Reflections on the Role of the Corporate Social Strategist

[tweetmeme]In an earlier post, I wrote about Jeremiah Oywang’s widely publicized study, Career Path of a Corporate Social Strategist. Many bloggers weighed in on the findings with their own analysis of where the social strategist fits into organizations.

Social Media in Organizations asked me to review the reflections of seven thought leaders on the study’s findings and the future of social media leadership in organizations. For their commentaries and my reviews, please visit S.M.A.R.T. News: The Corporate Social Strategist. Included are a post by Oywang himself on the findings and implications for the future, plus my comments on posts by Brian Solis, Jay Deragon, Gia Lyons, David Armano, Steve Raddick and Scott Monty.

Thanks to Courtney Hunt, the founder of Social Media in Organizations for inviting me to write on this important topic.

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  1. Hi Jeannette,
    I admire the time and effort that went into this piece. I think your statement, “Top decision makers in many companies are still skeptical. They are comfortable with the way things have always been done…” is right on target.

    I say corporations are less than comfortable but want to continue in in their old ways because social disrupts the traditional order of things. For example, they still aren’t allocating much money to social and are trying to divide the responsibility of it to various junior level employees. Even more interesting is that corporations and some corporate social strategists claim ROI cannot be shown. Clearly, none of these people understand SEO or analytics.

    According to Jay Deregon, corporate social strategists don’t use a holistic digital strategy. Could that be because corporations are hiring “yes” men and women from within their ranks to handle social? No wonder they don’t understand strategy. How does a corporation qualify their social strategist?

    Social requires transparency, humanity, and accountability. Those who have succeeded with it are so far ahead of their competition it’s staggering. Sadly, I see some companies losing it all before being willing to be accountable to their consumers.

    I also see the role of social strategist being the lead marketing role for those corporations who are on the ball and growing. This position is invaluable and those who do it well are currently being paid quite well.

  2. Thanks, Catherine, for your thoughtful response. In Oywang’s report, he says that 70% of companies are spending less than $500,00 a year on social media. For major companies that’s not going to make much of a difference — that’s because marketing and PR are driving social media now. They are still cost centers and not profit centers. When the hub for social media is the brand and social media contributes to profitability, then companies will see it as more strategic investment.

  3. Thanks again for doing this, Jeannette. The post has gotten a lot of traffic and has been reshared by dozens of readers. It’s obviously an important topic that resonates with a lot of people…

    BTW, the direct link to the SMinOrgs website is

    Courtney Hunt
    Founder, SMinOrgs Community