Responsible Staffing and Resourcing in Social Media

We’ve moved beyond the “what is social media and why should I be doing it” question and into the “it’s a strategic priority but how do I plan for it” question. More and more clients are looking for this answer but specifically within there is the unknown around staffing and resourcing. There are lots of points of view out there and I haven’t quite nailed down my own yet, but I do know that there is a severely irresponsible point of view that I’ve seen floating around online.

“Social media should be 1% of 100 people’s jobs, not 100% of one person’s job”

It’s a pithy soundbite and one that I’m sure will be tweeted, retweeted and be embedded in many a slide deck, but even as a soundbite it is woefully misleading.

There are 2400 minutes in a work week (based on an eight hour day, five days a week). 1% of that is…24 minutes. Not even one billable element in some company’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems. How much can you get done in 24 minutes? Now factor in that changing tasks takes about 15 minutes to get refocused. That’s 9 minutes of productivity. Now let’s add in prioritisation (my main theme for social media in 2011) – what message are you sending to your employees if you’re asking them to spend 1% of their time on something?

Do you think people will overlook the 1% task in favour of something more mission critical?

Finally, in the RASCI model, who has to take responsibility and accountability for that 100 people working 24 minutes a week?

I’m in agreement social media within the organisation can’t be one person’s responsibility but you can’t devolve and dilute responsibility to the employee base either. The answer has to be somewhere in-between – and anyone telling you differently is being irresponsible.

UPDATE: Interesting conversation on Twitter about this:

One Response to Responsible Staffing and Resourcing in Social Media

  1. […] Responsible Staffing and Resourcing in Social Media | Ed Lee – good points on the realpolitik of a business versus the pervasive nature of social media […]

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