Three words set dramatically different action parameters:
Abdicate: to give up formally
Delegate: to entrust to another
Collaborate: to work jointly with others
Consider these words as they relate to social media.
Every business owner I know is talking about some failed foray into social. In most cases, abdication played a part in the failure. For example:
Like many employers, Sheryl (not her real name) prefers to abdicate when social media comes up. She rolls her eyes and tables the discussion. “Let’s get on the street,” she snaps. And with that phrase she shuts the door on progress.
Leroy is more understanding. He listens as his second-in-command makes the case for social. Then, decisively, he says, “Assign it to the new intern.”
In reality, both Sheryl and Leroy are abdicating a position on social media. Leroy has just prettied it up.
Small business owners wear entirely too many hats to be 100% in charge of their business social media plan.
So, one option is delegate the duties to someone trustworthy in-house. There are several advantages to delegation:
Cost-effectiveness. Social media duties can be absorbed by someone in the organization. No additional monies need be paid for this responsibility.
Accessibility. Because the CEO or top company officials are available, decisions can be made quickly, over a water cooler conversation if necessary.
Flexibility. If necessary, tactics can be changed quickly.
Although this option works for any number of organizations, I maintain it’s a bandage.
In my opinion, the most effective solution is collaboration with a professional who brings an outside perspective to the question. Consider these advantages:
Eliminate overwhelm. Solidify your strategy and assess your options with someone who knows the medium.
Add a partner. Few subordinates can completely grasp the CEO perspective. Hire someone who “gets it” and can quickly translate your ideas into actionable tactics.
Develop a plan. Time put into planning your social media foray will result in a systemized, stronger presence.
Set goals. Your professional should be able to help you set measurable goals and develop tactics to achieve them.
Move forward. Check references. Look at track records and determine the person you hire can truly collaborate with you and your business. (Finding the right person is a whole other post.)
The crux of social media offers your business the opportunity to authentically connect with an audience. Don’t abdicate your chance to make a terrific impression. Don’t delegate it either, unless you’re confident that your employee has the time and expertise to make it happen.
First, collaborate. What’s worked for you?