Using social media to address specific needs, without a strategic plan, can damage the image of a company.
In certain areas, the role of social media manager shows a process of “de-professionalization”, especially in the case of small businesses. Some employees have an advanced knowledge of these tools and this function falls on them.
Resorting to employees to manage corporate social media is not necessarily negative (in small companies) although, obviously, a professional could get the most out of these resources.
There are some companies, such as Duarte, where the Twitter profile of the CEO, Nancy Duarte, is much more followed than the corporate profile. But this is a rare case. Usually, most senior executives have a conservative and very limited knowledge of social media that doesn’t helps to promote the company.
The main drawback of assigning the task of managing social media to one of the employees lies in their poor capacity and authority to impose a common methodology to the entire company, often aggravated by a corporative culture that doesn’t understands the real utility of these tools.
In these cases, social media become a tool for specific needs, when they should be part of an overall strategic marketing plan.
Often, small businesses need to promote an event, publish a document, create a video, etc. If they don’t have a digital marketing professional, they usually turn to social media as the “easiest” way to publish that information.
Thus, they open a group on LinkedIn, create a blog or upload a video to YouTube. These platforms allow them to solve that specific need, but when used without a strategic plan that frames their function, social media may end up being counterproductive for the company.
A group on LinkedIn, a blog or a YouTube channel should be created after having planned in detail how it will be used, who will manage it, what information will be published, which will be the periodicity of publication and how much time it will take.
The vast majority of unsuccessful attempts with social media by enterprises stem from not having planned these points.
When a Twitter profile or a blog are created following a specific need, soon it becomes clear that the person in charge of social media cannot devote them enough time and the other employees and senior executives don’t collaborate generating content because understand its utility (or they simply don’t know how to generate content for social media).
Finally, the company has an outdated profile with dispersed content and poorly written posts of no interest. The message transmitted about the company is clear: carelessness and lack of coordination.