[UPDATED] Several times over the past few years, I have been contacted by major brands to advise them on finding a “social media executive” to help them “figure out social media” and “create a strategy.” In 2012, many firms began building social media teams in earnest, and this trend will continue to grow in the years ahead. Firms are also bringing “social media work” inside after having outsourced it to agencies. All of my client work has involved helping clients to build social business competency and teams, so here I’ll offer some pointers for how to build teams and avoid the pitfalls most companies experience.
Although each organization’s culture is different, the CEO, CDO, CMO or CAO will be happier with the social business investment if s/he doesn’t invest far ahead of return on investment, which remains low at firms that insist on “business-meaningful” metrics, not the PR- or “brand-building” variety. It’s a chicken-and-egg challenge: how do you know what kind of team to build until you’re achieving real business-meaningful returns on your social business initiatives?