To find the right person to handle social media for your organization, look for people who:
- LOVE your organization and really understand its mission – first and foremost, find the people who love their jobs and believe in your mission. This isn’t a job for the person interested in just the paycheck.
- Believe in the transformative power of social media – it’s not about applying the same old processes to new tools. It’s about fundamentally transforming the way your organization interacts with the public, your customers and with each other.
- You enjoy being around – If a person is a real butthead in real-life, he’s going to be that way online too, and you can’t afford to have someone like that representing you or your organization
- Have little fear of failure – Early in my career, a client pulled me aside after they shot down 3 straight ideas I had and told me, “I want to make sure that you understand we WANT you to continue bringing those off-the-wall ideas because it forces us to think of things we never thought of and even if we don’t take your suggestions now, they all become building blocks for future ideas.”
- Enjoy working in teams – Social media is “social” – you have to enjoy working with a diverse group of people
- Are responsive – There is no 24 hour news cycle any more. It’s real-time baby. You need people who you KNOW will reply to emails, tweets, texts, etc. quickly and thoroughly. Interestingly, these are also often the people who are the most ambitious and passionate about your organization too. (*note – these are also the people who may take longer lunches or come in a little late because they don’t just “shut off” at 5:00 PM)
- Can speak like a human being – Corporate marketing speak, statistics, facts, and figures are good, but when was the last time you got inspired by a pie chart? Find people who can connect with their colleagues/customers/clients on a personal level
- Are very aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are open about them – One of the first things I tell new employees is to find out what you’re good at and find out what you’re not good at, and then find people who are good at those things and make friends with them. In social media, you’re going to come across issues regarding privacy, IT, legal, communications, and HR, not to mention specific functional areas of your organization. You can’t know it all – know what you don’t know, and know who to contact for help.
- Are humble -People mess up in social media. A lot. It’s ok. Admit you’re wrong, fix what you messed up and move on. Not everyone can do this, and very few can do it well.
Great posting … I would only add: Give him/her/them the time to engage and award it. Billable hours and reporting is not everything. Social Media is going to chance and is already changing the game – in B2C and in B2B. Although some people are sleeping and are still thinking advertising, print, TV …
Allow and promote evangelist of your company, brand and products. Train and educate them. (And call them evangelists. Think multi-cultural). Ambassadors might be the better term ?!