This little business of mine grew out of an interest in Facebook marketing about six years ago. At the time, I was working in college admissions and was asked to help out with the school’s Facebook page.
“Anyone can do that. Social media is easy.” – Me, six years ago
I quickly learned that effective social media marketing takes a lot more than a couple sentences, a nice photo, and the “publish” button. It requires business strategy, audience awareness, platform savviness, and buckets of creativity.
Don’t get me wrong. Posting on social media is easy. Every single person reading this article (probably) has a social media account (or several) and knows how to publish a post. You may even manage an organization’s page and have found it to be fun and not-so-difficult. These platforms are made to be intuitive and addictive, after all!
I’ll be the first to say that social media isn’t rocket science. Yet there’s a reason I work with so many organizations, solopreneurs, and small business owners to manage their social media. These are smart, capable people who could all run their own social media… if they wanted to or had the time. They choose to outsource their social media because of the four skill sets listed above.
Let’s dig in.
One of the best investments I ever made in myself was earning my MBA at St. Norbert College a few years ago. Not only did it help me make strides in my career and discover life-long friendships, but I found the depth of learning, challenging courses, and real-world applications incredibly valuable. That experience opened my eyes to the wider world of business, including how to identify and execute strategies on behalf of an organization.
Social media is just one piece to your marketing puzzle. It needs to fit seamlessly into your larger business goals and vision. When I start working with a client, I ask a lot of questions so I can understand what they’re trying to achieve with social media. I also spend time educating them on what social media can – and cannot – do for them. We also periodically check-in, to make sure social media still aligns with their overall goals.
If your social media manager doesn’t have their finger on your overall business strategy, it’s time to bring them into that conversation.
You know who you’re trying to reach with your product, service, or message. But do you know where they hang out on social media?
That’s where audience awareness comes into play. A great social media manager can tell you where to spend time and where not to waste your efforts. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to play around on a few platforms – or at least maintain a minimal presence on all the major sites – but I guarantee there are a couple of key platforms that make the most sense for your organization.
Have you ever logged into your Facebook app and the platform looks completely different? Or pulled up your stagnant LinkedIn profile and couldn’t figure out where to edit your job title?
Abrupt change is a common experience for social media managers. The backend management for every single social media site changes all the time. We have to be nimble to these fluctuations. We also have to be aware of the latest trends, new features, and up-and-coming social media platforms. In other words, we have to live and breathe social media!
One of the reasons I love social media is because there’s always something new to learn. Whether you’re new to the profession or have been doing it for years, I highly recommend Social Media Marketing World as a conference that will transform your social media marketing efforts. Here’s my write-up from the 2020 conference.
Buckets of Creativity
Great social media marketing takes imagination and originality. The posts and campaigns I create are competing for attention against hundreds of other posts in an individual’s daily newsfeed. I am constantly looking for new ways to “stop the scroll” and get eyeballs on my clients’ content.
Creativity on social media means coming up with new ways to communicate the same core message, day after day. It also means testing out new apps and tools for writing posts, editing photos, and creating graphics.
Creativity might be something you’re born with, but it’s also a muscle you can strengthen. I write social media posts every single day, so I’ve gotten pretty darn good at it. If social media marketing is an area you’d like to improve, I recommend taking some time each day to write, re-write, and write again.
The next time someone tells you they work with social media for a living, I hope you can appreciate the skills that it takes to do that job! And if you’re looking to partner with an expert, shoot me a message. I’d love to help make social media work for you and your organization.