I was, and still am, the go-to social media guy for my friends and family, and thought I knew a lot. With that attitude I went on a job interview in Brussels and, lo and behold, I actually got a job.
Good for me. But now it was time to put my money where my mouth was.
I started with the social media strategy, because that’s what you do, right?
My strategy did not have much to do with content creation, however. What I did was figure out where I wanted to end up, what my personal, ideal view on the use of social media was—based on the books and blog posts I had read.
It was too ambitious.
The company I worked for had 200 employees, supplied customers in the Brussels area, and had an old-school command-and-control culture.
There were other issues. All departments happily existed within their own silos, quite a few employees are permanently stationed at a remote client location, and I was a foreigner who did not know the language well. (It’s French; although Brussels is supposed to be bilingual, it really isn’t).
I was realizing I did not have a strategy issue. I was facing a culture issue.
My first lesson: As a social media professional, you depend on other people and departments to get things done.