When we started Useful Social Media in late 2009, we did so in response to a gap in the market. After I started looking around at the opportunities companies had to learn social media best practice, I noticed the options for you were pretty limited.
Pretty much every conference, every report, and every blog out there was dominated by self-proclaimed ‘social media gurus’. Every show I saw had about 25 contributing speakers, but only one or two were from big companies.
The power of experience
Having worked in the business intelligence space for about 5 years now, I’m very aware of the value of bringing together peers to discuss issues and solve problems. You get a guru or consultant to tell you about social media, and you spend the majority of the time with a little voice in the back of your head saying:
“But this guy doesn’t work at a big company. How would he know how it works in real life?”
“Is this person trying to sell me something?”
“But will this solution work in the real world?”
When you listen to your peers, however – people working in social media at big companies, just like you – these voices quieten down. You can be confident that what’s being discussed is practical, is realistic, is relevant – and is proven to work in a business-environment. Of course, it’s also completely independent.
Anyway, we at USM try our best to provide you with opportunities to learn from senior business leaders, working in large companies – people who can provide you with proven best practice, and relevant insight for your role as a corporate social media practitioner.
Ok – so there’s a little history. Why does it matter?
The logical next step
Well, I’ve spent the last few months looking at the industry again. And I’ve noticed something else. There is literally nowhere that corporate social media practitioners get celebrated by their peers. Sure, there are plenty of Awards Ceremonies, plenty of lists of leading players. But again, it’s all gurus and consultants picking the names and highlighting the companies.
So Useful Social Media are now launching the Useful Social Media Awards. It’s a new award ceremony, and it is designed to allow social media practitioners in big companies to come together and celebrate best practice by their peers.
We’ve just opened nominations. So if you feel your own social media work is worthy of commendation, then fill in a short form and enter (it’s free). Alternately, if there’s another brilliant company out there, you can nominate them, too. And then you need to try your best to get votes for your nominated company – you can Tweet, you can share on Facebook, and share on LinkedIn. Any way you want to get the word out!
Anyone can vote – and the voting system’s pretty simple. We’ll announce a shortlist on the 15th May, and the winners will be revealed on Wednesday 13th June.
If you’d like to find out more, to enter, or to vote, head to our Awards website here.