I thought this was a very compelling take on the dilemma of social media gurus holding all the keys to/responsibility for social media and the mentality of relying on one person to own a specific communication tool.
Social media is another way to talk to current and potential customers. Like the phone on your desk, or e-mail.
Do you have a single ‘phone manager’ at your office? Probably not (I hope).
Do you have an ‘e-mail manager’ who handles all sending and receiving of e-mail? Again, no.
Everyone uses these tools to do their jobs. It’s part of the routine.
Social media is rapidly becoming the same thing: A tool, not a technique. Your social media manager’s job is not to take the job of online communications away from everyone else. Her job is to help everyone else use it to better help customers and build the business.
It’s so critical to have a wide base of stakeholders involved in the online community for a brand. The hurdles are shorter than our brains think sometimes, which is why it’s great to have one or two social media experts in an organization who can train, lead and fire that starting pistol.
Beyond the person(s) in your organization who has the responsibility, I talk to a lot of clients/organizations about this in the realm of access to social media tools at work, too (e.g., blocking Facebook, YouTube).
Building on this metaphor, we all have telephones at our desks, and we all have e-mail on our computers. As long as your work is getting done, your boss is probably not worried about a personal phone call or a personal e-mail or two. In fact, s/he’s probably counting on you to understand how to use the phone and e-mail system, so a little personal time figuring them out isn’t bad.
The same goes with social media — particularly when your company has online stakeholders. And these days, that’s just about everybody.