I get it all the time. When anyone asks what I do, I explain that I manage all the social media accounts for our firm. “Oh, like Twitter? So fun! I wish I could tweet all day and get paid.”
Across OpenView’s portfolio, we social media managers (or community managers or content marketers — whatever our titles) got to talking about our biggest social media gripes. Not surprisingly, they had very little to do with our actual roles — we all love what we do! Instead, we agreed that social media managers tend to be misunderstood, whether it be by the general public or even folks within our organizations.
7 Things You Should Never Say to Social Media Managers
“We should be on this network.. and this one… and this one” — Manny Veiga, Intronis
Since most social networks have such a low barrier of entry, I’ll often hear about all the different sites we should join. While I think it’s important to test out new venues and see what works, not every hot new network that’s a smash hit with consumers is going to be a fit for our B2B audience.
I believe it’s more valuable to do a really good job on the handful of networks your audience cares about, rather than having a minor presence on every new site that catches fire.
“Why aren’t we doing what [insert brand name here] just did?” — Courtney Doman, Spredfast
This type of request can range from “We need to have our Oreo moment!” to “Competitor X just did this, why aren’t we doing it, too?” Smart social marketers are always seeking inspiration and learning opportunities from their peers, whether it is a campaign run by a similar brand or competitor, or a tactic used by a social counterpart in an entirely different industry. That said, social strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all, and not every success story will have a direct application in your social business.
I love when my colleagues send over interesting articles or examples of great social in action, but view it as a source of inspiration, not a “drop everything and do this now” imperative.
“I’d love to spend all day on Facebook and get paid for it.” — Alida Moore, Socrata
For me, time actually spent daily on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is pretty small. My day is usually spent writing articles, creating content for webinars, interviewing customers, writing case studies, and always looking for new ways to tell our customers’ stories.
Social media is a great way for me to get these stories out into the world, so others who are passionate about open data can learn from our challenges and successes.
“We shouldn’t spend too much time on social media, it’s just a broadcast channel” — Lana Odintsova, Balihoo
…and it’s often followed up by: “there’s no real way to measure the ROI of social.” Both claims are inaccurate. A good social media manager knows that it’s a two-way street. You can’t just blast messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other network and expect to see results.
At its core, social media is a driver for building brand awareness and engagement. It’s imperative to spend just as much time interacting with your brand’s community to build trust and foster brand loyalty as it is developing powerful messages.
“It’s all SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!” — Lauren Bonaca, Datadog
There’s one in every community and even on social platforms like Twitter. “The Man Who Cried Spam” is the guy or gal who goes around calling everything and everyone spam, even if you’re sharing legitimate content and go above and beyond communicating that you’re posting as a vendor.
“SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!” Oh, pipe down. Some people might be interested in reading this content and guess what, if you actually gave the “Spam” a read, you might learn something.
“Could you put a few more calls to action in that tweet?” — Shelbi Gomez, AtTask
Truth be told, I would love to be able to put a lot more into every tweet. Unfortunately, when you are only given 140 characters, it makes it very difficult just to get the basics in like a link to the content, a hashtag and a quick blurb.
The powers that be — who may or may not be on social themselves — also tend to forget that the purpose of social media is to engage with your audience, not give them a sales pitch every time you post something.
And finally, here’s my own.
“What will you do when social media goes away?” — Morgan Burke, OpenView Venture Partners
I hear it all the time. Social media isn’t a “real” job and that once it dies down, I’ll be out of luck career-wise. Well, I have news for these folks. Social media is not a one-dimensional job that relies on the hype around one platform like SnapChat. Businesses are depending more and more on social media as a primary organic marketing channel, and the way I see it, we’re moving more and more in that direction – not away from it.
The nature of marketing is ever-evolving and by working in this space, our ability to pivot from one tactic to another is probably better than most.
So, what’s the one thing you wish everyone would stop saying?
Photo by: Alberto Ortiz