When you do a search for “Social Media Consultants” on Google it produces close to six million page references. It is ironic that on the front page none of the big name consulting firms show up rather they are buried within the six million references.
Given that main stream media and brands are moving quickly to the social web many have and will continue to stumble through their initiatives and many will make critical and costly mistakes.
Subsequently the market for consulting practices that have a deep understanding and experience in providing Socialutions to businesses is likely to flourish in the not to distant future.
Who Will Firms Seek Advice From?
As major corporations begin to buy up network operators, social media agencies and a host of primary application developers they will likely seek the advice of those they acquire for the purposes of integrating that which was acquired into their primary propositions. The premise is the firms being acquired have the experience with “social technologies and user dynamics” so they know more than we do and thus lets follow their advice. An assumption that could prove to be costly and strategically flawed.
Then there is the scenario where a major brand wants to start their own “Socialutions“ initiative without the cost of acquiring either a platform operator or a social media agency or application provider. So they seek guidance from both within their organization and outside their organization. But who will they turn to? How will they determine whether those they turn to have both the experience and understanding required to successfully guide them to success? Given that the entire “social space” is relatively new how does a firm determine whether a outside resource is qualified to effectively help them achieve their objectives?
Both of these scenarios illustrate the emerging challenges for executives contemplating their organizational strategies aimed at capitalizing on the shifts created by advanced social computing trends. The challenges are critical for public firms who are constantly under the scrutiny of the analyst, the shareholders and the markets. Leadership of any organization is expected to make sound decisions and effective use of capital to create improved returns. What makes these decisions even more intense is the very transparency of the web and how word of mouth spreads at the click of a mouse from one to one to millions. The end user of any “social proposition” is only six degrees away from the entire population of the planet and their opinions spread in web time which is faster than fast.
Who Has The Knowledge Required for Success?
Finding consultants who have knowledge about Socialutions can be easy but finding the right knowledge can be extremely difficult. The difference is significant because in a space that is dynamic and changing daily getting the wrong advice and doing the wrong things can cost more than the money a firms spends chasing the opportunities. The technology, practice and solutions that exist today are not tomorrows benchmarks. Tomorrows solutions lie within the systemic ebb and flow of social interacting processes that create user satisfaction and community praise.
Find someone or a firm that understands the last statement and you found the knowledge required to survive. Find someone or some firm that can transfer that knowledge into your culture, your systems, your strategies and enable you to produce results that exceed expectations and you’ve found someone who can insure your success longterm.
A good consultant helps you change the game by transferring the knowledge required to play the game successfully. If a consultant accomplishes these objectives then they leave but they can become friends for life. More, much more on this to come…
What say you