As someone who has been working in social business now for five years, some of this echo chamber is getting old. The good news is I think we’re at the dawn of the next age of social.
Social business is starting to mature. Sure, it has a long way to go before we figure outÂ definitiveÂ measures, processes and really chalk upÂ substantialÂ business wins, but we’re starting to see pros who really know their stuff and brands and thought leaders who are actually doing something – not just delivering keynotes about theories or ideas.
Still, as it matures, social business will hopefully lose some of the “douche bag” nature it has become known for. Whether it’s 85 vendors contacting you every day with “the best platform” or “strategy” to deliver social return on investment, or some of the social “rockstars” who nary have a case study of their own work to share, I feel like we’re getting close to someÂ legitimacy.
For me – someone who has had to fight the C-suite battle at three brands – it’s about time.
Those of us on the brand side, who must convince sometimes skeptical CMOs or corporate monkeys of the value of social, we’re ready to move on. While hundreds of agency folks areÂ heraldedÂ as social business “experts,” we’re actually the blokes and dames doing the work, fighting the battles and winning. It’s funny how most of us are never MVPs or get asked to write for Forbes or the Harvard Business Review. Yet we’re the ones making it happen. Without us, those agencies and consultants don’t get hired. Does anyone see what I am talking about?
That’s not to say there aren’t great thought leaders and amazingly talented folks on the agency side. Many of them are friends, colleagues and I respect them very much.
That said, what corporate social businessÂ practitionersÂ needs is more examples of folks in their position – those that have to fight the good fight internally – for real-world examples of how to get stuff done. The smartest thought leader doesn’t necessarily have the chops that help you get past that skeptical “old-school” media buyer or internal detractor who lives mentally in 1980 and believes TV is the only game in town.
Let’s hear more stories from the inside. Let’s put those folks on a pedestal and give them the credit they deserve. Let’s learn from them so we can all get better.