When I set out to do this Social Media consulting thing, it was with the objective to teach and share, rather than to get business and make profit. My point was always that the only really authentic way to do social media is for an organisation to speak for itself. At the time I naively thought that’s what social media consulting was all about.
Of course I have since realised that there are lots of different approaches and ideas. Most prominently PR agencies have formed digital agencies whose business model is to run a client’s social media, selling their services on the strength of authenticity and innovation.
My point is still that the only person I want to hear from, is a person inside the organisation, and ideally somewhere fairly visionary. I don’t care much for social media going the way of comms of yore, where by the time the information has filtered through the different departments and ends up with the social media person posting the updates, I might just as well be a journalist reading through a stash of press releases.
But I digress. I’m actually not as averse to digital agencies as it sounds. There is a place and a time for them. I have also seen organisations throwing a lot of money on social media and not getting much return, due to the fact that they decide *not* to have one digital agency to partner with but keep social media in-house, partnering with a variety of smaller agencies and individuals for bits and bobs here and there.
However, my idea, the “speak for yourself” model, has now proved itself. My project with the London Borough of Haringey, getting the Libraries started on twitter, has been brought to a successful conclusion when I handed it over earlier this month, and the Libraries are now tweeting for themselves. The Assistant Director for the libraries is happy with staff taking the twitter account forward and frequently gets personally involved.
I shall write up a proper updated case study with all the numbers and details, but in the meantime – I’ve shown that it can be done, is probably the most cost-effective way of doing it, and I’m available to work with other organisations to develop their social media presence. (That’s the drawback for me – I frequently get to look for new clients once I handed over another account!) I agree this model is not for every size and kind of organisation but if you know somebody who might be open to speaking for themselves – I’d be grateful for an introduction.
Ok. I will stop begging now 🙂