Liveblog of the final keynote at #womma

#wommaWe’re here with our lunch boxes, ready for the final session at #womma.  Thanks to all the staff at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association for a well-run event.

Jeremiah Owyang is being wired up to begin.  Keep refreshing this page for updates.

11:45am – Getting the intro.

Jeremiah begins, noting that the research report, Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist is on our tables (available through CC licence).  This is based on research conducted at Altimeter, and is the basis of this closing keynote.

Owyang has tracked that change has happened and that there has been a ‘storm’ of hindrance within the corporate sphere which has been associated with resistance to change.  But there are compounding demands.  In tweets per day there were nearly 50 million tweets in January 2010, up from 1000 in January 2007.

Owyang tracks different paths of the future.  The first path is being stuck to a customer service desk with social media.  But the second path is scalable social business programmes.  There is a decision to be made today about which path to take.

Owyang notes the average corporate social strategist has been working for 13.2 years and has only launched their social media strategy in the past 2.7 years.  Success is based on having a multi-disciplinary portfolio of expertise, communication with different divisions and the capacity to take risks.

Social media activities are still strongly associated with marketing, but Owyang feels this will change.  He feels that customer support and product management will be the major growth areas for control of social media.

Owyang’s research notes that still in social media, the team of people working full time on social media is 3.1 staff for all firms with between 1000 – 5000 employees.

[JJ’s comment: This is clearly understaffing social media]

Owyang comes up with several versions of social media strategy: centralised (high control), organic (unregulated, uncoordinated involvement in social media), coordinated (hub and spoke), dandelion (multiple hub-and-spoke), honeycomb.  Owyang notes that hub and spoke and multiple hub and spoke models are the only ways to scale social media development.

Owyang identifies 6 challenges in developing social media strategy:

  1. Friction within organisations
  2. Proving ROI
  3. Understaffing
  4. Technology always changing
  5. Jealousy of the social portfolio
  6. Internal and external demands are compounding for social media directors.

So many organisations are measuring simplistic engagement metrics and not enough are considering what to do with metrics.  Owyang says brand monitoring services are being funded everywhere and the bubble will soon burst as most are clones.

Owyang notes that the rise in interest in social media has massively affected the workload of social strategists and there are difficulties in coordinating new social assets.

[JJ’s comment: surely this means social media freelancers should be looking at bigger picture and mapping a hub-and-spoke or honeycomb style businesses?]

Owyang notes that social strategists do well, if their job is subsumed across the organisation.  But the likely career path of these social strategists is to move to senior executive roles.

Owyang lists 7 steps to an integrated business programme:

  1. Proactive issue resolution and interest in compliance issues
  2. Shift from evangelism to programme management
  3. Inform departments about social media before they need it
  4. Move to hub-and-spoke or dandelion now (set up policies, roll out processes and publish this, invest in ongoing education)
  5. Become an enabler for business units (employ community managers and manage efforts)
  6. Deploy scalable programmes where customers assist each other
  7. Deploy social media in areas other than marketing

[JJ’s comment: these steps pretty much mimic my training programmes for social media strategists.  Probably a good thing.]

Owyang closes his presentation and opens up the floor to questions.

Question from the floor is about how to train executives about social media.  Owyang suggests training based on business objectives.  He specifically says ‘don’t talk about the tools’.

Next question is about how to convert from campaign oriented strategy to community oriented strategy.  Owyang suggests using the heart beat model of campaigns compared with exponential value of community engagement.

Final question is on agency-oriented suggestions and internal social media strategists. Owyang says the social strategist often doesn’t know how to work with agencies. But there is beginning to be a movement towards better communication between these sources.

Jeremiah closes with a directive to stay off the help desk.

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