In my last post I spent a good deal of time talking about CEOs, their social savviness and how necessary this skill is for those leading today’s organizations. In my experience, almost every executive I know tells me how they simply don’t have time to do this or they are not the least bit interested.
I understand this challenge. As a small business owner, I understand that carving out time for social media, thinking through a plan and participating on a consistent basis may not be a top priority. I also understand the benefits when you do take the time to do those very things.
You may decide you want someone else to handle your LinkedIn presence and social media for you. Let’s look at the pros and cons of your various surrogate choices.
Your current assistant
- Pros: This person is always an obvious choice. They know you, you trust them, they are great multi-taskers, they are organized and they know something of your business.
- Cons: They don’t have any experience on any of the selected social channels that may make sense for your business. If they do have some experience, it’s their personal experience (i.e. Facebook for catching up with their family) which doesn’t translate to how social works for business; your business. They may not be privy to your strategic objectives.
- Pros: This person (especially any intern under 30) will know exactly which buttons to push, understand how to begin and participate in conversations socially and tend to be creative on emerging social channels. Your intern may be more likely to get you followers and likes than many others will.
- Cons: This person has no business perspective. Worse, this person may have no perspective on your business. The followers and likes your intern garners for you and your business may not turn out to be potential business opportunities. They may not be privy to your strategic objectives.
A good friend, Hollis Thomases’ wrote a terrific piece for Inc. Magazine on interns managing social, in the even earlier days of social media.
Your marketing department
- Pros: They are privy to your marketing and sales objectives and know the channels that make the most sense for your business.
- Cons: They are busy, super-busy; most likely staying on top of technology, data, and your sales force. They are pulled in a variety of directions and have little focused time to manage your LinkedIn and other channels.
You outsource to an outside firm
- Pros: They understand the various channels. (It is perhaps best to have social specialists. Run fast from anyone who says they are experts in all platforms). They know the creative, strategic ways to further your objectives.
- Cons: They only know your business to the extent you share it with them. They are effective to the degree that you work alongside your social collaborator.
Would you send any of the above to a big meeting or presentation? Was that a resounding “no way?” Then read on.
And then, there’s you.
- Pros: You know your voice, your expertise, your network, your style and since you are an individual, you are most likely to create the best version of you online. You will be better able to assess if your social media strategy is strong and your organization relevant.
- Cons: You aren’t familiar with the channels and their nuances and have no desire to learn. You think it’s a waste of time and energy. You don’t think you need to learn this skill. You haven’t read any of our other CEO and LinkedIn posts.
Think carefully about the voice you create and curate online. It should be the voice of you and your organization. And, the person who manages your online platforms should be well schooled in your culture, services and products. They should have an orientation with HR, marketing, sales, customer service and operations and subsequently should be able to articulate your value proposition, differentiators, and know how you solve problems. Make sure they have permission and are comfortable raising the flag internally and providing insight on what they are seeing online regarding you, your engagement and what your competitors are doing.