Many people wonder what working in social media is all about. You can’t visit a blog or read a newspaper these days without hearing about this social media stuff. There are many facets to social media. Right now I’m going to give a high level view of what I do and a few things to consider. This is the first of many posts where I’ll be sharing my experience in the world of social media.
Take into account that while I know a lot about SM, I am not claiming to be: a guru, evangelist, strategist, expert, wizard or whatever else social media people call themselves these days. It’s an evolving trend that keeps me on my toes because it changes so often. No one is an expert. While I do spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter, it’s not like I’m playing Farmville or tweeting at Kim Kardashian all day long.
As with any form of advertising and marketing, strategy is key. Part of my job is to determine why a brand would need social media as part of an integrated strategy. BUZZWORD ALERT: Integrated simple means it’s consistent with the rest of the marketing and advertising. Think TV, Print, Outdoor, Radio etc. Most people would assume that if you’re getting lots of fans and followers, you are doing well. WRONG! Engagement is the most important aspect of any social media plan. Why invite 500 people to your party if no one will be talking about it afterwards?
Engaging: If you for one second think that Britney Spears herself is sending all those tweets and replies, you’re kidding yourself. Just like companies, celebrities are brands too. They have people to take care of their brand voice, and respond accordingly. This is called engaging. Social media allows a 2 way communication between the brand and the people. Doesn’t get more social than that!
Listening: Believe it or not, at this point many brands have people like myself that spend a lot of time scouring the web for mentions of their brand. If you tweet or post a blog about a company, you best believe that someone at that company will be reading and taking action. Well, the good companies do that. This is one of the reasons social media is so powerful. If you have an issue, you can tweet it to the world and most likely that brand will contact you to solve your problem. Preferably within 24 hours or so.
Writing Content: No one likes to go to a party where no one is talking. So I spend a great deal of my time researching, writing and editing content for my brands to post on their social platforms. There are really no rules, except that content must be within the guidelines of a brand. So Martha Stewart won’t be posting about the MTV Movie Awards anytime soon.
Reporting: This part’s for all the MBA’s and suits out there and is the most unglamorous part of the job. At the end of the month, we prepare an overview of mentions, engagement, impressions and lots of other number based stuff to send off to our clients. This in turn helps them prove that there is some form of ROI (return on investment.) The key here is determining what you goals are from the start, and understanding that SM is an evolving medium, just like everything else.
Learning I spend a lot of time during my day, both at work and home, scouring the web for the latest and greatest information related to marketing, advertising, design, social media and many other topics. I watch webinars, attend conferences such as Social Media Week and basically sleep, eat and breathe social media. The more rounded I can be, the more effective my work becomes for my employer and clients. As I said at the beginning of this post, it’s an ever evolving medium. I’ll admit it’s a lot of work to stay updated on this stuff, but it can be done. Look for my next post for tips on how to devour the amount of information it requires to keep current in this crazy world of social media!
Remember each day is different (cliché statement, but true) and this is not a complete list of what we, the social media people, do for our careers. It’s too much to list here, and differs depending on the workplace and/or clients.
Challenge for you: Since most people are so keen on criticizing the smallest fault with brands, why not say something positive? Mention the brand in a blog post, tweet or Facebook update (if you profile is public, otherwise they can’t listen because your posts are private) and see what happens. Comment below and tell me how it went.