Entries Tagged 'Work' ↓

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.

Social media rules for running your business accounts

Useful things to think about if you’re using social media in your business. Some great ones and things I stick by.

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A lot of people just see social media as a place to waste time and talk to friends and people virtually.
The 36 Rules of Social Media

Dealing with trolls online

It’s pretty tough to be on the end of vicious commentary and so often I’m unsure if these people even realize there’s a real human being at the other end. Would they speak to my face like that? (Note this is what I deal with sometimes at work, not personally, thankfully!)

“Many have asked whether the cozy veil of online anonymity mostly encourages well-intentioned truth telling or mostly emboldens people to act like assholes.”

How To Cope With The Shit Trolls Say Behind That Cozy Veil Of Online Anonymity

A splash of orange on the front page

Xero has been profiled by The Muse – a site that profiles cool company cultures, jobs and offices. Of course what company is cooler than indulging in some mad orange woman’s glowing orange workspace? So I ended up in a tile on the front page ๐Ÿ™‚

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And then there’s the entire PAGE dedicated to The Mister – photos, videos and quotes.

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Not stock photography

It does look a bit posed but this article about Xero’s growth that appeared on a well known IT website today features yours truly as the headline photo! Feeling quite famous actually ๐Ÿ™‚

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Xero Hits 135,000 Customers, on Track to Double Revenue

Twitter 201

Moving a little beyond the 101 getting-started-with-Twitter posts about what you might say or why you might want a Twitter account and the practicalities of using it, here are some 201-level Twitter tips I’ve learned along the way managing company and personal accounts.

  • If you manage more than one account, ALWAYS check you’re tweeting from the right account – I still do this after 3 years. Every tweet.
  • Damn-you-autocorrect can also play havoc with your tweets – read before you tweet! “Not sure who you ate – what’s your email address?” isn’t good when you mean “Don’t know who you are …”
  • Check your links!! Especially where you’re reusing a shortened link posted by someone else. The dropped http:// off the front of mycool.url doesn’t always translate well.
  • To give you that split second chance to have a doubt re 1, 2 or 3 above, check how your Twitter app publishes tweets – many of them have a feature to disable submit on click. Means you don’t accidentally hit the return key and prematurely tweet.
  • Learn where your mentions are people! (That’s when someone uses @yourtwittername in their tweet.) It’s especially important when the tweet starts with @yourtwittername because that’s basically a question or comment directed at you so a lot of times it should get a response, or at least be read. If someone doesn’t respond to me when I @mention them I often go look at their Twitter stream, and what do I see? A broadcast list, all tweets from them or RT’s, no responses to people. This is low engagement. Fine if that’s what you’re after but I do find it rather rude to leave @mentions with no response. And on that note – if you start at tweet with @theirtwittername – only people who follow you both them will see it. If you want everyone to see the tweet, start it with some other word, one that doesn’t being with @
  • RT (re-tweet) – think about how this works and how you want the tweet to appear in your stream. Sometimes if it’s important to be associated with the Twitter account that tweeted it, like you got mentioned by a big brand, don’t edit it or fiddle with it, just RT it so that THEIR logo ends up in your stream. Otherwise it’s your face, again.
  • Don’t plagiarize. I realize this isn’t a regulated medium but I recognize my tweets. Passing them off as yours with no reference might make you feel busy and important but it makes me feel used. We’re all trying to build our brand and being seen to follow or read or have an association with a brand might do you just as much good as seeming to have an original thought or comment about something yourself. It’s a doggy-dog retweeing world out there!
  • Be wary of scheduled and automated tweets and make sure you use this as it makes sense for your company. Scheduled tweets can backfire – even if they work, you don’t know what’s gone on in the night when your tweet goes out – if people are having issues with your app or some major news has broken, your ‘yippee vote for us we’re so cool’ tweet doesn’t look good. We’ve all read the stuff about being personal if you want to have a successful brand on social media, so be present to be personal. Clocky or some other timezone calculator is your friend – you can catch your followers in all timezones if you’re smart about it. If you auto-tweet something, perhaps blog posts or status updates, think about how the title or snippet that’s auto-tweeted stands alone. In the case of a blog, your post title in a stream doesn’t have the benefit of the full post or even first paragraph to further explain the title. To increase readership, re-tweeting and engagement, make the title interesting. Mystery and intrigue is good, but you have just a moment to get someone to click on a link so make that title count!
  • What is it with all the # tags? The idea of a hashtag is to build a stream or common topic that people might follow, saving them from following all the people that might be tweeting about the topic. Think of a hashtag as a keyword and build momentum and engagement for something by being consistent. If you’re at an event or conference definitely use the hashtag – again, don’t underestimate the power of your brand popping up in an event stream. #every #other #word in a #tweet isn’t really helpful and is actually #really #hard to #read #imsocoolimadeupaniftyhashtag.

