Reputation management will become a more recognised discipline around the board table
The more exposure the C-suite have to listening tools like Radian6, Sysomos, Onalytica et al, the more that CEOs will want to influence what they say. So-called ‘soft’ metrics are never going to have the clout of harder, ROI or savings-based metrics, but they will grow in importance.
Measuring influence is so totally dependent of the context, that the one-size-fits-all approach will be shown up. Just as it’s impossible to answer “what’s the most important newspaper” without knowing why the question is being asked, it’s also impossible to answer “who is the most influential person on Twitter?” without knowing why. That won’t stop loads of people peddling ridiculous ‘league tables’ of influence though.
Social media gurus will be found out. If they haven’t been already
They add no value. The people who will add value though, are the ones who can apply social tools to solve business-problems, ranging from cutting call-centre costs (by using more social channels) to increasing website conversions, or reducing staff-churn.
They are therefore likely to have more experience and a broader business perspective than one particular discipline. Already we’re seeing agencies like Dachis, Altimeter and Edelman blend these skills together. We like to think we do the same here.
In a really interesting post (and comments) Jay Bear suggests that PR agencies are not best placed to offer social business advice in this space. Perhaps unsurprisingly I disagree. For me, it’s the breadth of business experience (or capability) which is important, rather than the specific background of the consultant hired. And any PR consultant with a pedigree of crisis comms work can advise on operational/procedural change required to calm situations down…
But having said that – watch IBM as they start to make major inroads into the comms side of social business in 2012. The Lotusphere conference is a fascinating insight into what’s just around the corner – and proves that IBM have beaten both Facebook and Google to building enterprise social business tools.