Recently I wrote about the crucial role the Social Business Champion plays in scaling social media, and discussed some of the things that they do. But what kind of person do they have to be?
As ‘Social Business Champion’ is rarely a role in its own right, it does take a particular type of person to relish and succeed at transforming their organisation into a social business.
So what qualities should a Social Business Champion possess?
Above all, a Social Business Champion needs to have fire in their belly. They should be passionate not only about social media, but its potential to change the way we work, live, play. This should be the driving force behind the many internal conversations the Social Business Champion needs to have across departments and levels of seniority in order to make things happen.
However, as social media is often not even in their job description (to begin with), they often need to make things happen for themselves first to make it happen for the business.
To get things really moving in the organization, at some stage you’re going to need internal buy-in – people need to trust that your “crazy initiatives” will work. This trust is easier gained if comes from an engaging, compelling individual, with results and experience from their own tests, pilots, experiments behind them.
Being a Social Business Champion means doing things differently, and the ability to look at existing processes and approaches from a different angle is essential to social business transformation. The best Social Business Champions have an intrapreneurial streak, and relish being on the forefront of change. The foresight and invention these Social Business Champions bring is a key driver of social business in the organization.
Social Business Champions not only bridge the gap between the consumer and brand; they also need to be the bridge between different departments across the organization. They need to be able to translate and appeal to people with completely different business objectives and languages. Being open to collaboration with such a varied team is what stops social media being dealt with in a silo.
Social business can’t always move at the pace of the Social Business Champion (and rarely does!). As social business moves instead at the pace of the organization, it’s important that Social Business Champions are blessed with the qualities of patience and perseverance.
They also need to have the miraculous flexibility to be both a specialist and a generalist. What this means is that they need to be completely passionate and geeky about their own field (social business) as well as possessing enough knowledge and understanding of every other field that social media will touch within the organization (lots!).
Finally, a Social Business Champion needs to be completely comfortable in putting themselves out there and entering the unknown. We’re learning all the time, and the best way to learn is by testing things out. This can be really hard to do in a risk-averse organization, so a Social Business Champion needs to have the courage to take risks, test and learn.
It’s really not easy being a Social Business Champion, and the type of people matching the qualities listed above are pretty hard to find. But they’re also the type of people who’ll get the biggest sense of satisfaction from leading the change and transforming their organization.
Social Business Champions – I’d love to hear from you. Any other qualities you think should be included in this list?
Reprinted with permission.