Age of the Social Media Director

According to Altimeter’s State of Social Business Report 2013 we find majority of social media teams and strategies in the custody of the Marketing or Communications departments.

When social media platforms and principles adapt to every aspect of an enterprise, to connect with the workplace and marketplace is what is being described as social business. This, however, is yet to take root in Kenyan companies.

Social business stands as the next great ambition in the adoption of social media into an organisation. It takes on many of the principles and philosophies driving social media and adapts them to the business or organisation. This means internally with employees, as well as with suppliers and stakeholders,an organisation can apply these same principles to add to the bottom line.

As we become more familiar with them, the principles of social media will transform elements of transparency, leadership and organisational culture.

Taking these to scale is properly summed up under the term social business. It is the way to compete in the digital age among companies as they learn to respond and adapt to connected consumers.

The amount of credible research into how brands are using social platforms to connect with customers and employees in Africa has been inversely proportionate to the hype for social media and social business.

The Social Business Africa (2013)report stands as one of the few examples of clear research around the topic. 2014 and 2015 presents senior management, director or board level with the conditions to hire for such a role or clarify responsibility in a management role.

The role might be described as Customer Engagement or merely represent an adaptation of an existing role (e.g. Corporate Communications or Corporate Affairs) but the emphasis will change from maintaining the company’s reputation to promoting
and leading social transformation in the many levels it requires for any organisation.

Likewise, existing relationships with external resources such as agencies and consultants will grow. In some cases companies will choose to hire full-time and grow teams or departments rather than outsourcing.

The social media consultant’s role will take on greater definition and so will that of the trainer in getting management to see and system and service design changes (where necessary) to the business in order for it to thrive in the social age.

This is an excerpt from a chapter that first appeared as part of the "NENDO 2014/15 Social Media Trend Report".

Age of the Social Media Director

NENDO is a Nairobi-based boutique consultancy focused on Strategy and Storytelling for Digital Africa. The company is founded and led by Mark Kaigwa, selected among Forbes 30 under 30 Best Young Entrepreneurs in Africa (2013).

Cover Image Credit: Jason A. Howie