Have You Got The Social Expertise for Effective Social Programs?

altimeter spreading across the enterpriseDedicated social media staff in companies has increased by 10% in the last two years, according to the Altimeter team.  In many companies there are now dedicated social media staff in more than 13 departments from marketing and corporate communications to customer support, IT and HR.   Altimeter also has documented positive outcomes for marketing optimization, customer experience, brand health and revenue generation. 

Behind every social strategy, social platform and the use of content is the need for professionals with increasingly deeper and more sophisticated skills.  However, talent decisions are, and often have been, driven by the need of the moment, not a longer-term strategic discipline.  Social media and community competencies have often not been developed, detailed or applied in ways to drive success.

The Market for Digital and Social Skills: Marketing Profs had a post on the “State of Digital Marketing Talent: Skills Lacking, Specialists Needed”  Do you know whether you have a talent gap?

Combine the continuing studies highlighting the need for capable digital marketers with the concept that “people are our number one resource” and it may be time to take some action to evaluate and assess the breadth and depth of social media skills across your organization.  Once you understand your organization’s social media skills and competency levels you can then determine how best to proceed in order to deliver excellence in social media.  If your agency or Company is going to be in front of this diagram below or ahead of the predicted skills shortages, perhaps an inventory of your agency and in-house expertise gives you a path forward with the data and analytics to support sound decision making.

  • “Crisis of Confidence in Marketing Proficiency and Effectiveness:  Based on a broad survey of marketers, the findings by Adobe revealed a striking lack of confidence in digital ability. Less than half (48%) of professionals who consider themselves primarily digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing. A majority of digital marketers haven’t received any formal training in digital marketing: 82% report learning on the job…they’re feeling underequipped to meet the challenges of digital, and they’re having a tough time keeping up with the pace of change in the industry.”
  • McKinsey in its Bullish on Digital Study” states, in the “Looking Ahead” section: “Prioritize talent. Not surprisingly, survey respondents indicate concerns about finding the talent their companies need to realize their digital goals. Technical, functional, and business skills are all critical for digital programs. We have seen some companies begin emulating the high-tech practice of “acqui-hiring” (that is, acquiring small companies largely for their employees rather than their products). But finding and hiring talent is only part of the solution; no matter where the talent comes from, development and retention are equally important in a sellers’ market.”

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Our team at SME2 identified more than 30 social, community and digital competencies and then defined what would be a base, intermediate or strategic level of performance.  

The skills and levels encompass Content Specific skills; Project Skills relevant to various business functions and departments using social tools; Social Specific skills one would expect to find being used by the teams with specific social assignments; and finally, a broad range of skills one might look to have across a Social Media Center of Excellence.  That’s the starting point that is customized to meet your business’ real priorities. 

From blogging to content strategy to production and coding to measurement and customer support or “media-buying” of sponsored posts in social, SME2 is a tool customized to assess business needs and the skills to ensure you have the team (in-house or in combination with your agency) to deliver successful business — using digital, social and community efforts.

Growth for your Team: Getting a handle on the strengths and gaps in skills across a business could be critical to how you look to further utilize social connections to move your business forward.  It’s also a great way to provide professional development opportunities to your teams, support their growth in a way that’s also good for the business moving forward, while also making sure you efficiently and effectively make the best use of agency and in-house resources — and thats all about satisfied, skilled, talented people with opportunities to grow.


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