Having spent two days at the UK Social Media World Forum this week, depsite getting hundreds of visitors to our stand, it became increasingly clear that UK industry remains two years behind North America and many countries in the Far East. Also South America is rapidly overtaking the UK.
The conference was well intended but by marketers and those who provide technologies to marketers.
Whilst the conference is about social media it had a very narrow focus, a focus on how to use social media for marketing campaigns. But even then, social media is not very effective for short term tactical campaigns. However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel, as there was short panel session that covered other areas of business management that social is very effective for media http://t.co/TLog31Sb#SMWF@SocialMediaWF.
Visiting social media conferences in other countries such as the USA and Japan, I can see that the scope of social media is much broader and attracts not just those in marketing but COO’s, HR Directors, e-Commerce Managers and so on.
Organisations in these countries are already using social media for recruitment, innovation, competitive analysis, employee collaboration, e-learning, supply chain management, procurement, community management and many more areas of business management and civil services.
However, here is one good example of social media being used by the UK Police Services to improve community services which proves we can do it. A ‘trailblazing’ fully social smartphone application.
Business leaders in the UK need to get to grips with social media make it strategic and assign specialists expertise to the role of leading the social media charge and don’t leave it to the marketing professionals alone. Otherwise, foreign competitors will yet again steal the march on UK industry.
A massive change in mind set is called for in the UK.. Start by putting Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc out of your mind and begin thinking that social media is about business transformation, agility, competitive advantage, resource optimisation, improving time to market and such matters.
Paul Fennemore is MD of Viapoint a leading social media strategy and services provider.
Paul also conducts research with Henley Business School and is called upon to lecture at Henley and Oxford Brookes University. He also found presenting and on panels at business conferences.