Managing social media

The ‘Wicked Problem’ of Managing Social Media

A former co-worker of mine sent me a picture of a page from the textbook she was reading. We worked at a fairly large (only in programs, not budget) nonprofit. The passage was about a “wicked problem,” or “a problem of resolving the tension between what is needed and what can be done. The process is driven by some desire or need … expressed in the language of what ought to be done; on the other hand, the process … is constrained by resources — what can be done.”

We messaged back and forth in emojis, lamenting and relating to the definition of a wicked problem. This was our story. We had a wicked problem revolving around how to manage social media for business.

We were a budget-squeezed nonprofit with membership goals to meet, programs to run, and audiences to reach and it was stifled by our inability to manage it all, let alone learn how to manage social for Instagram and other platforms. What we needed was a project management system, updated servers, better email, an increased marketing budget, and more help to get it done. What we had was a small team wearing multiple hats trying to remember, day in and day out, why we loved our nonprofit. 

And so continues the cycle of a wicked problem.

A New Wicked Problem

At Brandon, we manage content for many social media clients and strive to make the agency the leader in what we do. We are the go-to source for social media marketing for businesses big and small. We need to be an authority, to show our clients how to manage social for Facebook as if wicked problems didn’t exist.

We are well on our way, and our clients see results, but our wicked problem is that we get bogged down in the tactical trench of social media marketing — like so many agencies. Our time gets sucked up by tasks. 

We’re looking for a way to streamline our processes and be more efficient with data and reporting. If we could minimize the time we spend on “the tasks,” we could maximize our team’s collective input and devote more time to skill development, industry trends, and thought-leading content strategies. Our potential is overwhelming! We’ve got the team, the talent, the dedication, and the support from our leadership — what we need is the tool to manage the tasks, so we can demonstrate to our clients how to manage social for Twitter and other platforms where they can see the impact.

The Mission

I set out, with Twitter in hand, to speed-date the best of the best in social media management, monitoring, listening, analytics, and data. I’d already spent countless hours (and have the timesheets to prove it — agency life, am I right?) Googling my wicked problem and feverishly signing up for free trials.

Most tools seemed right at first, but along the way, each one left me feeling disappointed and with a growing wish list. During this discovery phase, I banged around with each tool, trying to solve my wicked problem. My mission was to find the definitive answer for our team, the one tool to solve it all! There HAD to be a way to learn how to manage multiple accounts for business.


Good Enough

Want to know how to solve a wicked problem?

You don’t!

During my days at the nonprofit, whenever we were discouraged by the lack of progress, we’d roll our eyes at our wicked problem and conclude that our resolution, for the here and now, would have to be “good enough.” Good enough was the author’s answer to the wicked problem theory — a problem that can’t ever actually be solved, but one that evolves and is mitigated by good enough solutions.

I reflected on my opportunity to lament with other like minds about our own wicked problems: frustrations with the social network powers that be, the limitations of the current social tool offering, and general collective strife of working in a field that changes faster than a Twitter feed.

I realized we need to change our perspective on our wicked problem.

Do we still need a tool that helps us curate, post, monitor, engage, measure … bring us Starbucks? 

All yes. But what will be good enough? 

In this evolving world of social media and community management, it’s clear to us that there’s not a one-tool fix. But there is a good enough toolbox solution to get Brandon in a better position to maximize our clients’ reach, enrich their conversations and increase that ever-elusive ROI.

The top social networks are still snobby when it comes to access under the hood. Now we have a better understanding (and respect) of what these pioneers in social management tools are up against. One high-quality hammer won’t build a house — you need an excellent set of tools. As Brandon moves forward, we will gather tools to achieve our goals. 

We will grow as individuals and as a company, and we will deliver for our clients because right now, that’s “good enough.”

What about you? What’s your wicked problem and what is your solution?

Partner with Brandon to find your solution

Looking for social media experts who know the ins and outs of posting and monitoring, and who understand social media trends? Our community managers break down organic social media management like no other. They’ll learn about your brand and craft content calendars to reach your target audience every day. 

Reach out today and let’s see what Brandon’s team can do with your social media management.