Good post from Jerry Kane on the difference between strategic and procedural social media practitioners. The former group understands your business and its vision, and the latter are the digital natives, expert in the tactical usage and what’s next on the horizon. The strategic team members have experiential business knowledge; the procedural pros have the digital muscle memory that informs both gestures and interface expectations. Clearly, age serves as a useful proxy for this divide.
Social media can enhance the status quo, or disrupt and advance business goals. If your organization’s social media is only a vehicle for news releases, a procedural approach can inform choices of the best technical tools, hashtag usage, and posting times. But if you want to use social media to change what you are doing alongside how you are doing it, cultivate strategic capabilities for your social team as well.
A concrete example: if you are a high-end pet care company, you can amplify your communications with a procedural approach to going social. Develop an Instagram program that posts your pet grooming success stories, and ride or create a hashtag for people to share similar photos. Create and actively curate a Facebook page with a system of recognition and prizes, and empower local moderators for that page.
But if your pet care company vision is growth into new revenue streams, you may want to take a more strategic approach to social. Think about offering your customers a sponsored sharing marketplace for your customer community to exchange good and services from crate exchanges to cat-sitting. In return for advancing a “collaborative economy” community, your company gains access to new, younger markets, and intelligence into demand for emerging products and services. This is a uniquely social opportunity, tied to your overall business vision.
As Kane points out from his teaching, “Classes that include both types of students are often more effective than either one taught separately.” The power of the mixed-capability team holds true in a business setting as well. Build a social team with procedural and strategic capabilities combined to avoid the pitfalls of silos and hierarchies. You’ll end up with a social-enabled organization that’s less reliant on a SWAT team and more aligned with your business goals.