I work in social media, but when I’m hyper-focused on my job I barely tend to my personal accounts. During these periods, my Facebook wall goes stale, blog traffic falls and Twitter replies die off.
Not surprisingly, when I update my social networks, they come right back to life. It never fails that somebody will respond, comment or retweet almost immediately. (I suppose this may explain why I, like so many others, find gratification in social media – it’s instant, personal and confirming, but I digress…)
How does this relate to business, you ask?
In order to be successful, it’s not enough just to “be there” in social media, just as it’s not enough for me to have an expired Twitter feed.
Setting up a Facebook profile, a Twitter handle, and a blog are great steps toward growth. But engaging your followers with valuable content is crucial to maintaining them, finding new ones and keeping your brand top of mind. Followers desire a brand presence that is worthy of their support and appreciation. In exchange for their support, you need to give them something in return.
So – In the same way I actually have to take the time to post a Facebook update, tweet a message or write a blog to keep my personal social network active, your company needs a real human being to do similar work on your behalf to maintain a vibrant community around your brand.
Here are some characteristics of a good social media manager:
– Deep knowledge of your online community and your company’s products
– Strong knowledge of, and participation in, your industry’s blogging ecosystem
– Insatiable curiosity about your industry, company and products
– Exemplifies the personality of your company
– Has good people and communication skills
– Great technical understanding and can pick up new tools quickly
– Very strong work ethic and integrity
This person may be a new hire but doesn’t have to be. You can often find these qualities within your office already. Just be sure to clearly define and scope job responsibilities because social media marketing is *very* time consuming when done proficiently.
Generally, I’ve found that success in social media takes a combination of content marketing (sharing high-quality, relevant and valuable information) and unique programming (polls, questions, sweepstakes, etc.). Being transparent, helpful, timely and interesting are also key.
Okay, let’s bring it all together – Take the time (or apply the necessary resources) to engage in social media marketing on behalf of your company and your brand, do it well, and you’ll be rewarded with more loyal fans and hopefully paying customers.
In social media, you get what you give. I think I’ll go update my Facebook status now.