Are you slowing down or speeding up the game?

In [American] football, when players move from one level to another (e.g. high school to college or college to pro), commentators often talk about game speed. You’ll hear phrases like “the game is a lot faster at this level.” In order to succeed, players must quickly adapt to game flow and apply their skills in context.

Conversely, skilled players like Tom Brady can use what’s known as a “hurry up” offense to act quickly and catch their opponents off guard. Great players can speed up game flow to create competitive advantage and achieve success.

We all have been at this game of social business/media/computing for a little over five years now. Brands are getting involved and many are scoring points – some in dramatic fashion – while others have committed fouls along the way. One fact has become clear: there’s serious money in social business. But to compete effectively, brands need to invest in assembling the right roster to play.

Early on, a handful of brands had a social media “rockstar” on board to champion their cause. These were lone rangers who were questioned regarding their commitment to themselves vs. their commitment to their employers. Today, a more effective corporate approach lies in the team concept, most apparent in social servicing presences like @TeamTurboTax, @DeltaAssist, @ATTCustomerCare, and @TWCableHelp. These brands first educated their teams (slowing down the game) then activated their teams (speeding things up).

Although the social business game evolves continuously, I sense that the pace of change has slowed a bit. Successful brands should be using the opportunity to speed things up vis-a-vis their competition – or getting up to speed if things are still moving too fast.

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