Who's Your Ace?
You'll be asking yourself this question after reading The Social Media Strategist by Christopher Barger.
As the former Director of Global Social Media at General Motors along with earning the title of IBM's "Blogger-in-Chief", Barger has a proven track record of implementing and driving effective social media solutions in a number of organizations and industries. In his book, the author presents a guide for any professional that needs to implement a social media strategy for their organization while successfully meeting internal demands and expectations.
I'd like to state upfront that I was a little leery about this book, expecting a rehashing of suggested best practices for implementing social media at the enterprise level. However, I was happily disappointed.
The Evangelist and the Executive Champion
The Social Media Strategist argues that implementing a successful social media strategy in any organization involves two different employees: the Evangelist and the Executive Champion.
Barger defines the Evangelist as the individual responsible for strategy creation in addition to representing the organization on their social channels. This position is much like a typical Community Manager, however, they are actual evangelists in terms of converting true believers (e.g. internal and external customers) in their efforts.
Complementing this position is the Executive Champion. This individual is an organizational leader who understands the benefits of social media and works to create and manage opportunities for the Evangelist. Having implemented social media strategies at various levels in a number of industries, I could not agree more with this concept.
It seems like a no-brainer, but I believe the key takeaway here is that the Evangelist & Executive Champion partnership is vital to securing system-wide buy-in for social media in addition to maintaining strong and proactive communication between departments.
What do you think?
I guess it could be argued that this concept would only benefit larger companies hampered by internal politics, but I beg to differ. Regardless of size, no company operates in a vacuum.
What I mean by this is that for any organization to be successful, it is important that a complimentary and productive relationship exists between the "front lines" and the corner office. Harnessing social media should not be different.
If you have a different opinion, I'd love to hear from you.