SOCIAL MEDIA TIP OF THE WEEK: When is it Time to Ask for Help?

Starting a social media program at your company may fall into two categories at the beginning.  The first category are the people who think that starting it has to be pretty easy.  I mean, it’s just posting a few things a couple times a week on Facebook, right?  How hard is that?  So, they quickly assign it to the young kid who looks like he might use Facebook regularly and you figure, that’s that, and you can move on with the rest of your day.  The second category would be the people who take a look at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all of the other social media avenues and immediately gets overwhelmed.  I mean, it’s two or three postings a week to be effective, right?!  When will I have the time for that?

The next big question that comes into play, once the whole ball starts rolling, is when do you seek help?  When does it get to be too much?  There has been a recent spate of articles about the emerging fields of social media contact consultants or other articles that wonder aloud how companies can just blithely assign the social media efforts to one person.  Which is it?  Is it easy and something one person can do, or does the whole company have to someone find time to participate?

Well, to be honest, in order to be truly effective, it would be fantastic if as many people as possible could participate.  While the CEO may not have time to write blog posts, maybe the CEO can take half an hour one day to answer questions that fans post on the Facebook page.   Or maybe one of the higher executives can take a few minutes to do a quick Q & A that can become a popular blog post.  Remember, this is not something that wastes time, but provides your company with personality and a voice and makes your company more attractive to vendors and potential consumers.

As for when it becomes to much?  Well, that is harder to answer.  The best answer is probably, it becomes too much when it feels like it is too much.  If that one person you assigned to handle the social media efforts is pulling their hair out trying to keep up with the Facebook posts and the Tweets, then maybe it’s time to get a little help.

How much help?  Well, again, that depends on your company and your budget.  There are companies out there who can take the entire social media effort right off of your hands.  Sure, they may come to you with ideas and want your stamp of approval, but you can “set it and forget it” when it comes to your social media efforts.  Then again, there are companies (and sometimes these are the same companies) that can help you monitor your efforts, offer content advice, or just provide some guidance on what you should do next.  They can help monitor the buzz your efforts generate and search for the blogs and online places where you should be leaving comments to further your online presence.

We say it a lot on here: you don’t have to do this alone.  No one says you have to.  The right consultant will be able to work with you to ensure that it is your company’s voice out there and not the consultant’s voice.  You don’t have to come up with that blog entry every week on your own.  If sitting down to write a new Facebook or blog entry is something you do with an increased sinking feeling and an increased feeling of unbearable dread, maybe it’s time to reach out to people who think about this kind of thing all the time.

Sometimes, it’s just too much for one person to handle.  So, let several people handle it.  Get the advice you need to steer your efforts in the right direction.  It’s OK to ask for help.  We’re all still trying to figure this thing out, but we can do that together, too.

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