I’m going to give it to you straight, so be prepared. There are many hats your resident social media manager wears in the office or when telecommuting. Here are a few things he or she probably want you to know but may be afraid to tell you.
1. Social media is not a bulletin board. This is one of the top issues social media managers deal with when representing an organization. Your social media manager is the gatekeeper of the company’s brand online. Co-workers or clients always pursue promoting events and programs on social media by “just posting about it.”
It’s much deeper than that.
We deal with analytics, current trends, other scheduled content, building a consistent voice and the possible audience response. We also know what they like. We know what to talk about, but also what not to talk about. Plus, posting about one event that’s not important all of the time is spam, which will ultimately lose followers and discourage engagement. To get through this I always ask, “What are your goals? Who are you trying to reach? What is your deadline?” Try answering these in the best way possible before you approach your social media manager.
2. Social media may not be the best option to meet your needs. If you have an event that is only for a specialized group, such as nurses over age 50, it may be best to reach out to local organizations or utilize past contacts. Many events I promote rely heavily on people that have already RSVP’d to prior events. Those people are more likely to attend future events. Conversion can be very low when primarily focusing on social media promotions that only target a specific group. It’s hard to encourage people to RSVP to an event online when social media managers mostly target by geography, demographics and interests. Even after targeting, it’s no sure thing that your event or post will be seen due to Facebook’s ever changing, stubborn algorithm.
You can choose to run a paid ad, but the audience size may be too small. It’s best to consider offline promotions in this case to reach this specialized group or a simple e-blast utilizing email marketing services like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Keep this in mind. Social media is only one medium to uplift for message, it cannot always be the primary platform to promote your event or cause.
3. Send your best image or consult with the graphic designer before sending materials for posting on your company page. One of my greatest skills is my eye for design. If a design isn’t right, I will do it myself. It’s common for social media managers to receive graphics that look like WordArt circa. 1996, but are expected to post it on a company’s social media page. A bad image affects the overall look of a social media profile. It’s like putting newspaper on the windows of a mansion. It brings down the clean look that’s being built daily.
Also Important: We have colleagues (old professors, experts, best friends, family, future clients, future employers) that review our work daily. They judge our content and how the accounts we manage look. Your work is more than likely not as public, but a social media manager’s work is for all to see (every day). It is usually hard for your social media manager to convey this message, but it is worth thinking about when you approach him/her.
We often utilize design resources to create great, simple images. Plan with a designer or give your social media manager time to create a simple image that will better promote your cause. You can also send a high quality stock image by doing a google image search like this:
- Search your item
- Click on Images
- Click on the best photo
- Click on View Image
- Right Click to save the image
Important: Copy and paste the link where you found the image in your email so we can search and purchase the license for the image. We may already have a licensed account that you can choose from. Some of the most engaging or best photos are user generated, so keep an eye on social media check-ins or search terms for great images.
This ensures a higher quality image.
4. Social media managers have a strategy and content calendar. Most have this. They may not share it because many events or plans aren’t for your eyes. Also, if you’re a part of an organization that stays current, depending on the news cycle, your post about the latest sale, event or telling people to RSVP may not be best. A strategy for a week could focus on increasing engagement by 20% and/or targeting a certain demographic. The content calendar helps to organize this strategy and keep the manager from not missing important dates. This calendar could also include social media copy for each post.
I look at social media similar to how I approach programming, something I learned in television, “stacking” a news program. Would you discuss a terrible disease outbreak and a shooting, then discuss a fundraiser for a puppy? No. You would schedule the fluff toward the end of the news show (after a commercial break). Throwing in random items could ruin the strategy and flow for the day and/or even the entire week. See #1.
5. Do not tell your social media manager how to post. Do you attend digital media trainings, spend late nights reading analytics, take certification exams and attend digital webinars that can’t be used as academic credit, post in digital forums online discussing latest trends (because social media technology literally changes every week so we have to stay updated) or have a degree with a digital focus? Do you have an email inbox full of Social Media Today, Hootsuite, MediaBistro, Buffer, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, SmartInsights or (insert friendly social media spammer here) messages to sift through every morning? Have you worked in diverse situations (more than where you currently work) within digital media? If the answer is no, then realize that it is highly offensive when your social media manager is told, “Send two tweets and put up a Facebook post about _____.”
It’s best to approach your social media manager with, “I’m having event ______. How can this be promoted on social media? Can you come up with a plan to promote event ____ on social media? Is social media the best way to promote ____?”
Even if you do have social media training, the person tasked for the position generally knows best since you only know your part, not what others have requested of them. You must remember, just because you have an active Twitter or Facebook account, it does not qualify you as an expert nor knowledgeable about best practices and industry standards. You just know how to engage (YOUR) audience.
Hopefully, these tips will assist your social media manager with pushing your event or promoting your item of sale. It may even help ease tensions and get your project moving a little faster.
Thank you for reading.