I have just read an article by Melonie Gallegos in iMedia Connection on “9 social media questions you’re afraid to ask”. There are lots of good points in it, but one thing that I disagree with in the “What if I don’t have the resources to do it?” section. Melonie talks about what to do if there is not enough resource in the marketing department to undertake social media. She suggests seeking out geeks in the organisation and recruiting them to help, while I say – don’t search out the geeks to help you, search out the communicators!
Geeks love technology but they are often some of the worst people at communicating. On the other hand there are lots of people in most organisations who are already great communicators. They may be anyone from receptionists to project managers to HR specialists but they will stand out because you can see how well they engage people offline. It is far easier to train them in social media than it is to train most geeks to engage the people with whom they have online discussions.