Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How To Explain Social Media To Someone Who Does Not Really Care

Do you Facebook, or Twitter, or are a member of LinkedIN or any other number of social media network sights? In my non PF life, I have accounts on all three.  I barely use them, except for Facecrack. I am still a bit addicted to Farmtown.  I post the odd comment on Twitter when the mood strikes. 

My boss has decided that he wants our business to be a part of social media.  Ok, fine. The problem is, he has nary a clue about social media and what it entails to participate in it. He says he knows "all about Twitter" yet when it came time to sign up (he did not have an account), has nary a clue about what to do or how to follow the person who sent him the invite.  Our company has a web site and a company that designed the site and is supposed to help it in things like SEO, keywords, etc.  The problem is anything other than the basic hosting is done on an hourly rate or a project rate.  They are also offering training on Twitter, Facebook, etc

Our web company had a mini phone meeting with us and has delivered a new proposal.  It's not cheap, but my gut feeling is IF my boss will spend some time doing the networking on his end, IT may be useful to us.  I don't see many "consulting" companies similar to ours using these sites.

I had a meeting with my boss about two months ago and we discussed using Facebook and Twitter. I told him that while I could set up an office account, in order to make it effective, he would need to broadcast to his contact base the accounts and would have to monitor those accounts.  He wants to develop a professional network on these two media outlets with links back to our company's web site. He wants our company's  web site to be in the top 3 of the various search engine web pages if someone puts in the key words pertaining to our business in our area.  What he does not want to do is the SOCIAL part, which is reach out to former and current clients and alert them to our new venture. He wants our web company to do all that work and us to reap the benefit of their work.

That ain't the funciton of a social network.  We are not LL Bean with a ton of fans of LL Bean that will look for us on Facebook.  We are a small company in New England that has been around for a number of years doing acceptable work in our field.  We also don't have the manpower at the office to maintain Twitter account with numerous tweets through out the day. I also have a number of consultants in my office that are just not that comfortable on the computer, they can barely handle their e-mail.  I can't see them utilizing Twitter to increase their business. My boss also wants to 'own' and have editorial control over their Facebook and Twitter accounts. He does not understand that most of those accounts are personal and not work based.

This is one of the frustrating aspects of my "full time" job. My boss has these great ideas, but once he finds out how much time is involved and how much money, he balks, or in this case, the web company is full of it and does not want to take on this project.  Well they are not full of it.  They are running a business just like we are running a business. They are not in our field, they helped to develop and launch our  web site.  I don't have the time in my day to Twitter for work. I do have the time, but it would be at the expense of the other projects that he wants done.  Given the current job market I am half tempted to tell him to shove the Twitter aspect up his you know what, but there are no other jobs (at the moment) that I can go to. We also don't have anyone else in the company at this time who would be good at maintaining a professional Twitter account.  I wish we did, I'd happily let them Twitter away. Like I said, my boss does not quite get the concept that he is going to have to find time to search Facebook and Twitter and look for collegues and customers, I can search a bit, but he's the owner of the company and has 30 years of connections, I have about 2.5 years of connections.

So what am I going to do? I am going to send him a report on the proposal and remind him that we had a meeting and conversation about Facebook and see what happens from there. I just have this feeling he will lose interest in the project 1/4 of the way in and "dump" it on me. I did tell him in a meeting I think we need to focus on what we do well and not take on so many projects that we don't do well in.  The comment back was we need to stay ahead of the competition so we need new projects.  Yes, but not when we can't finish them and get them out to our clients and the public.
Oh well, add that to my list of frustrations, I'm off to play Farmtown.


Family Man said...

Social Media is still so new, it's been hard for some folks to catch on.

Dawn said...

Twitter seems to be dying a little, but with companies what I am seeing is one Tweet a day or less. Even one a week is acceptable, unless you have something really pressing. Could you take on the social networking portion as a sideline? Would it be of interest to you to see if you could get overtime hours or work it from a freelance contract worker standpoint? Barring that, can you get an intern?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't he pay you to do the networking and 'looking for contacts' for him? That would give you extra hours - and could you possibly do them one day a week and do them from home?



Bouncing Back said...

Susan-I'd love to do some of the work from home, like on my forced day off. Now to convince the boss it would be a good idea!

Dawn: Nope, no interns here! I wish we could get someone to do some of the computer work like Twitter and Facebook.

Stasi said...

Aside from the not caring part, you should checkout the thirty day challenge going on now. seems like what you may be FREE is a good price