Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter is a wise man. Usually I am all awe on what he has to say. But when he dropped in his keynote @LeWeb in December that companies should not overestimate the impact of social media heavyweights on their business, I disagreed. My gut feeling, and the feedback and data I collect through my client work just points otherwise.
Having people on board with lots of social capital, social cloud, and social influence usually helps spreading a campaign, words, and thoughts a lot faster. For my take, Jeremiah does exactly that for Altimeter: using his (well earned) social media rock-starship to propel the company he works for to new heights… and I do agree with Jeremiah that we should not hire Ninjas, SpecialOppDirectors and Gurus ;-).
Actually, I parked my view on this for a couple of weeks, till i read an article from CloudAve on the effect Social Media heavyweight Robert Scoble had on Rackspace. Here are some numbers: Scoble started at Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) in March 2009 with stock trading at $5.98 dollars. In January 2011 the stock was trading at $31.33. That is a staggering 457% increase. Not bad. Read CloudAve to see how they correlate this growth to Scobles Cloud.
Here is my take. If your digital media frontline people have cloud, social capital and influence/credibility, your ship will just fly better…faster, farther… just saying…. ;-).