May 2, 2012

Rachel Strella

Are We “Boxed In” on the Social Media Debate?

by Rachel

At least once a week, I stumble upon a story of why outsourcing social media doesn’t work.

Most recently, it was in a conversation as a response to the blog, “You can’t outsource authenticity.”

In a perfect world, business owners would be managing social media for themselves. However, it’s infrequent that this occurs – especially in big business. Do you think the CEO of Starbucks is tweeting for the company? He (or she) likely doesn’t write their own speeches, press releases, or even staff correspondence so why would social media be any different?

Often times, business owners delegate these responsibilities to someone in-house or they outsource it.

Last week, I spoke with a woman who was given the responsibility to ‘handle’ the company’s social media. She has a full-time workload and was offered no more money or incentives.  She was miserable about it. She had no idea where to start, how she would find the time, nor did she have any passion for pursuing the task. She views this as one more thing to do.

I recommended that we do some coaching so I can show her the tools and enable her to feel comfortable using social media. I’ll certainly offer tips for integrating it into her day.

Her business – and many others like it - first needs to understand why they are doing social media and then determine the best way to execute their plan. So many times people go into it with no goals other than to just do it because they think they should. When they don’t get good results, they point the finger at social media itself… but they hadn’t defined their objectives to begin with. They simply started driving with no destination in mind.

Businesses should figure out what they want to achieve then put the steps in place to achieve it. That could mean the CEO managing all the requests. It could also mean delegating it to the best person to fulfill the needs in-house. They may want to start from scratch and hire an in-house person. They could even decide it makes more sense to delegate it to an outside party.

Whatever a business decides, it’s crucial that they take the approach that works for them. Just like social media is not black and white, the ways to manage it are not always black or white.

I find many tend to get “boxed in” with their positions on this debate when the reality is every business should do what works for them!

Has outsourcing social media worked for your business?

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