What does your avatar say about you?

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but that’s pretty much what you have to do with a tiny 40-40 pixel graphic on Twitter when someone’s tweet pops into your stream. (Avatar = identity graphic.) Obviously you can attempt to see what makes the person tick by reading their stream but if you have a busy account and you’re in a situation where tweets in your stream need more than a passing read, they need a comment or help, it’s hard not make a first impression based on the avatar.

I try really hard not to and for the most part do a good job of remaining neutral, but it has got me thinking about how people choose to display themselves in tiny form – with a tiny image and a tiny sentence of 140 characters. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and have come across my fair share of avatars, and not just in passing, where I actually have to converse with the tweeter. Sometimes your impression of their avatar turns out to be exactly right, other times not.

Here are my tiny identities – personal & work:

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What does your avatar say about you? Is your avatar

  • your happy smiling best this-is-the-real-me family snap
  • a professional agency shot with lighting and smooth skin
  • a drunken cuddle-buddy photo
  • a porn star boobie or other body shot
  • something from your corporate photo session
  • a serious face
  • a really angry finger-pointing or know-it-all self portrait
  • someone else’s face
  • pics of your kids or pets or a cat pic downloaded from the internet
  • a company logo
  • an arty something or other – what kids think electricity looks like or a heart beat or something
  • a landmark or national monument or tree or flower or fruit (ha! I’m in this group)
  • the faceless Twitter egg
  • a cartoon or mask
  • some other inanimate object – a car, a plane, a rocket … in fact what could we read into that choice?

There’s definitely no right or wrong, I just think it’s interesting. I have to say it is harder tweeting in response to someone with an angry face vs someone with a smiling face!

My 12 steps to avoid Community Manager burnout

This might be a strange exercise to do in this format but after going to a Community Management workshop recently and hearing a stat that Community Managers usually burn-out after 18 months, I realized that I’ve been doing this for 3 years and either coping remarkably well or have burnt out and just don’t know it. Although I thought burning out meant you couldn’t function much any more or spent a considerable amount of time in the corner or under your desk crying or eating way too many Advils. I thought about some of the things discussed at the workshop and how some traits of the job which turn out to be common to Community Managers all over the world define us and some mechanisms for coping.

12 steps to avoid Community Manager burnout

  1. admit you are doing it all on your own, that you have been for too long, and that this might not be the best thing for your company. Dedication to your job doesn’t have to equal no sharing and unhealthy, unsociable, stressful behavior
  2. try to do one thing at a time, like dealing with emails in turn, oldest to newest, people will phone you if it’s urgent
  3. see the funnel, be the funnel รขโ‚ฌยฆ realize that it’s OK to not know all the answers to all the questions, your job is a funnel or more likely one of those Willy Wonka contraptions for collecting and getting information from one place to another and connecting people or questions with the right people or answers
  4. create a system for keeping up with who you’ve asked for more information from
  5. believe, really believe, that asking for help or an assistant is not admitting failure, and ask for it
  6. look at your book or your husband as the last thing you see before you go to sleep at night, not your iPad
  7. identify something you can do for yourself – actually doing it probably occurs in the next 12 steps! But identifying it is half the battle.
  8. walk to work or walk to get your coffee, fresh air is your friend
  9. make a connection or friends with another Community Manager
  10. call your mother
  11. accept that just because you don’t get praise very often that you’re still doing a good job, your peers just honestly can’t see all the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep a community busy and happy
  12. book at least one day’s vacation, even if that’s a weekend day.

Office tour

This video is a bit jerky but I took a bit of a sweep around our end of StartupHQ – the shared warehouse space we’re currently based in.

Video extras

This video was just released today – a little promotional piece on the Kiwi Landing Pad where our offices are in San Francisco – taken a little while ago before we moved downstairs. Some bit of footage of The Mister and I being busy and important in the office ๐Ÿ™‚