1. Profile photo of Cathy Roosa

    Social media strategists, or managers, are becoming increasingly in demand as companies learn more about the importance of their online presence. How do you hire a social media strategist? Some companies seem to focus on simply finding someone who knows how to use the technology, while the focus should be on whether or not they can be effective marketers.

    When it comes down to it, there is no reason a social media manager should have a background any different from any other communications, or marketing professional. Understanding audiences is key, and the distribution of messages is fundamentally the same as it has always been with a single exception- things are now immediate- causing companies to need to dedicate an entire position, or multiple positions to the management of their social media. The following five things are not the only things your social media manager needs to know, but hopefully they will help you in evaluating who should be managing your social media.

    5. Social media in itself is a platform, not a strategy

    Participating in social media is just not a strategy in and of itself. Think of social media as a way of distributing a message. For example, the term ‘social media’ could be interchangeable with ‘magazines.’

    Ex. We are going to have a presence in magazines.

    What magazines specifically? GQ and Home and Gardens.

     

    We are going to have a presence in social media.

    What social media specifically? Twitter and Facebook.

     

    For each you would then have a strategy:

    We are going to place full page ads in the form of advertorials every two months.

    We are going to host giveaways through live tweets every two months.

    4. The same strategy cannot be used for every social media platform

    This is as basic as the fact that all social media platforms do not work in the same way. For example, on Twitter you can tweet at one of your followers, see every person who is following you, and read all of their profiles. While on Facebook you have a completely different view of who ‘likes’ your page and you do not have access to their information except for in the form of analytics.
     

    What does this really mean?
    You can search keywords on Twitter and tweet directly at every person who mentions your brand. You simply could never do this on Facebook, or various other social media. Therefore, the same strategy can not possibly be used for every social media platform.

    3. Who are your target audiences?

    Any marketing professional has a full understanding of their target audience. They know how old they are, where they live, what their family structure is, and specific to a social media manager, what social media they are most likely to participate in.

    How do users interact with the specific social media? Do they share intimate photos with loved ones? Will they be offended if they receive a business proposition on this social media? Do they use it mainly for business?

    2. Users know when they are being spammed.

    A large difference between social media and traditional media, is the perception of brands within the space. Customers expect to come across advertisements in magazines, and on television, but are not always as accepting when it comes to brands invading their social space. You will find that customers will often want you there so they can complain to you, or give you praise, but do not like to be approached nearly as much as they like to approach you. Listen. Participate in conversation. Do not respond to every person who tweets about a cell phone with a message about how your cell phone is the best with a link to your website. They will unfollow/block you and even more likely, be left with a bad taste in their mouth. DO respond to statements about cell phones with a legitimate observation, or add to the social conversation. Your account, with its company profile, should give users all of the information they need about your organization without you putting it in their face.

    1. Audiences know, appreciate, and even love transparency.

    Don’t pretend to be someone else. Don’t make 16 accounts and pretend to be people who just happen to love your company and send links to everyone. Ambassadors are fine, but these people need to state in their profile information that they are ambassadors for your brand. If you tweet from your personal account about your brand, make sure you add that you work for them.

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