OK... so you've heard. Social Media is here, here to stay and it's about time to get your apples on that cart. And it's not just hearsay. Research data supports the contention. Bite this:
Corporate Australia has taken to Social Media in a big way in 2010. So much so, most big companies plan to spend a fifth (20%) of their marketing budget on it. Here's a recent study with eye-opening facts and ground-breaking figures to go with it. (READ IT HERE.)
But with so much noise about it lately, and all these Social Media Gurus (u talking to me?) and self-appointed Geeks floating around, what exactly goes into Social Media and what do you call those lucky gonzos who do it for a living and... call it work!
SM Strategist/ Planner - charts out the action plan, allocates resources, chalks up the numbers and envisages how they'll add up. They plot the points A & B, figure out the route to get there, organize the vehicles (SM tools) required, prepare for pitstops (they're bound to be a few on the way). Safe to call them the company's Social Media GPSes, they are the go-to guys when your CEO hollers gentle queries like: Will it monetize? What's the ROI? Why bother? (Caution - Never pressure planners for answers. They'll resign or punch you in the face. Or probably... both!)
SM Content Creator (Moderator/ Blogger) - these are the guys who make SM buzz. The worker bees who get down & dirty, toolkit in tow. They create the SM infrastructure (user-end, not back-end) and the content to populate the billions of pages, websites, blogs and communities on the World Wide Web - and it could be you! Moderation or filtering is the hard work that goes behind the scenes (hours of exploring, experimenting) before all the content comes together and looks kosher.
SM Advocate / Evangelist - somewhere between the HR and PR departments of an organisation lie a bunch of people who advocate Social Media. They're web-savvy, openly embrace new media and usually know their apps from their elbows. Not a full-time job in itself, SM evangelism is more a part of the movement to usher in the winds of socio-change esp. in fuddy-duddy offices who just don't see the point of this whole SM thing.
SM Manager/ Director/ Driver - The thinkers of the SM initiatives, more often than not, they are also the hands-on doers, but helpers are handy depending on volume of output and immediacy of response. In fact, to maintain synergy and unified tone of social voice, it's always better if the head that thinks it also executes and directs it. (Hey CEO... here's where empowerment comes in.) Since SM calls for consistent work over long time periods, it would be ideal to deploy a cross-functional team to drive the company's SM initiatives, and to funnel (and filter) the entire organization's social output via them.
SM Consultant/ Expert/ Guru/ Specialist - Nowadays, anyone with a Facebook & Twitter profile claims to be a Social Media Guru (u talking to me?). Sure they are a bit of all of the above, but what separates Guru-bees from the wannabes is experience. The experts know enough about SM (or more than most in the room) to talk about it off a stage, off the cuff (eg. GaryVee). Most likely, they are early adopters who've hung in long (and hustled hard) enough to create their own SM success story. Now when they talk, you listen... and you should because it's not easy! Besides being good speakers, SM Gurus are great at being themselves. After all, SM is only an extension of who you are.
Then of course, there are SM executives and exponents at various levels, but the title everyone's donning is 'Social Media Guru'. For the record, Guru comes from a Sanskrit word where 'Gu' means darkness and 'Ru' means to remove. So a Guru is one who dispels darkness. Just like a human light bulb (u talking to me?)