The big news in the social media space over the last few days is that Radian 6 has tapped Amber Naslund to be their new Director of Community. This move is absolutely perfect, as Amber has already been working with Radian 6 for a while in her marketing consultancy, and she is an expert at connecting and building relationships with others online. A classic win-win move if ever there was one.
I started paying a lot of attention to this space in late 2005, and one of the first big moves I noticed was Riya hiring Tara Hunt to head up the startup's marketing and build community for Riya. Tara did an absolutely amazing job in building excitement for Riya's launch and connecting with its community. I assumed that this would be the start of companies reaching out to social media/online 'experts' to head up their customer/community evangelism efforts.
But for whatever reason, that really hasn't happened to the degree I thought it would. Sure, some companies have been smart enough to get some of the leaders in this space to oversee their social media efforts, such as Shannon Paul with the Detroit Red Wings, and Scott Monty with Ford Motor Company.
One area where I think social media holds amazing potential is in letting a company find and embrace their online evangelists. I think so many companies are so concerned with doing 'anything' with social media that they miss how these amazing social tools can help you connect with and empower your most passionate customers. This is where I think companies should be looking as they move forward, to bring in people that have proven that they can use these sites/tools to form connections with their customers. People that can bring the voice of the company to its customers, and perhaps more importantly, the voice of the customer back to the company.
Hopefully, Radian 6 hiring Amber as their Director of Community is a sign that companies will begin to look to this space to find their community evangelists. I am obviously biased when it comes to Amber, as I think she is absolutely brilliant and Radian 6 was incredibly smart to bring her on board to direct their community efforts. The big question now is, who's next?
Pic via Flickr user AmberNaslund