Let's consider how businesses are run.
From my observation, this 'DNA' of measurement and operational management is not manifested in most social marketing circles of discussion. I'm on a hunt for them and am posting to this blog and Twitter account on this topic.
There are great thoughts from friends like Peter Kim, Jeremiah Owyang, and Charlene Li / Josh Bernoff ("Groundswell"). Yet I still think we're skimming the surface for what companies need on the inside to better manage their social activities on the outside. If anything is going to be sustained inside a business -- including social marketing -- it has to be grown, maximized and optimized. You need process, policies, people and tools/technologies to do that.
If you're managing social marketing for yourself or your business, the biggest challenge is where to spend your time, how to maximize your time, and how to show ROI. It's my challenge as well. I experienced it first hand over holiday vacation as I got sucked into Twitter after hibernating for a while, later wondering if I was headed in a purposeful direction and if I should spend my social marketing time elsewhere. I also knew I could be using existing tools more effectively. As CMO of a B2B company myself, this social marketing optimization and operationalization challenge is one I plan to work on this year. And I welcome you to collaborate.
I'm envisioning an "ERP" software system that manages everything you do related to social marketing. I've assembled a list of "Social Marketing Operations" features and apps. This includes existing tools that meets the need of the suggested features. I realize there are already a lot of social marketing tools out there...I don't claim to be familiar with them all. But usually they are only one piece of a big puzzle.
I will invite a group of social marketing experts to contribute to this list. If you'd like to be considered, drop me a twitter DM @samdecker or email me at blog [at] deckermarketing [dot] com.
If we've done nothing but match an internal capability with the best external tools, that's great. If we've influenced and inspired vendors to create better tools, maybe pull some of them together, even better!