When determining how to manage social media marketing efforts, many businesses – particularly smaller businesses – default to putting the intern in charge.
And why not?
They have time. They’re young and ‘into social media’. They have 1,000 Facebook friends, and 2,000 Twitter followers.
They’re perfect, right?
Well, not exactly. Putting an intern in charge of your business’ social media marketing is all but a guaranteed recipe for disappointment. Here are a few reasons why:
Do you expect them to fully understand and drive results for your business?
In order for social media marketing activity to generate real results for your business, a solid understanding of your business is required. Sure you can have others assist with developing your social media strategy, but at the end of the day, the person/people responsible for bringing it to life on a day-to-day basis, and those who will be engaging and interacting with your audience, need to know how to do these things in meaningful, impactful, and strategically relevant ways to your business.
Do you think they’ll be able to correlate all of your business’ functions and apply them to social media activity?
Activity on social media tends to yield the best results when it works in concert with other business functions such as marketing, advertising, sales, human resources, operations, customer service, and more. Simply put, for interns or junior employees to be able to draw connections between all of these functions and correlate them to appropriate efforts on social media will be all but impossible for them to pull off with any level of effectiveness.
Are you expecting them to be champions of social media for your organization?
Particularly in organizations with small social media teams, or perhaps no social media team, you need individuals involved to be real champions for your social media marketing efforts to ensure they are sustained and carried out with dedication and integrity.
Additionally, they should be able to fulfill responsibilities including the delegation of content creation, work with individuals that are resistant to contributing to your business’ social media activity, measure, analyze, interpret and make learning from analytics applicable and actionable, justify resources for social media to management, and many more. If your interns can fulfill these types of responsibilities, I’d love to know where you’re finding them.
What results do you expect to achieve in the next 4 months?
By their nature, internships are limited term employment and learning opportunities for those who fill them. Social media, on the other hand, requires long-term and consistent investment and effort. Needless to say, it’s far less than ideal to have to train someone new to fulfill your business’ needs on social media every three to four months. Also, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve long-term goals without long-term leadership and consistency.
These are just a few of the reasons why putting an intern in charge of your business’ social media presence is not advisable. Just like any business function, achieving real results through social media requires experience, expertise, strategy, problem solving, management, project management, and many more qualities that just aren’t characteristic of, or found, in your average intern.
In your opinion, what are some of the drawbacks of putting an intern in charge of a business’ social media efforts?
If you’ve hired or assigned an intern to manage your social media properties, how did it work for you?
If you have any thoughts on this, it would be great to chat with you more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
It can be beneficial for businesses of any size to encourage everyone in the organization to create and capture social media content. Increased diversity, fresh perspective, capitalizing on opportunities, having a sense of involvement and contribution, greater volume, shared responsibility, and better quality are just some of the benefits that can be experienced by involving an entire staff in content creation, versus the onus being placed squarely on one person’s shoulders.
The trouble with this approach to content creation is to do with the practicality of curating content from a potentially large number of sources. Also, encouraging the creation of content that is specifically for your organization can be a headache to say the least.
So, how can these challenges be overcome? Try using Twitter hashtags.
Choose a Hashtag
Select a hashtag for your coworkers or employees to use on all of the relevant content they are posting to their personal social graphs. This will allow you to easily follow and search for this content, and won’t require major adjustments to their natural use of Twitter.
Monitor the Hashtag
Set up a stream in HootSuite or TweetDeck to monitor the content your coworkers or employees are posting and tagging using the hashtag you’ve selected. This should give you a steady stream of relevant content to post on your organization’s social media properties.
Curate, Schedule and Post the Best Content
After you’ve got your streams in HootSuite or TweetDeck set up, all that will be left is curating the very best content that is being published, editing the content you’d like to repost, and then scheduling or posting your content.
By using Twitter hashtags to curate relevant content that your coworkers or employees are creating, you’re streamlining the process of content creation, collection, editing, and publishing by tapping their natural use of social media.
All of this said, you shouldn’t expect that just because you’ve organized a Twitter hashtag that everyone in your organization will automatically become a content producing machine. However, this approach will cater to those individuals who regularly use social media and will naturally be your top content contributors, and perhaps because of the ease of contributing, could result in a greater number of contributions from people who would otherwise be less keen to get involved.
How do you curate content that is being produced from various sources within your organization?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
There are many great articles about the qualities that high-performing community managers should possess. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find pages of great resources.
Despite this, there are a few qualities that I feel are of great importance, but that I virtually never see listed in these articles. So, following is a list of 6 qualities that my experience has shown to set high-performing community managers apart from the rest, and that I don’t frequently see discussed.
Social media can play a significant role in telling any brand’s story, and works best when working with other communication channels. Brand experience gives community managers a better sense for how to contribute to a brand’s story, will help with producing meaningful and relevant content, and will keep the tone and voice of the brand consistent through the line.
PRODUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE
As important as it is to be an amazing writer, the reality of any robust content strategy is that it will likely involve the use of other forms of content such as photographs, audio and video. I always feel that community managers should play a role in producing these forms of content to ensure brand tone and voice consistency, and to apply their familiarity and understanding of the communities they manage to ensure content will be well received.
Without at least a base-level understanding of business, a community manager will be hard-pressed to deliver as strongly as possible on any KPIs that are tied to business objectives.
This is self-explanatory, but being an amazing editor is absolutely critical. Many great writers aren’t necessarily the best editors, and some aren’t disciplined enough to thoroughly edit unplanned writing such as real-time responses to community members. In the dynamic and fast-moving world of social media, being a strong and disciplined editor is a must.
Opportunity can strike at any time. Whether it is brand-relevant happenings in the news or pop culture, new social media platforms, updated social media features, community involvement, or anything of the like, community managers should be equipped to identify and strategically act on opportunities.
Community managers have amazing analytical information at their disposal. Analytics such as Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, HootSuite Analytics, and more, can be very helpful for optimizing social media activity, but if the numbers aren’t properly understood and interpreted, their power will be significantly diminished.
What are some of the qualities you have observed in high-performing community managers?
Outside of social media directly, what experience do you think is important for community managers to possess?
It would be amazing to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Photo Credit: Veer (Photoshopped and put in layout)
When developing a social media marketing strategy, it is important to give thought to your relationship strategy, and include this as part of you broader plan. By relationship strategy, what I’m really getting at is an approach to interacting with your community, humanizing your brand, and obviously, developing relationships.
I can tell you, based on my personal experience, this is a grossly overlooked component to many business’ social media marketing strategies, and it shows. When brands don’t develop a relationship strategy, they tend to have difficulty sustaining conversations, stimulating engagement, and generally maximizing the potential effectiveness of their social media efforts.
So, what are some of the benefits of having a well-defined relationship strategy?
CREATE A TWO-WAY DIALOGUE
It is called social media after all. If you are only using social media to broadcast your amazing content, you’re missing out on huge opportunities such as learning from your community, positively affecting consumers’ affinity for your brand, and creating a sense of vested interest in your community, to name a few.
INJECT ADDED RICHNESS TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Developing relationships with active and inspired community members can lead to them being your greatest brand ambassadors. Developing relationships with complimentary businesses and/or brands can give you access to prospective community members that you might not otherwise have had access to. And developing social media relationships with your employees and coworkers, and getting them involved in your community, can give everyone with interest in your brand a deeper level of engagement and insight.
ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT AND AMPLIFICATION
When your fans contribute to a conversation you’ve started, add value to content you’ve posted, share your content, or publicly endorse your brand, they’re doing the very things that make social media such a powerful tool. Why not reward them by acknowledging their contributions and give them a shout-out? Better yet, help to raise their profile within your community so they feel like valued contributors.
ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Undoubtedly, you’ll establish a number of goals and KPIs as part of your social media strategy, so why not get your community involved in helping you meet those goals? Put in the effort to engage, interact and build true relationships with your community members and they’ll reward you in spades. They’ll be your biggest brand advocates, draw new fans to your social media properties, feel comfortable to comment, provide insight when you ask for it, be more likely to purchase your product, and share your content with their social graphs.
Plan your relationship strategy so you know how, when and with whom in your community you should focus your effort. Additionally, only after putting a plan in place will you know the full breadth of how building relationships can contribute to your social media and business goals, and you might even be surprised by what your relationships can reveal or offer.
How do you build relationships through social media?
Have you experienced any benefits from having done so?
Let me know your answers to these questions, or any additional thoughts you might have in the comments or on Twitter @RGBSocial.
Photo Credit: Veer (Photoshopped and put in layout)
Day to day I spend a fair bit of time reading other people’s blog content. These are 3 blog posts that I’ve read in the last week or so, that I recommend you read as well:
In this post, Pam Dyer digs into research released by the Pivot Conference that illustrate the gap that exists between social media marketers and social consumers. Topics explored include what social consumers want from brands’ social media marketing efforts, mobile social media app usage behaviour, and what deal and coupon sites are being frequented.
Neal Schaffer interviews digital marketer turned community manager Tanya McTavish, who shares 6 valuable community management tips including being part of the sales team, maintaining a human feel to your interactions, connecting and learning from influencers, playing a key role in customer service, taking ownership of your brand, and the value of numbers.
Marya Jan details 10 habits that highly successful bloggers exhibit. Habits include being voracious readers, being true experts, developing genuine relationships with other bloggers, delivering insanely useful content, and caring deeply for their community, to list a few.
Take a read, let me know what you think, and let these great bloggers know what you think.
Have you read anything great that you’d like to share? Please feel free to do so in the comments, or any of these places: