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I was talking with someone several years younger than me who has significant job-related online responsibilities. In the course of the conversation, the person mentioned social media duties in the organization were delegated to younger people because they “get social media.”

Wow!

Incredible, but maybe not all that surprising given the number of people you see with social media-focused job titles and social media experts /gurus /consultants with apparently very narrow focuses on social media to the exclusion of other aspects of business strategy.

Here’s a suggestion: you can’t foster artificial disconnects between online and social media strategies within your organization.

Additionally, forget about allowing strategy-crippling disconnects between social media and other core business functions. Depending on your business situation, one can make the case that social media / social networking strategy could be integrated with strategies in:

  • HR
  • R&D
  • Product development
  • Brand Experience
  • Operations / Manufacturing
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Pricing
  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Channel management
  • Web / online
  • Logistics
  • Distribution
  • IT
  • Legal
  • Government relations
  • Finance

Obviously not every one of these strategies needs to be integrated with the social media / networking strategy in every business. But all of them ARE integration possibilities based on first-hand client experience and regular perusal of social media case studies.

And while we’re at it, here’s another suggestion: if you’re over 40, don’t succumb to artificial age or generational divides between you and the “younger crowd” that “gets” social media either. Social networking will neither save nor end the world as we know it, but it has and will continue to fundamentally change vital aspects of business strategy.

Do yourself a big favor. If you haven’t already, start thinking about social media and social networking holistically right away. The future success of your career and your business depend on it!  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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  • http://www.AlexGPR.com Alex Greenwood

    Well said! The time for “leaving social media to the youngsters” is over. It’s a function that the entire company structure should share in at least in a small way.

  • Mike Brown

    Appreciate the perspective Alex. It’s not helping people to stand on the sidelines and wait for an incedibly compelling (yet different) way of connecting to pass. It will absolutely change and be different over time, but the time to catch up is now, not later!

  • Sknygrydg07

    I agree with the ‘agism’ discrimination comment. I’m 40 and considered one of the ‘goto gals’ in my social circles for social media tips and consulting. The only reason people think that only the young can play is because they haven’t taken the time to try to learn it for themselves. And there are still some business descision makers that are afraid of technology! Hopefully they’ll retire soon and get out of the way for real people to get to work.

  • http://www.jobwhiz.com Debra Feldman, JobWhiz, Executive Talent Agent

    Another insightful post Mike. I now routinely emphasize to my executive clients who are either in transition or about to launch a job search that they have to incorporate social media into their plans to network purposefully. In today’s world, if you do not initiate and cultivate relationships online, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to learn about potential job leads. My clients are able to find unadvertised positions because of the relationships they form online. This does not include online job postings on Twitter or FB or Linked In. I am referring to connections that lead to dialogues which unearth new projects, a good cultural fit, and complimentary alliances- not filling an existing opening. Would love to share this outstanding job search method with anyone who is curious to learn how they can get an employer to create a new job just for them because they are online at the right time and communicating with the right contacts.

  • Mike Brown

    Thanks for the comment Debra. Sounds like an interesting method – if you’d like to do a guest post on it, I’d love to run it in Brainzooming as a follow-on!

  • Mike Brown

    Sknygrydg07 – You’re so right that social media is about diving in and learning. The great thing is that there are lots of people and groups forming where people can attend, network, and share ideas to deepen their knowledge. Here in Kansas City, the local Social Media Club (affiliated with the national organization) is a regular source of wonderful speakers and interaction for those willing to invest a few hours a month in learning. I’d suggest to anyone finding the closest chapter to you and getting involved.

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  • Mike

    So maybe I totally missed something. I’m 31 and would consider myself to have grown up as a computer techie, etc. I just don’t understand the usefulness of Social Media. Maybe it’s because I have a job with long hours, a long commute (over an hour each way) and two young children and a wife at home. Social media seems like something that could have been cool when I was in college and had lots of time to waste, or if I didn’t decide to have a family. Also, generally, you hear people bitch and moan about privacy, but Social Media seems to be the opposite of that.

    So, is Social Media for those that don’t prize their privacy and for those with tons of time? Please inform!