A colleague cornered me the other day to declaim, “My team needs to do more Social Media.” This puzzled me as we’re pretty well known for being good at this stuff.
“Define exactly what you mean by ‘doing Social Media,’” I replied.
“Define Social Media?” they asked incredulously.
“Yes,” I said. “When you say we need to do more Social Media, exactly what services are you suggesting? Community Management (i.e., manning Twitter and Facebook)? Content creation? Creating social apps? Doing even more sophisticated monitoring and analytics? All of the above? None of the above – something different?”
We went back and forth on it for a bit. My colleague acknowledged that we “do a lot of social strategy and creative social brainstorming for clients” but their team wanted to be even more hands-on.
“In other words,” I concluded, “your team wants to hit ‘tweet’ or ‘publish’ more often? — You’re essentially suggesting that they want to be more tactical, when everyone else in the world seems to wish they could ‘be more strategic.’”
While I firmly believe that agencies can play a compelling role in Community Management (which is what I deduced the team was looking to do more of), i.e., research, monitoring, content calendaring and creation, analysis, crisis comms, and so on, I also firmly believe that the workaday Community Management stuff is best handled by in-house corporate pros. That’s not to say we won’t do it — we have, we do, and we will, when called on — but it’s not an industry best practice, imho.
I raised this issue on Twitter today, and I think Steve Farnsworth said it best:
@tdefren “We take money from clients to implement a tools based “strategy” (i.e., tweet for them) because they have more money than sense.”
— Steve Farnsworth (@Steveology) May 22, 2012
Just because it’s snarky, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
What do you mean, exactly, when you tell people you “handle” Social Media?
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm By Todd Defren