Every family has its own IT person. Whoever knows the most about the digital life usually is also the person called to help a relative install a new printer cartridge or assist another family member in signing up for a free email account. Likewise, companies often have their most online-savvy person using their digital brilliance for more mundane (or worse, trivial) tasks.
So, how do you know if your company’s social media strategist has become the social media help desk? According to a recent virtual seminar about social media strategists, the key signs that your social media strategist has ended up at the help desk are:
- The person is consistently at the mercy of the different business units’ demands.
- Business units deploy their own social media programs if the strategist doesn’t comply.
- The social media strategist caves into the demand and ends up taking orders and troubleshooting.
To avoid using your social-media expert as a first-aid kit to mend everyone’s wounds and clean up their messes, make sure that:
- Your social strategist develops a proactive business program. (In other words, your strategist should put forth programs and efforts that support the company’s overall business goals … not just one sector’s whims.)
- Your business creates a requirements checklist when it wants to launch a social media program or initiative (According to Owyang, “If you list the requirements in advance before the stakeholders are requesting a statement of work, then you get ahead of the help desk.”)
- Your business is set up in the hub and spoke model. (Owyang delves deeper into this in his seminar.)
- You know you can’t do it all. (“You cannot deploy all of the programs for the business units,” says Owyang. “Once you form into the hub and spoke model, you need to switch to the enablement strategy, where you’re teaching the business units on how they deploy … You can never hire enough community managers to respond to customers, so you also have to figure out how do you get the crowd to do the work for you.”)
Is the line between corporate social media strategist and social media help desk blurred at your business? Have any tips to add? I look forward to reading your comments.
Do you want a longer explanation? With data even? And cool, friendly charts? Check out analyst Jeremiah Owyang’s latest MarketingProfs seminar, where he presents his latest research—done in connection with MarketingProfs—that uncovers six major obstacles social strategists face today, including resistance from internal culture on the value of social efforts, measuring (and proving) ROI to the C-suite, and lack of longer-term planning. PRO members can view the on-demand 90-minute seminar for free; Basic members pay just $129.