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First, Kill All the Social Marketers!

Shakespeare famously had King Henry VI suggest decimating England’s population of lawyers. Paul Dunay recently echoed this in his blog:

…2 years from now – if I still have a Director of Social Media – I should be fired!…

The theory here is as CMO’s appoint a head of social media in their organizations, it fosters silo-like behavior and departmentalizes social which by definition runs counter to the behavior within the organization you are trying to instill!

As the “lightning rod” for all things social at Avaya, I have tried not to accept the mantle of being the head of social media and instead be more of a caretaker of social activity across the company. I agree you need someone to know what is going on across the company socially but you should not confine social to just a few select people.

Interesting, no? The implication is that for social programs to truly succeed, we need to seed them, nurture them, then get out of the way. If we fall back on traditional “command and control” management, we prevent the very results we want. We can engage, activate, enable…but not manipulate.

Social marketers must humbly serve their communities. They must be part of the conversation, which means they must be open to be influenced and changed by the conversation. The social marketer is on an endless journey of group discovery.

As with innovation, an organization’s social outreach and social connection programs, both internal and external, need to be built into its DNA, more culture than process. Someone can be on point to play shepherd, but not owner.

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