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Review of HBR Article: What`s Your Social Media Strategy

Date: 2011.11.06 , Posted by: Victor , Tags: inIographic
In a 2011 article Irom the Harvard Business Review titled 'What`s Your Social Media
Strategy¨, a myriad oI ideas both recast and new are presented. One particular anecdote
presented in the beginning oI this article is rather insightIul, shown at the top oI the inIographic
below in quotations. Although this article doesn`t speciIically Iocus on e-banking, and rather
than premises the rest oI it with a poignant anecdote, it`s been quite an inspiration Ior the
inIographic below, with the help oI (click here or the graphic below Ior a larger
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In regards to the Harvard Business Review article, it provides some insights on categorizing
diIIerent social media strategies into 4 distinct segments not necessarily exhaustive though.
The Iour are: 1) predictive practitioner, 2) creative experimenter, 3) social media champion and
4) social media transIormer. HBR oIIers a tool to help evaluate your strategy Ior social media.
The reality oI the situation is that organizations rarely will Iit perIectly into one oI the Iour
aIorementioned roles (elaboration on roles at the bottom oI the inIographic), but instead Iloat in
and out oI them. Some organizations will begin as creative experimenters and move into
predictive practitioners and so Iorth.
The article seems to suggest that companies should begin as predictive practitioners though,
which doesn`t seem to be the most intuitive starting point. Predictive practitioners are very
Iocused in their areas oI specialization Ior particular purposes, and thus, can miss other social
media opportunities and synergies within an organization. For example, during the Iirst year oI
my MBA, I was exposed to some interesting methods oI social media in HR. And in Iact, the
article alludes to the extensive internal communications, organizational behaviour and change
management aspects prevalent in the role oI a 'social media transIormer¨ it`s something not
only you embrace, but your entire organization as a whole.
The implications to marketers in this article is that successIul marketers should be moving
towards the goal oI becoming 'social media transIormer¨. What this article overlooks; however,
is the Iact that not all organizations and industries are equal and not all can become social media
transIormers. While B2C businesses can quickly and easily engage their customers on social
media channels (such as American Express`s Facebook page), this does not work Ior small B2B
businesses with specialized parts that never see end customers.
Overall, the article is an interesting read as the author suggests businesses need to create
speciIic strategies aligning themselves to one oI the 4 previously mentioned roles. But in doing
so, one should be cognizant that not all businesses and industries react to social media the same
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