Change Ahead: Building Flexibility Into Your Social Strategy

by Kristy Bolsinger July 27th, 2011 

lady standing on her hands, legs folded behind her head

Our online world changes faster and faster every day. Social media has become a core element of this online world. In order for organizations – of all sizes – to maintain relevance they have to be able to keep up and stay in the know on these changes. For many however, this can feel like an overwhelming task. Already over-resourced groups don't have time to do the work currently on their plate let alone keep up with the every whim and fancy of the social media space.

Nor should they.

If you're in one of these organizations, whether in a leadership role or otherwise – I'm telling you now: Stop.

Stop trying to chase down every new shiny object. Don't follow every white rabbit. You have a business to run. You have products to iterate. You have employees to manage. You have money to make.

At this point you may be wondering how you're supposed to maintain relevance and current-up-to-date knowledge without sacrificing your attention span, productivity or bottom line. It's a very common question. Well, here's the thing…actually, two things.

Social Media is a Noun. Not a Verb.

Let's take an objective look at it. The root term is "media". In other words, a medium of communication. Everything we layer on top of that – Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc – is a tool for facilitating communication on this medium. Twitter is not a strategy. Facebook is not a plan. They are tools that you can utilize in the execution of your operational goals but nothing more.

Don't Organize Into Paralysis.

You already know that things are going to change. Set yourself up for success by creating organizational structure that allows you to bend and remain as fluid as possible. Don't create training, for example, that is so myopic your employees are unable to transfer that knowledge to a new tool (see previous point). Create governance and policies that empower rather than limit. Educate on the 'why' and employees will be able to implement the 'how' without codifying governance that you are burdened to constantly update.

By maintaining focus on the fact that these new shiny objects are all just tools in your arsenal you can focus on creating those lasting deep relationships with your customers. You know…that part that really matters. By creating an organization that is set up to focus on the "why" and the customer you will find that the result is more capable, self-reliant and flexible than ever before. You will no longer need to fear constant change you will embrace it and learn to become excited and invigorated by it. Your employees will have that sense of empowerment that allows them to innovate

Kristy Bolsinger

Kristy Bolsinger is a Senior Associate at PwC in Seattle, WA. She has previously worked at Ant's Eye View (acquired by PwC in 2012), and RealNetworks (GameHouse). Prior to her time at RealNetworks, and Ant's Eye View - Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing her MBA at Willamette University. She maintains a social media blog and can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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