One of the things I love most about being part of the social revolution is the unexpected 'ah-ha' moments that surface almost daily. I had one such moment this week, and wanted to share the observation.
Given the command and control structure that remains prominent in the traditional web, there are inherent checks and balances in place to ensure consistent messaging and positioning. In that model, a centralized web team is usually organizationally agnostic, with their focus being on providing a consistent experience to visitors of a traditional .COM site, as example.
As we know very well, social flips that model upside down, providing a direct path from subject matter expert to audience. In effect, it can remove all of the checks and balances that the more traditional model provided.
During the past week or so, I've had several independent requests land on my desk - All looking to create a social engagement strategy targeting a particular audience. What's interesting is that, while all three requestors were spread throughout different organizations and geographies, they're all going after the same audience... Unbeknownst to one-another, of course.
In this case, the problem was easily solved by a series of internal introductions. We landed in a great place, and are now looking at the larger opportunity and developing a holistic supporting strategy.
As we evolve our own hub and spoke model on our journey to becoming a fully engaged enterprise, this instance has me considering an operational overlay. One that empowers organizations to leverage social effectively to meet their respective needs (Support, Channels, Marketing, Sales, etc), but also ensures a consistent look from an audience point of view - ensuring social activities across a global brand are constantly in-synch - and always putting the customer experience at the forefront of the strategy.
At the end of the day, the social audience knows no geographic boundaries, nor does it care about organizational nuances. I'd suggest that the onus is on folks leading this space to not only empower and build proficiency, but also fill the void that's inevitably created in the shift to a socially enabled world.
An interesting observation from the journey... Good travels, my friends.