The Anatomy of a Social Media Professional – and Why You Need One

I recently spoke at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce breakfast where I discussed the need for a dedicated social media manager to help strategize, launch and manage a social media program.

Since many of the attendees were from smaller companies, I stressed that any business – big or small – could benefit from implementing some form of social media strategy into their organization. An example I used to help make my point was to compare Starbucks with the Crème Brulee cart in San Francisco. Both businesses are using Twitter and seeing great results to drive business to their location, but one is a multi-national chain and the other is a small food cart roaming around San Francisco. They couldn’t be more different, yet they are using the same tools to connect and engage with their loyal fans.

If you don’t think you need help managing your social media efforts, you might want to take a closer look at the time investment required to ensure it’s done well. Sure, some of you may be able to manage it all while also running your business, but to do it right, it needs to be more than an afterthought – and most executives just don’t have the bandwidth to focus on doing both jobs effectively at the same time.

You also aren’t likely to have the time to “be everywhere” – listening, engaging, responding – but a dedicated social media professional can do this for you. Consistency is crucial to ensure results. A dedicated focus on social media efforts = a quicker time to value.

You also don’t want to have a “Nelson” moment by not paying attention to your brand online. Some examples I used during the Chamber Breakfast included Domino’s Pizza and United Airlines to show the difference between a brand listening and responding immediately (Domino’s) and another that chose to ignore for more than a year (United).

So, what should you look for in a social media professional? We asked David Meerman Scott this question while attending SXSW Interactive earlier this year. You can check out the video here, but I summed it up with this intricate graphic I call “The Anatomy of a Social Media Professional.”

As David also pointed out in his interview with us, when you are seeking help with your social media efforts, it’s important that you do your homework and make sure whoever you hire has the qualifications needed to get the job done. If they aren’t out there practicing what they preach, or if they can’t point to any ROI as a result of their efforts, than you might want to keep searching.

What do you think? Do you think a dedicated social media professional is necessary in business? What qualities do you think a social media professional should have – did we miss anything in our anatomy slide? We would love to get your thoughts in the comment section below.

David Meerman Scott at SXSWi 2009

I ran into David Meerman Scott , author, speaker and marketing strategist during SXSW and asked him a few questions about his newly released book – World Wide Rave and his thoughts around what to look for when hiring a PR (or advertising) agency to handle social media projects. Be sure to download World Wide Rave onto your Kindle or get a hardcopy for yourself. I got mine!

25 SXSW Attendees Explain Why You Should Attend Next Year…Oh and they did it in two words…

Inspired by Steve Garfield’s video montage “27 People, One Question” I thought it would be fun to do something similar during my trip to SXSW Interactive. Throughout my time there, I had some lighthearted fun with attendees and asked 25 people to give me two words that describe their experience at the event. Some of the responses, both serious and entertaining, came from folks like Jeff Pulver, Chris Brogan, Justin Levy, Jeremiah Owyang, Robert Scoble, Jason Falls, Aaron Strout, and many others. Using my handy Kodak Zi6 HD camera I captured some great footage that hopefully encapsulates what SXSW Interactive is all about and in some cases, just made me go “huh?”

So without further ado, for your viewing pleasure check out what some of this year’s SXSW Interactive attendees had to say for themselves. I am sure you will recognize a few of your friends and hopefully have a few laughs along the way.

A special thanks to everyone who participated and shared their two (and sometimes more) words and thanks for all the memories. See y’all next year – SXSWi 2010!

Disclaimer: The video quality and lighting varies slightly due to the ‘extreme’ shooting conditions of SXSW. :)

Translation: This was my first attempt and I didn’t lug around all the lighting and sound equipment with me for these impromptu shots, so some responses were a little more difficult to see/hear, but you get the point.

Music: Dan Tharp, Guitar Suite I – Movement I and II
Camera: Kodak Zi6 HD

South by Southwest or Bust!

SXSW 2009PerkettPR is heading to Austin, Texas this week to attend one of the most anticipated events of the year – SXSW 2009 Interactive! Heather Mosley (@mosleyppr) and I both served as panel liaisons for this year’s festival and we are looking forward to meeting with all the social media movers and shakers at the event.

Along with attending the many sessions the conference has to offer, we will be conducting several informal video interviews from the event to share on this blog. We have already confirmed some great interviews with David Meerman Scott, Chris Brogan, Justin Levy, Peter Kim, Steve Garfield, Michael Langford, Mike Lewis and others, and we are looking for more! If you are a tech blogger/reporter, entrepreneur, social media enthusiast or just a big thinker who would like to speak with us at the show and tell us about your innovative spirit, please let us know – we’d love to connect in Austin to learn and share more.

If you are not attending but would like us to try and catch someone specific for an interview, please send us a note or post some suggestions here – we’ll do our best to catch those folks on video. Also, send us your suggestions on the “must see” events, parties, and activities we should plan on attending. We don’t want to miss anything!

Here’s what we’re looking forward to:

  • The Accelerator, in which about two dozen startups will demo their services or products before a panel of judges; venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki and tech journalist Brad King will emcee the event
  • Core Conversation: Why Gen Y Won’t Friend Your Brand
  • Guy Kawasaki’s Keynote Interview with “The Long Tail” writer Chris Anderson
  • Core Conversation: How to Create a Great Company Culture
  • Opening Remarks by Tony Hsieh of Zappos
  • Core Conversation: Advertising is Entertaining – Who’s Selling Out?

And so much more! We look forward to seeing you at SXSWi!

Contact/follow us at:
Christine Major – cmajor [at] perkettpr [dot] com or DM at @cmajor
Heather Mosley – hmosley [at] perketpr [dot] com or DM at @mosleyppr

Persuasive Picks for the week of 01/25/09

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Community Managers Must Deliver ROI: Commandments For Surviving a Recession
Jeremiah Owyang provides sound advice to Community Managers on how to step up their game, provide continuing value and (most importantly) help keep their jobs in these tough economic times.

Are we really ready to move beyond Social Media 101?
Many of us in the PR and Marketing space have been teaching the basics of Social Media for quote some time now. Some might think its time to elevate those teachings to the next level. However, LiveWorld’s social media evangelist Bryan Person shares some incite in this MediaBullseye.com guest post on why that’s not the case and advises those who teach to “keep beating the drum.”

How Lisa Genova used social media to turn a self-published book into a NY Times bestseller
Best selling author David Meerman Scott shares an abbreviated version of fellow writer Lisa Genova’s success in using social media to propel the promotion of her book “Still Alice” all the way to the top of the charts. Her complete success story and many others can be found in David’s latest book entitled “World Wide Rave.”

Podcasters report their top 3 podcasting tips (Part 1 & Part 2)
Marketing consultant Devon Dudgeon shares TONS of podcasting tips in this two part post. The tips were submitted by seasoned podcast veterans around the globe and are aimed at those who have been thinking about getting there own podcast off the ground.

Why blogs matter
“Q: Who reads blogs? A: Journalists”; Shannon Paul delivers another thought provoking post that shows why blogs might just be the ultimate tool in your social media arsenal.

Image Credit (sans modifications): Jade Gordon