I have touched on roles specialisation within Social Media before. In some ways it seems contradictory to the whole ethos behind Social Media of breaking down silos and hierarchical boundaries to allow easier communication and collaboration.
But at the same time I think it is a symptom of an industry growing up and finding its feet much like web design did in the 90s.
Here are my thoughts on how Social Media as an industry is specialising itself.
Marketing & PR
Using Social Media as part of an Advertising or PR campaign was probably the first commercial use of Social Media. It was, and still is, a cost-effective way of reaching potential customers. It also allows companies to get closer to their customers with direct and personalised communication possibilities.
Social Customer Service allows customers to connect via their channel of choice when they want to. With social listening tools it can also provides customer support services before issues escalates to problems… or even become issues in the first place. It can also facilitate peer-to-peer support between customers themselves and as such reducing cost and even crowdsource product innovation.
As private people, employees have adopted social media, and increasingly they expect the same flexible toolset of their working environment. Social Workspace adopts consumer social media behaviour and tailor it for professional use for both employees and partner organisations. The benefits is a smarter and more collaborative organisation and an company that can more easily retain (young) talent.
Sales and Recruitment
I have previously touched on how Social Media can help job seekers but it works the other way as well. For sales (including recruitment) Social Media helps identify business opportunities, leads as well as insight into prospects. And sales endeavours can be supported by user-generated content such as reviews, either via their own channels or directly on to the company’s product pages.
The Social Brand
And finally The Social Brand. All of the above naturally feed into the brand perception. A Social Brand embraces the key learning from above: Customers really are in charge now but they still love brands. Make sure they can share that love with their friends and feel the love back from the brand.