The multitude of market discussion on social media and thought leadership seems to center on how effectively blogs, Twitter, social networking sites and other online tools can propel ideas into the mainstream.
Hard to argue against it, especially when a professional firm like McKinsey can go from zero to 48,000 Facebook fans in two years.
But I see few pundits discussing a certain downside of social media for professional firms, one that goes beyond the reputational risk from in-house bloggers saying the wrong things. It's this: Social media greatly raises the bar for everyone on the quality of their ideas.
If every professional firm can market its ideas through blogs and other social media, that means there are many more ideas for executives to view. On seemingly any topic, the well-reasoned opinions of dozens of experts are now very easy to find. Ten years ago, it was hard to find a handful, and it typically required going to the company librarian.
This is one of the messages I will make in a presentation to consulting firms this Friday (March 19) in New York City. The event (titled "Thought Leadership Rewired") is focused on social media and thought leadership marketing in consulting firms, and the host is the Association of Management Consulting Firms.
Has anyone in your firm talked about the bar of idea quality being much higher today? And if so, what is your firm doing about it?