In this #InspiredMarketing blog series, we are sharing predictions on the future of marketing from 25 industry thought leaders. These predictions have been compiled in our new whitepaper, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013. In today’s post, Maddie Grant of SocialFish shares her thoughts.
Social Gets Infused in the Business World
We’re in a transitional period in which companies are struggling to integrate social into their business processes, and it goes way beyond marketing. Those that confine social activity to specific sales or marketing “channels” will soon be at a huge disadvantage to those that can incorporate the human-powered principles of social media throughout their organization.
Our employees expect more transparency, more change, more experimentation, and more clarity. Smart organizations should start taking a close, hard look at their existing cultures and begin considering some different (less hierarchical) ideas of what “leadership” means if they are going to successfully adapt to this disruption.
How do we know this? We conducted a recent survey of 500 individuals and asked them questions about how their leaders are leveraging social media for organizational results. Of those surveyed, 84% agree that leadership involvement in social media gives their company a competitive edge, and 84% agree that communicating core values via social media is integral to leadership—yet 44% are concerned about the lack of involvement by their leaders in social media.
So why is this important for marketers? Because marketers understand story. Infusing social media into an organization requires communicating those core value messages and the authentic brand story throughout the organization—which is a challenge for traditional leaders, as evidenced by their hesitance around social media.
Marketers know how to tell the stories—and they also know how to experiment, test, and learn from different kinds of messaging. It’s time we started applying those skills to building leadership capacity, rather than just marketing. For leadership to spread through an organization—as social media demands—we need to change our culture, and marketing can play a vital role.
Author and Social Strategist
Maddie Grant, CAE, co-authored Open Community: a little book of big ideas for associations navigating the social web and Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World. Maddie is also lead editor for SocialFishing, one of the most respected blogs written for association executives, where she gets to express her viewpoint as a classic Gen-X early adopter and “shiny new toy” addict. As chief social media strategist for SocialFish, Maddie draws from more than 10 years of experience in marketing, communications, and international business operations to help associations large and small build social media capacity to achieve business results.