A job in social media – more than just setting up a Twitter account and posting company news

Updating our social media strategy and a couple of thoughts gelled for me. I’m growing tired of people with Twitter accounts or Facebook pages thinking that is the same as running these channels for a brand. It’s a little more complicated than that! And while the internet is full of best practices and people acting like they have a right to tell you what they think of what you’re doing, at the end of the day you need to build up a reputation and brand personality on these channels in a way that your customers and prospects and your own company will trust you. These are social. networks. People are not on social media to be constantly sold to.

I’ve been working this field with the same job for just over 5 years now. I can tell you that being on social media is not just about claiming an account on every conceivable channel to share news with keen fans or followers. Channels need editorial direction, management and investment and the skill required to run this environment should not be underestimated. These days social media channels are widely accepted as the first point of contact for your brand and you need the right people to manage these online relationships. You shouldn’t treat social media as channels for blatant customer acquisition – engagement is the benchmark in 2015 – the point of sale and ongoing retention is about a relationship. We need to converse with people on these channels, provide useful and helpful content, and empower them to make the right decision.

The challenge when your company grows is maintaining consistency – your channels have increased in followers and engagement over the years, you’ve built up rapport with frequent posters and recognize avatars from years gone by, so how do you introduce new people to do something more than pump out stuff the marketing or PR team gives them or not be over-the-top smarmy when helping with support questions or completely missing the tone or not having the skill to read between the lines when you’re dealing with all manner of questions and comments fired at you in 140 characters or less? This is where a mission statement for your social media efforts overall, and per channel comes in, where a content calendar can guide the right tone and messaging to help maintain consistency. Just because setting up and using a social media account is available to anyone, doesn’t mean that’s the right experience to run a brand channel on it’s own. It’s actually not easy – you’re becoming an unedited spokesperson for your brand, the voice of the company and with this comes great responsibility – new folks to your social media team should be trained and guided. This is where I struggle a bit – I am where I am today by basically feeling my way through it and find it quite hard to teach that, and even harder to push back and explain why social media accounts should continue to be tightly managed.


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