A career in social media requires a varied skill set, but that depth and breadth can also be quite detrimental if focus is lost. Success in social media requires a full range from being detail oriented to strategic.
Mentoring community managers has pointed out a pitfall that is frequently encountered. The good news is that it is easily avoidable. What is it you ask? The need to FOCUS.
Professionals in traditional roles have established expectations. Working in evolving roles such as Community Manager or Social Media Strategist are nebulous at best. The following are generally givens:
- internal education is always needed to gain project sponsorship and budget
- innovation starts with a pilot where pilot means minimal resources for staffing and budget
- showing value and ROI takes longer due to the organic nature vs a campaign completed in a quarter
- everywhere one turns, there are things needing doing
- in most companies with progressive cultures that have embraced social media, roles blur and overlap
Those of us that have chosen this profession excel at multitasking, managing multiple projects and working cross-functionally. And we see opportunities to make an impact with social everywhere.
You may ask at this point, “Isn’t that that how it’s supposed to be and what one is supposed to be doing in these types of roles?”. My suggestion is to step back and take a look at it from management’s point of view. What do they see? They may or may not realize that all those things need to be done. If you’re working on a whole bunch of things, is enough of the main project getting done? Could you pare back to one or two main projects? Would that increase your effectiveness?
It’s really important to stop and consider if choosing to be focused can help you to be more efficient and effective. If you’re wondering where you stand in this area, a suggestion is to ask a trusted colleague or mentor in your organization what their perception is. A pilot that is done well will gain much more traction and have potential for future expansion than many small projects that may leave you feeling overextended. A moment of reflection in this area could provide a simple boost to your career.
How do you focus on priorities and manage all of the projects that need doing?