keeping-social-media-managers-happyThis blog starts with another anecdote about my Gran.

During a recent Christmas family get-together, my Gran was ‘parading me’ around the room introducing me to our various distant family members. These occasions always remind me of a paddock; people just looking at you from afar trying to decipher whether you’re successful or not. As my Gran introduced me to YET ANOTHER cousin, she said, “this is Simon, he works for Facebook”.

Well, I’m not going to argue.

But then I got thinking, I guess in a way, all of us that work in social media do indirectly work for the various platforms. It’s our job to ‘sell’ the benefits of their channels to the client. The social media manager is the indirect sales team of Facebook, Twitter, Google+…

When, as an example, Facebook announced their latest algorithm update, there was visible annoyance in the various social media forums that I contribute too (I’d love to say that all of us social media managers meet in a car park in the dead of night, but the first rule of……..). In simple terms, their revision of the frequency in which our content will be seen, turned a majority of them away from the platform. This opinion is then portrayed to their clients, prospects, the sales team, the wider company etc. Damaging.

Of course, this works the other way around too

As another example, Twitter’s recent push on advertising capabilities has, for the most part, been a very welcome update among us. Again, this opinion is immediately conveyed to a large group of peers. Media spend is key here. Ninety per cent of social blogs at moment focus on the reported ‘millions of teens’ fleeing Facebook at the moment. A dip in us pumping media spend into Facebook is far more damaging to them in the long run. Let’s not forget that, for the majority of platforms (and more to come), media spend is the only robust revenue stream.

Gene Marks (contributing to Forbes) made a sensible point last year. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Facebook has more than a billion users. It’s run by incredibly smart people. And they’re not sitting on their heels either”. This is a point not to be overlooked, and as people in charge of spotting the latest trends / opportunities for our clients, we must keep an open mind about what these platforms are becoming. Social is now a native aspect of our lives; but we have to detach ourselves from any personal ‘grudges’ towards any particular platform.