Get a Grip on Your Social Media Strategy

Social Media strategyI’ve been managing brands’ social media presence for over 10 years now, and I’m learning something new almost every single day. I learn from other brands’ successes as well as their mistakes, and am continuously fine tuning my strategies. If you are a community manager, I hope you can relate to some of my experiences – and share some of your own with me as well! Drama and sarcasm throughout. Enjoy.

How to have multiple personalities without having multiple personality disorder.

In my position, I manage multiple clients across many different social media networks. Every client has different objectives, different goals, and needs a distinct personality portrayed on each network. This is the art of a successful social media manager. They do the research and “become” a part of brand, immersing themselves in their clients’ respective industries to get the tone and content just right.

The golden ticket – ROI.

Every time someone asks me what the direct correlation of social media to ROI is, a unicorn cries. And while I’m smiling politely and weeping on the inside, I’m thinking, “What’s the ROI of your mother? Or a billboard?” The truth is, ROI in social media isn’t impossible, but it’s not perfect, either. You’ve got to look at the metrics, traffic, engagement and interactions.

How to prove its worth.

I can defend the value of social media for businesses like a champ. Oh yes, and even though social media is the #1 activity on that little thing called the “world wide web,” some people somehow still need convinced that a strong presence on social is valuable for their business growth.

Social media ethics.

A social media ethics policy is fundamental to your success.The difference between honesty and dishonesty here is disclosure. The FTC has made it clear that the best way to protect your company is by putting formal disclosure policies in place. has created a Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit. To get you started, here are some rules for safe social media outreach:

  • Require disclosure and truthfulness in social media.
  • Monitor the conversation and correct misstatements.
  • Create social media policies and training.

Don’t mess it up.

Cause if you do, everyone sees it. It’s out there in the socialmediasphere, and it can blow up in your face. See the social catastrophe that is Amy’s Bakery. There is no such thing as “a day off.” Social media never sleeps, and comments, questions and even fire drills can happen at any time. So, you have to be prepared, and you have to understand the importance of responding and addressing issues that arise in a timely manner.

Take risks.

Start a cool campaign, share funny stuff, and don’t just toot your own horn. Let people in, tell your brand story, and share behind-the-scenes, day-in-the-life awesomeness of your brand. Be inspirational, be human, be transparent. Show respect for your competitors or take a stand on a controversial issue. Consider letting your users upload their own content and encourage dialogue on important industry topics.

You’re exposed.

When you send an email, it goes to one person. When you send a tweet, it goes to thousands of people. Social media is the new information tool, and if you report the wrong information or post something misleading, you better bet you’re going to lose trust. Lets revisit #5, shall we?

People don’t really know what your job is.

Why, it was just yesterday that my husband needed to use the computer to make some kind of a He-Man purchase, and I said I was working. To which he said, “You’re not working; you’re on Facebook.”

There is no such thing as an “expert.”

When a new self proclaimed social media guru comes on the scene calling themselves a “Social Media Expert,” I just giggle and say, “Oh, bless your heart” in a very southern accent (makes it seem more genuine with the accent). My question is this, how can you be an expert in something that changes basically EVERY SINGLE DAY. See my next point.

New social media platform comes out that’s supposed to be “the next big thing.”

This is me:

I’ve just gotten familiar with the LAST big thing and am starting to rock it out when Gangster+ comes on the scene and my mafia clients want me to build out their presence. Side note: I don’t have any mafia clients, but that would seriously up my cool factor, if there are any takers.

So there you have it–just a few of the many things I’ve learned thus far. What have you learned about being a community manager? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Tell me in the comments!