So it’s been a couple of months since I last mentioned my training to become a Social Media Manager with Digital Mums. My campaign is just about to go live so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what’s been happening and share some of the things I’ve learnt thus far.
Starting from the beginning
First things first; we had to learn just what social media is all about, choose a campaign movement and 3 user personas. This was basically to lay the foundations, give a clear direction and a target audience for the content we publish. Mine is a ‘community’ movement, designed to promote things going on in my local area and helping support local businesses. It’s called ‘Hello Trentino’ and is aimed at women. Once these were established, we studied using the correct tone of voice, best practice and how to make sure we have the right recipe of content without coming across too spammy.
Visibility and Influencers
The first platform on the agenda was Twitter so we had to get to grips with creating ‘Twitter lists’ and looked at influencer outreach and engagement. After all, social media is not social unless there’s some interaction. We started identifying people and profiles that could be relevant, interesting and influential in our various campaigns. A few ‘likes’ here and there to get the ball rolling, building up to comments and replies and then the real prize; that person you have been virtually interacting with decides to click ‘follow’ and you find yourself doing Ussain Bolt impersonations round your living room with glee, happy that one person has decided you are worthy of keeping on their radar.
But it’s not just about gaining followers. The aim of the campaign in this particular case is to raise brand awareness which means publishing and re-tweeting content that is not only relevant to our audiences but fundamentally provides them with something of value. This could be an article, a photo, a local event or even a GIF to make them laugh every now and then. We’ve been working on our content to get the mix just right and developing schedules to maximise our chances of it being seen. As part of this, I have also become familiar with Twitter analytics – damn! it’s not just about making pretty Twitter feeds after all…
All this has served to provide us with a strategy. Social Media Managers need to be able to test and adjust, modifying the content-audience recipe until it’s just right. This week we have come to the first big milestone. Our campaigns are about to get a bit more real, and hopefully run at maximum steam from next week since we now know what really gets our audience excited and what times they are more likely to engage with us. We are beavering away creating a great ‘hook’ and hashtag, ready to launch next week.
For 13 weeks now I have been building up my knowledge and awareness of social media, especially Twitter and it’s been pretty intense at times. Studying the lessons whilst running a campaign is busy, not forgetting of course that we are all mums and full to the brim with family life and all that it entails. Talk about demanding. But still, studying means I’m adapting to a new role. I’ll be like a new, improved working-mum version of my former self! What I am learning is interesting and the possibility to develop new skills that will provide me with a flexible career at the end – #workthatworks – is what drives me unwaveringly forward.
5 Tips for learning how to manage Social Media
It’s only been a few months since I started but here are a few things that are really important to develop a career as a Social Media Manager:
- Know your audience and tailor your content accordingly. If you’re blogging to creative females, you may want to lay off the laddy beer jokes. Similarly, if you’re blogging to craft beer brewers, they probably won’t appreciate a Spring dress sewing tutorial. If however you try that beer joke, it may just go viral…
- Content should be a mix of ‘curated’ and ‘created’ meaning interjecting the interesting articles you find and publish with things you create yourself such as links to your blog, your own images, your quiz or poll. You get the idea. A good rule of thumb is 80% curated and 20% created.
- Twitter lists are amazing. I wish someone had shown these to me when I set my own, personal profile up! NO wonder I had no idea how to use Twitter before this course! These lists allow you to organise the profiles you want to subscribe to under headings so you can find them again easily in the never-ending sea of daily tweets. They can be public or private and you can subscribe to other people’s.
- If you’re seriously going to manage a range of social media platforms, you need a scheduling tool. Hootsuite and Buffer are good and offer both free (limited) versions as well as paid versions which are more thorough and allow you to add more accounts. I recommend trying the free versions before you buy so you get a feel for each tool. I tried both on the free version before finally signing up to the Buffer ‘Awesome’ plan.
- Take photos all the time!! Every time I go out, I use my smartphone to snap things that will save me time later searching on free image websites. For example, I might order a cappuccino one day and find it’s that just that beautiful sort of in-the-perfect-cup-with-a-creamy-fern-leaf-design-and-heart-shaped-biscuit lifestyle shot. That, my friends, is a photo opportunity just waiting to happen and I can later use it for whatever I like, from a post about taking time to pause, or an article about great local cafes or even how to design the perfect cappuccino… I’ve just bought myself back 5-10 mins of precious time that I’d have otherwise spent scouring the Internet for someone else’s pictures.
And that’s it for now. There’ll be more on my campaign and sharing of social media gems in a few weeks time once I’ve had the chance to learn a bit more…
What other social media tools do you use? Do you have any great tips to help create or organise content for new social media managers?
Until next time, you can catch me on Twitter under my own handle @zoegreenhalf or follow along with my community campaign @HelloTrentino.