Social – It’s the New Black

The shift in the perception of the value of Social Media and customer relationships at big brands brings about a curious change in culture and related shift in required skills. For the past 3+ years I’ve focused on balancing keeping my work with customers high enough profile to get funding and support from senior executives with staying just enough below the radar to avoid all-out attacks from people threatened by new ways of thinking. It wasn’t always an easy tightrope to walk. 

Then our CEO declared “Social” as one of the top three trends we would excel at as a company. Everything changed.

Suddenly people who weeks prior were focused in other areas turned their interest and sights on working alongside our customers. Delightful! As with any change, I’m finding there are challenges and new questions too. Among them: 

1. Prioritizing – Given that there are suddenly more ideas than we can possibly do, what are the factors we should use to prioritize which efforts we’ll focus on? 
2. Getting more resources – Where do we see related clusters of work emerging? Who are the right people with the right mindset to do the work? How can I act as an enabler to help other groups think strategically about social media and empower them to run their own efforts?
3. Maintaining focus on customers – How do we educate people newly interested in social media to know what matters most – customers and solving for their needs.
4. Metrics – How do we measure success in terms of treating people outside our firewall like they’re part of our community? How can we measure Net Promoter? How can we measure latent conversion among the folks we interact with online, even in casual interactions?

We’re working through the issues, is anyone else? What solutions have you found?