I recently saw an article that asked 14 entrepreneurs which must-have traits make a social media manager successful. Everyone was saying the right things but I realised: not one of them was a current social media manager! So I thought I’d jump on board the train and put my two cents in as someone with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Vine and Instagram tabs open as we speak (the last two are on my phone and don’t actually have “tabs”, but you get the gist).
Here are Zeal’s Top Traits every business social media user (never mind social media managers!) should aim for:
Get yourself a calendar, whether it’s a leather-bound planner, a £1 job from WHSmiths or a notebook you got free with Grazia. Write down what you’re going to post and on which channel(s) for every day of the week. Then draft up your weekly posts. It’ll help you keep content varied and give you a clear idea of what needs to be done when. At Zeal we use Google docs. as a way of sharing our Editorial Calendars – that way everyone can have access and edit the content whenever they want.
Whether you’re representing your own one-man company or a multi-national corporation, on social media you are the voice of the organisation. People are going to complain at some point: it’s what we do. Receive complaints with grace and empathy and do your best to solve people’s problems. A well dealt with complaint can be better PR for your company than a gushing compliment. Take the rough and the smooth with dignity, be polite and never, ever get into a slanging match with a customer. Ever!
It may sound blindingly obvious, but a business social media account is not your personal account. It’s there for a purpose, whether that be as a sales tool, a customer services platform or just to promote brand awareness. You should measure the success of your business social media efforts regularly: which posts led to the most engagement, how many impressions did your most recent tweet achieve, if you decide to use paid Facebook advertising what’s your ROI? Social media isn’t just cats knocking things off tables (although those videos are hilarious…): it’s a tool and you should use it as one.
Keep a sense of humour. Obviously when a customer’s product has just shattered into 100 pieces is not the appropriate time to mess around, but a bit of humour every now and again proves a company is human. There have been some classic Twitter exchanges over the last few years from massive companies, and why did they go viral? Because they made us laugh!
You can be as organised as you like, polite, measure all your social media activity and have a laugh at the same time – but what really separates the men from the boys is the businesses that can spot a story. This does not mean sandwiching a current news story into your promotional material in the most tenuous way possible (The Royal Baby Isn’t The Only Big Arrival This Weekend: Check Out Our New Tassle Boots! – I think not). It’s about latching on to relevant events and stories, whether that be in local news or popular culture, and joining the conversation.
If the world of social media is still all Greek to you, never fear. Here at Zeal we offer social media training for companies of any size and we’d be happy to talk you through the nuts and bolts and get you tweeting and posting like a pro!