Who Will Speak for You on Social Media?


In our previous post, Think About Your Approach to Social Media: Be A Person, we took a look at some considerations and tactics for approaching social media. This post we talk about talking, and who in your enterprise will speak on social media.

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Who’s Going to Do It?

There’s a social science theoretical concept called Dunbar’s number[1] that posits a limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. The generally accepted value for Dunbar’s number is 150. This means the average human can maintain up to 150 stable social relationships.

But you want to have relationships online with many more. So how are you going to do that?

Well, if you accept the concept of Dunbar’s number, and you want to maintain relationships with thousands of supporters, you’re going to need lots of people, like:

  • You
  • Your staff, management, customers
  • Your boosters and evangelists

Kind of scary, eh? Letting your staff represent your business without a filter or editor is an obstacle many organizations can never get over. Some enterprises worry about confidential material getting out via social media. Um, hello? Everyone in your enterprise has email, both business and personal, and probably several social media accounts. If they wanted to let cats out of the bag, they’d already be doing it.

The difference between what’s happening now, and what we’re encouraging you to let happen is you’ll support your staff’s online interactions, giving them policy guidelines, talking points and a schedule of initiatives. You get to plan it. Today you’re not at all in control. You don’t know what they’re saying, and you have no real way of stopping them from saying it.

Don’t believe us? Google your staff. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

What did you find out? Hopefully nothing terrible . . .

We’re betting you found that your staff is pretty engaged in social media. Great! You’ve got some expertise you can leverage. Now give them some action items, and guidelines, as they engage with your community. And begin leveraging the power of their commitment to your business.


Who Will Speak for You on Social Media? is the 52nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 180. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: How Will You Speak on Social Media?


[1] Dunbar’s Number: bit.ly/bgZ4jh

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About NextPhase Selling

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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