Friday, August 26, 2011
5 Tips for Aspiring Social Media / Community Managers.
I worked in the radio business for over a decade. It was a blast. Now that I work in this "new" industry. This Social Media industry, many have commented to me, "It must be such a dramatic change"... "How is it that you went from a Marketing Director position to a Social Media Manager position?" ... "From radio to sports" and so on. My answer is simple... nothing has changed. I pretty much have done the same thing my entire career. All I do is try and connect with people. The tools have changed over the years but the emotional connection that one has with music, sports, friends, will never change.
Enter the Social Media person.
Sure, I'm not a huge fan of the term 'Social Media', but it looks like it's sticking around.
Here's are 5 tips for aspiring Social Media Managers / Community Managers:
1) Your job will be 24/7: No joke. Let's say (in the future) you manage a company Twitter account and a customer asks you a question; they deserve an answer right away, right? It will be up to you and the people you collaborate with to decide what is an acceptable timeline is to reply back. You'll decide this through brainstorming and penning your Social Media or Engagement Strategy. I might suggest that if you wait more than a day, then you missed an opportunity to connect. Customers, clients, fans, friends will expect a quick turnaround and that's just the world we live in. (I'll write a full post on this topic in the future) Just know that representing a company or brand is not really 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. If you are looking for 9 to 5 with weekends off, then maybe this is not for you.
2) Your Background & Experience: I've noticed that 'experts' come from all sorts of backgrounds: PR, Communications, Marketing, Agency, etc. That's the good news. You can come from any stream of schooling and probably do very well. Take time to learn the craft. Learn from others. Find mentors and mentor others. This new Social Media Industry does not have any standards in place for self promoting (nor does any industry, i guess) So go ahead and call yourself an expert, but be warned; a phony will be sniffed out over time.
3) Network: They are events pretty much every night. This is not an open invitation to go drinking every night. Go with a plan. Look ahead to the guest list. Pick out some people you want to meet and go and meet them. Sure some events turn into a fun game of guess the avatar, but just don't be shy! Go to enough events and soon you will be the person people are trying to meet and network with. Networking events are great relationship starters, but remember; it's just the start. After the event, it's up to you to keep that relationship going.
4) Your job (to find a job) is 24/7. Looks just like point 1, right? Think about everything you do and say. That blurry line between life/work balance is, well, blurry. Think about the successful career ahead of you and put together your plan. Your plan to grow, learn and be the best at what you do. Does this plan include ripping a major retailer online? What if they are hiring a Social Media Manger a month later? Would you apply? Yikes. Your words and actions are being documented (by you) and may live forever online. It's a scary thought, but learn to embrace it and you will have no trouble at all. Like the guy (who shall remain nameless) who rips the Toronto Maple Leafs and Leafs TV every single chance he gets. I mean, totally rips them - swear words all all. Imagine my surprise when he asks me to follow him one day so he can send me a DM. That DM was asking for a job helping me in the Social realm for the Leafs. It was a real challenge to take that seriously.
5) Be Yourself. I don't think I can elaborate on this.
Hope you enjoyed this post. I would like to know what you think either by leaving comments or connecting with me elsewhere. Like one of those networking events where I'll be drinking my face off wearing a tie around my head.
Thanks for reading.