Instead of summarizing his findings, in this blog post, I want to highlight some statistics and observations that really stood out to me. I think we suspected these things all along but seeing them in writing confirms our assumptions (or at least my assumptions). I’m excited to see some data we can use to help build a case or prove a point. The following quotes come directly from the report:
• We found that 41% of survey respondents said they were “reacting” to requests – rather than getting ahead of them. Yet the pressure is only mounting…
• Nearly 60% of surveyed Social Strategists classified their organizational model as “Hub and Spoke” or “Multiple Hub and Spoke”…
• Unsatisfied, they expressed a desire for more effective ROI measurements – 48% of Social Strategists have made measurement a primary objective for their 2011 program…
• In our recent count, there are 145 brand monitoring firms, 125 community platforms, thousands of social media agencies, and of out-of-work professionals who turn to social media careers.
• In the next few years, expect groups that first shunned social media to seek direct involvement – or run their own programs to regain power.
• We heard from one Social Strategist that the number of internal demands will increase “from 4 to 5 times more requests this year from last.”… At the same time, external demands will increase as social media becomes mainstream and customers learn to voice their complaints publicly.
• Some Strategists said that success would mean being out of a job in the coming years. One Strategist said: “In five years, this role doesn't exist. The role will be subsumed into every part of the company.”
And last but not least, I love this quote:
“There’s a significant parallel between ERP programs of the late 90s and today’s social business programs – both require deployment across the entire enterprise. However, ERP rollouts were well funded and staffed, with dedicated project management teams and often, an army of embedded consultants. While social business programs likewise touch every business unit, the difference in resources and headcount is stark.”
Although this report focuses on the career path of social strategists; as a practitioner, I’d just like to emphasize again that in addition to your social media managers, long-term and continuous engagement from your content, or subject matter, experts is critical.