinar: Lithium’s Virtual Summit, replays will be made available (Nov 10)
- Webinar: Crimson Hexagon on the important of ROI for this role (Nov 15)
- Webinar: Awareness Networks, discussing this report (Nov 18)
- Keynote at WOMMA, Las Vegas, Friday (Nov 19)
- Webinar: Marketing Profs, (Jan 27)
- Social Media Strategies Summit, SF, Feb 8-10 (Keynote)
- I’ll add more here as they are scheduled
Details: Program size, Headcount, Maturity, Skills, Organizational Formations
We surveyed over 140 professionals, interviewed 39 in the role, and 12 that are working with them. We also analyzed job descriptions, LinkedIn profiles, scoured, the ongoing index “on the move” tracking this space for the last few years, here’s a sample of the details in the report:
Open Research: Use It, and Spread it Widely
The more you spread it, the easier it is for me to produce more Open Research. This research was 100% funded by Altimeter Group, and we are releasing it under creative commons so you can use it in your planning, presentations and spread widely. Please spread it to your partners, clients, vendors, staff, embed on your intranet, corporate blog, executives and boss, just kindly provide attribution to Altimeter Group. Coming next: Forecast of Social Business for 2011.
Research Effort Credits
Thanks to the dozens who participated in the interviews, all those who participated in the survey, and some key advisors such as Gil Yehuda who provided a ‘third eyes’ review. A very special thanks to Altimeter’s core research team Christine Tran and Andrew Jones, Julie Viola for getting all the ducks in a row, and lastly Charlene Li, my editor for this report.
Join the Discussion Below: How Will Strategists Avoid a Career in Help Desk?
Let’s discuss the findings. Are you a corporate social strategist? Did this report reflect your career? How will strategists be proactive and get ahead of the incoming deluge of requests and escape a career in social media help desk?
Related Links About this Report
I’ll cross post to those that add to the discussion, I’ll link to the thoughtful critiques, even critical ones.
- Jason Falls: Gives a fair critique of what he liked –and didn’t like.
- Mashable covers the keynote I gave at WOMMA with advice for the strategists
- Mashable also discusses the future of this role
- Tech Republic covers the report, and highlights the risks
- Mashable: A few months later, inforgraphics were created based off this data
- Audio: Interview with Jennifer Jones on Marketing Voices
- 1:1 Media covers the report, and discusses the challenges
- Slideshare conducts further analysis on how these straetegists use Slideshare
- Brian Solis covers the report in two sections, Rethinking the future of business part 1 and part 2: Building the framework.
- See the updated list of these folks in enterprise class companies for 2011
- A thread in Quora about this role has spread , Jan, 2011
- Social Media with orgs does a wrapup of many of the voices in the space.
- eMarketer uses the data from this report in Jan 11
- A respectful disagreement: Guy pleased that I: “don’t relegate the social media help desk”
- AMEX Open Forum: 7 Tips to be a Social Media Strategist (Based off keynote)
- Search Engine Watch spreads the highlights
- Fast Company: Writeup from Brian Solis on the research report and two careers
- Write Speak Sell’s Jeannette comments on the research
- Cisco’s head of Social Media Jeannette Gibson: My 5 Takeaways from the Latest Altimeter Social Media Report
- Kevin Hunt of Thomson Reuters reviews the report
- Brian Solis and the two professionals
- Former Industry Analyst Gill Yehuda comments about the report, and on the research industry. He gave me feeedback pre-publication
- Jane Hiscock from Farland Group reflects on the research report, and adds a few more insights.
- Jive’s Gia Lyons writes: Social Business Strategists: Social Media vs. Enterprise 2.0
- Petra Neiger, one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Strategist selects specific stats
- Edelman’s David Armano reviews the report and gives his take, I was fortunate enough to interview him.
- Dave Jones writes: Manager or leader? What’s the future of the corporate social strategist
- Peter Kim from Dachis group gives some career advice, he was one of those we interviewed
- Read Write Web: Risk-takers and Strategists
- The Corporate Social Strategist Can’t Move Fast Enough, by Blake Landau
- Scott Monty, Ford’s Social Strategist who we interviewed says to “read this”
- Brand Builder: Real numbers behind the marketing imbalance in social
- Marty Collins, a Social Strategists (Emerging Media) at Microsoft seeks more from the report and shares insights
- Tac Anderson: The Life and Times of a Social Strategist
- David Berkowitz gives his view on what he likes –and what more he expected, see comments
- Alltop spreads the report further
- Lithium’s Dan Ziman blogs: Comprehensive Research on the Social Strategist Role
- John Bell, who we interviewed for this report, provides his perspective dealing with execs
- Eric Boggs, from Argyle (measurement vendor) comments on the data
- Kate Cooper, a Social Strategist, shares here thoughts
- Dan York embeds the report
- Discussion in Social CRM Pioneers about roles
- Wichita Business Press
- Q&A is happening on the Slideshare Page
- Q&A is also occuring on the Flickr page with the career path graphic
- I’ve been tracking this role for a number of years, and you can find the list of these strategists for 2010
- See this thriving discussion on Quora on this topic, in Jan 2011
- Bermuda’s Royal Gazette reviews the report
- Janrain discusses this report
- I’ve posted on the Altimeter Blog
- All figures from this report are available in a flickr set, use with attribution
- Review all my research on my ‘research tab’