Taking the shine off social media

Reading Altimeter’s “The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist” was like being doused with ice water:

“As requests compound, the strategist must build proactive programs now – or be relegated to ongoing cleanup as the social media help desk.”

This well-thought-out analysis brought something into laser focus: as corporate social media advocates, we have the opportunity to shape our roles. And a major struggle – managing all the requests to open social media channels coming from across the company – offers a major opportunity: to avoid becoming the “help desk.”

I’ve been feeling a little like I did in middle school gym class (I took the “dodge” out of dodgeball) what with so many requests to open social channels coming from all directions.

When people are attracted to social media like second cousins to the wedding reception shrimp, we need to rub off some of the shine. Try the mild abrasive action of a questionnaire, including questions like these:

Who are you trying to reach? Do they spend time on [fill in shiny object of choice here]? What are you hoping to achieve? Who will be accountable for keeping the site alive? Who will create and maintain your content calendar? Who will keep the content coffers full? How will you monitor and moderate comments? What about after hours?

The people who are dedicated to making these channels work will rise to the challenge of providing beefy answers. Some will realize social media requires more time and resources than they have available, and some will just see that there’s nothing there for them right now. 

We want to enable people who understand their bigger idea and how social media fits into it, but who needs 100 ineffectual social channels stagnating across the web with your company’s logo plastered all over them?

The next thing you know, you’re on cleanup duty, wondering how you got there.

Photo credit: Blyzz via Flickr

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5 Responses to Taking the shine off social media

  1. Mike Coombs says:

    Thanks. Very wise observation about… well… all marketing really….
    AND… the phrase “attracted to social media like second cousins to the wedding reception shrimp”… apt and hilarious!

  2. Joel Libava says:

    Happy New Year, Lisa.

    Great picture. Nice looking set-up.

    Joel

  3. Lisa says:

    @Mike: I never seem to get any shrimp at those functions…

    @Joel: Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year to you, too.

  4. Lelia King says:

    Great post, Lisa. I agree that social is just one component of a great communications strategy. It’s not about being everywhere at once – it’s about being where your audience is, providing what they want and need.

  5. Lisa says:

    So true, Lelia. Not so easy to communicate, though. So it’s helpful to let a questionnaire guide some thoughtful planning. Thanks for stopping by!

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