Do you need a social media …?

Congratulations!  After attending a presentation or training, you and your company have decided to embrace social media.  You create a number of profiles on several platforms and you think you are well on your way to success.

Yes, you have completed a first step, but that happened to be simplest one.  But then comes the rude awakening!

Some of you will jump in without thinking about the work it takes to generate (own) content and to maintain the interaction or conversation with your contacts/friends/audience.  From a personal experience, I also get a lot the remarks that it is much work to maintain the different platforms (even with some simple tools).

Enters the “social media xxx” role or function. Over the last week I have tried to get a sense of what “xxx” could stand for.  With the use of LinkedIn, here are some examples: officer, manager, guru, community manager, solution manager, marketing manager, consultant, specialist, expert, etc.  Many different and creative titles to explore, but what is important is what this person actually does and where he/she fits in into the organization.

Looking at the general job description, this person has to take of:

  1. Building awareness within the organization of what social media is and how it can be used.
  2. Creating a social media strategy for the company and assisting employees to become ambassadors to this strategy.
  3. Creating an inventory of where the company is and needs to be as well as where the employees of the company are.
  4. Creating social media policies for the company.  A set of guidelines (formal or not) on how the company and its employees will use social media.
  5. Continuous training of employees on the selected social media platforms.
  6. Select and implement social media monitoring tools (both external listening as internal listening)
  7. Listen to what is being said about the company, the products and the people using the tools implemented and channel the messages to the appropriate person that will engage with the audience. The social media xxx might not be the right person to engage with the audience.
  8. Engage or assist the person who is engaging with the audience.
  9. Create KPIs or ROI measurements for social media

10.  Engage personally to continuously grow your own knowledge and experience of social media.

Looking at this daunting list of tasks, you can see that even in a small company this could become a full time job very fast.  Also note that the background to fill this position must be diverse and able to engage with different people at different levels in the organization.  You have to be able to talk to general management (helicopter view) over sales, marketing, IT, HR, admin (specific view) to becoming a trainer.

So my recommendation is that this person has a free role within the company and reports to the CEO (and not marketing or any other department).  Yes, you could outsource part or all of your social media function but keep in mind that within your organization you will still need someone to coordinate it.

When are you hiring your social media officer?


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2 Responses to “Do you need a social media …?”

  1. Courtney Hunt Says:

    Great food for thought, Mic. If you haven’t seen it yet, you and others might also be interested in Part 6 of the Social Media Primer, which addresses the human capital issues associated with social media implementations. I touch on some of the same issues, and more. Here’s the link:


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