by Paula on November 10, 2010

I read articles, tweets and advice columns every day debating the management of business social media activity. Should you outsource it to a Social Media Manager, recruit someone internally to manage it, or do it all yourself?

It reminds me of a conversation some 10 years ago with my then manager, Andy Marsh of Suiko Ltd. Suiko was then a small but growing team of highly committed and focused staff and I was taken on as Business Support Manager to manage the internal operations. It was a big job and there was lots to do. Responsibillities included finance / marketing / administration / IT / customer service, you name it and it seemed to be something I would be involved in. Slightly daunting at the best of times but the extremely high expectations in each of the areas, lead me to believe that it might all be a bit too much for one person!

I remember clearly the day I sat down and confessed to Andy that I think he might have taken on the wrong person. He needed a fabulous accountant, a super-hot IT specialist, a marketing guru,  a sales whizz-kid and attentive support to customers and clients alike! I could not be all these things! How would I find the time, and to be honest, if I were as brilliant as needed in any one of these areas, I’d probably be specialising and not sat there working for him!

The response was enlightening and I have gone back over it several times since. He told me that I was chosen for the job because I was the right personality and had the right attitude and part of this is knowing when something is within my capability and control, and recognising when something isn’t. He explained that you can buy skills but you can’t buy attitude and dedication. He had confidence in me that I would be able to do what was necessary and know when to ask for help, outsource, or raise an alarm when there was an area that needed extra people / training / expenditure. And you know, he was right…..

Knowing what you excel at, and knowing when you need to step back and ask for help is key to being successful in business.

And that’s where it comes right back to Social Media. Managing your company profile on line, keeping up to date with all those messages, comments, tweets and building your reputation and following is time-consuming. If you as a business manager have the time and skill to do this then you will clearly be a fabulous advocate for your business.

It’s those who want to do it but don’t have that time that fall into two camps. There are those who think they can do it but it falls by the way side as they deal with other more pressing business needs. Then there are those who recognise that it’s valuable but prefer to use their skills where they are best suited, and outsource this important area of business marketing to someone they can trust to do a great job on their behalf.

There’s no shame in saying, “I am great at what I do but I acknowledge that I can’t do everything”. Recognising this and releasing yourself from the burden of trying to be and do all things is quite liberating and allows you the time to do a quality job on the areas that you are passionate about, and manage well the people fulfilling those other important roles for you.

I took a great step forward career-wise and confidence-wise the day I was sat down and was able to and accept that. If you are struggling with all that you set yourself and drowning in a sea of tasks with no time to do any of them as well as you like, perhaps it’s time you had that conversation with yourself, and perhaps it’s time you opened the door to outsourcing some of those time-consuming jobs that cause you more frustration than they are worth

And if one of those onerous tasks is Social Media, then get in touch and let’s see if that’s something I can help you with.

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