How Many Hats Can You Wear on One Head?


Post for a Social Media ProducerThe other day I was having lunch at Roll On Sushi Diner in Austin, and something caught my attention. I watched as 9 or 10 people scurried about preparing food, filling drinks, taking orders and delivering bills. It took a team to complete my dining experience efficiently, and if only one person ran the entire operation – I might still be there waiting on my order.

At Speak Social, I constantly battle with company’s wanting to hire an in-house Social Media Specialist as an employee.

I started thinking about all the skillsets that someone must possess in order to capture every avenue of Social Media (i.e. writing, Search Engine Optimization [SEO], video, Community Management, design/development, strategic planning, etc.). If you dare to calculate in time and efficiency for each channel, you would cry for the one person attempting to do it all.

As I watched the restaurant staff, I thought about how ridiculous it is to hire one person to replace a team. What if the person that greeted you at the door handled your entire dining experience? It would look like this …

The host or hostess (always need to be P.C.) greets you at the door and seats you. She hands you a menu, and runs to fill your drink order.

She hustles back with your drinks and to take your order, but there’s little time for chit-chat because she’s off to prepare your food. Don’t worry about your questions as to whether the hostess is prepared to cook; this is simple stuff – right?

If one person were to seat people, manage the table, cook the food and clean-up after, how many tables could he handle? More importantly, would he provide an excellent experience for you, as well as great food?

So the critics right now are discrediting this piece as a bad comparison due to how fast the restaurant industry must move. I would immediately challenge that because Social is no different. In a matter of seconds something posted to the Social world can spread like wildfire (food poisoning) – just ask Chrysler, the Red Cross or the U.S. Secret Service. A minute in Social is like a day in the real world. Would you put that responsibility into one person, or even one intern?

Social Media is a massive space that has a ton of moving parts. To stay ahead of research, development, content creation, campaign strategy and put everything into action while staying on message – anyone would need a team.

There are many questions you should ask yourself. How many employees would I need to get the job done right? How much can I afford for hiring someone in-house with all the necessary skills? If you think “in house” is your only option, I would look again.

We chose the team approach.

Brian Bogus

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