Share the Social Media Load

Image from Stuck in Customs via Flickr

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn: Social networks have been around for a few years now, but many people still don’t understand them.  It’s this ambiguity that instills a bit of fear and causes people to think social media is a tool that should only be wielded by a select few, similar to the legendary sword Excalibur.

I would like to challenge that.  Yes social media does taking an understanding and training, but its not rocket science.  I love this quote from MC Hammer:

Social media is no more than an extension of what we do naturally

We talk to people. We market and build relationships.  Why should doing the same thing on social media be that much different.  It comes back to the ambiguity.  People don’t fully understand the tools and principles, so it becomes foreign.  The tools are different, but the principles are the same.  You take any principle from business, marketing or relationship building in real life and it applies on social media.  For example, in real life, would you push your products to people you’ve just met? No. So you don’t that on social media.

I came across an interesting article that had a quote which actually sparked this blog post.  It is from Richard Binhammer, Dell’s head of social media.

We give everyone a phone on their desk – so why not allow staff to connect with customers or suppliers with social media?

I’m not suggesting that we arm every employee with a Twitter account and say ‘have at er!’ But if large organizations are going to succeed on social media, the effort needs to be shared.

How do I share the load?

Here are some ways that you can start to prepare to share the load:

  • Develop a social media policy.
  • Establish a social media task team consisting of passionate and experience social media users from around the organization.
  • Deliver training to staff prior to representing the organization on social media.
  • Monitor efforts and offer guidance on a continual basis.

Jeremiah Owyang sums on these steps nicely in the video below:

Do you think social media can be shared across an organization like it has at Dell?