As companies use 2011 to forge ahead with social media as a part of their marketing and communications mix, they must remember to take a step back and be realistic and be patient with their new commitment.
Those of us who have been active and using social media for several years have already proven – to some extent – return of investment or return on objective. It works and we’ve proven that to C-level executives. Despite that early success for some, there are still many of us new to jobs that must prove it out from get-go. Brands are investing millions of dollars and they are watching closely.
Social media strategists are in demand. I am the perfect example of that. Being with a brand that had not invested in social media beyond the basics in 2010, I feel that pressure even though I was part of a great cross-functional social team at Intuit. That sort of example isn’t widely discussed, yet Intuit isn’t headline news when it comes to the points their putting on the board.
Patience is key for brands earlier in the journey. Will social media eventually be less of a function and integrated more into many roles? I believe so. At the core, I am a public relations professional. I don’t think that has changed. What new roles like the one I fill show is brands know they need to integrate social media and interactions with their customers. It’s not a fad and it is a worthwhile investment.
Patience is key. Results for brands just starting to invest in talking with their customers won’t happen overnight.
In the meantime, those of us with a diverse skill set (marketing, PR, social) will continue to help brands move forward.
As long as they are patient.