If you've been paying attention to social networks and company news, you're seeing the migration of social media jobs from consulting to corporate.
It's welcome news to me — I've long said all business is social, and it's the role of the internal team to set the tone, even as they may need support and additional capacity. I should know that well, I've spent most of my career on the client side.
I've always been a business generalist. My background is primarily in brand strategy, and leading marketing, and communications — critical areas that have a significant (and measurable) impact on any organization's growth and profitability.
I do a fair deal of consulting at the moment while I'm working on what's next for me. Due to budget constraints and resource shortages, brand strategies today need to take into consideration the business environment and opportunities of different industries as well as their customers, partners, suppliers, and employees.
Social media, community, conversation, etc. come in handy as tools to open the organization to customers and the culture to employees to release creativity, co-create innovation, and remove the obstacles that are in the way of learning from each other.
- marketing and communication groups as earlier adopters (especially in the US)
- IT groups to implement and support the technologies
- managers to work better with teams
- customer service groups to work better with the people who pay the bills
- down to human resources teams figuring out that they know a whole lot more about their business than recruiters who present the least bad candidate and safest option
All of which the business desperately needs to compete and win in the market.
Freelancers won't "normalize" social media. Businesspeople will — because it's not that damn hard. Business is.