Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Time Manage Your Social Media

Volume: March-mid 2010

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com 


Jason finally joined LinkedIn. He quickly became engrossed with his connection possibilities. Soon he transcended business activity (and work-sanity as we know it) and began to rediscover old friends and acquaintances via a blur of social media. Minutes turned into hours and, voila, Jason’s afternoon of productive labor was sucked into a vortex of misused social media.


The above scenario is every leader’s nightmare – team members obliterating real productivity by engaging in the wrong kind of social media. Fortunately, our leadership dreams do not need to end in darkness. The issue becomes, however, how do we avoid social media folly? The answer is easy, just follow these simple guidelines: 

  1. Reach a consensus regarding approved social media for your company or team.  My recommendation is to choose three or four (no more) social media that are a fit for your organization. The big kahunas on the block are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. There are a litany of others, all with interesting bells and whistles, and followed by loyal bands of devotes.
  2. Have a strategy.  Studies have shown that fewer than 5% of organizations have any kind of social media strategy – don’t be part of the 95%. You know your business and your market. Learn more about selected social media. As you learn, it will become clear which ones are a fit for your brand and sales channels. 
  3. Time Management. Perhaps the most important of all these guidelines is to coach your people so that they manage their social media time effectively. Think of it this way, if your team members were debating on the merits of attending an in-person networking event, they would weigh travel time to and from the event, as well as the length of the event versus the perceived benefits that could result from their precious investment of time. Encourage them to think of and plan their social media time in the same manner. We have to manufacture time, and not waste a minute of it.   
  4. Track Results. As Peter Drucker correctly stated: “You can only manage what you measure.” Therefore, the results that are achieved from social media strategy clearly need to be tracked. Determine what trackable measures make sense for your business and communicate your expectations to your team. Think goals. The clearer you define them, the more your team will strive to blow them out.

Social media is not a fad. It will change in shape and form, but it needs to be embraced. If you are having trouble conceptualizing the merits of social media, simply view it as another means of communication, of reaching out and connecting with others. We have more means than ever before to communicate our message, and if we communicate effectively the results we can achieve are impressive and measurable. In the process, you will give your valued customers and prospects an abundance of methods to connect with you. 


Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and communication consultant, executive coach, and business planner. His mom often complemented him for having a “darn good head on his shoulders.” Doug is also the author of Leadership Simplified – THE Field Guide for Savvy Leaders.  Doug’s audios and videos are also available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about consulting services, coaching, and training, or to have Doug speak at your next event, contact him today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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