You pay us to create or better the online branding of your company through content, customer service and a multitude of other strategies. That’s the short of it. The exact tactics we use are as unknown to you as the concept of personal hygiene to the cast of Duck Dynasty.
But there’s a secret amongst social media managers. We don’t work to keep it, but we do work to actively forget it: our early experience. Because what every social media manager doesn’t want you to know is that the challenges that you’ve faced and failed to overcome, we did too.
In an emerging industry like social, I often smile and sidestep the questions we’re inevitably asked, especially about formal training. Every single social media professional in the marketplace who has risen to the rank of manager has progressed because of experience. Designations, degrees and certificates are becoming more common but hold little weight when we talk to each other. I’m good friends with a lot of SMMs and when we get together to share ideas, wins and challenges it never comes back to who has more pieces of paper. What it does come back to is how Brad achieved a CTR of 41% or how Devon demonstrated ROI through a coupon campaign.
The fact of the matter is, the social media landscape may look very different now to when it was in its infancy (and many of us argue about when exactly that was) but there is a commonality that haunts us and it haunts you too.
There were posts we thought were golden and they fell flat.
Do you remember that campaign you devoted your long-leads to, dumped all your ad buy dollars in and had a premise you could swear by? It failed. And you have no idea where you went wrong. Perhaps you didn’t go wrong, you merely posted it at the wrong time, or didn’t promote it to the right segment. But these are conclusions that we learned through experience (experience you’re trusting us to have).
Every single social media enthusiast has under-performed at some point in their career. The key is in the analytics. A good social media manager must be able to look at the campaign numbers and understand where they fell short, even when they knocked it out of the park. From there, it’s anybody’s guess how to interpret the data.
There were posts we deemed subpar, published anyway and they went viral.
I never publish posts for the sake of posting, but I used to. I’m not ashamed to say when I started out I thought having a regular content stream was a foundational pillar of strategy. It’s not. But I did learn a lot from my naivety. There were days I was starved for content and put up some sub-par posts. They got hundreds, sometimes thousands of engagements. How? Unknowingly, I had done some things right. Through the same practice of analyzing the numbers, I quickly learned what those were and how to apply them deliberately to the strongest content at my disposal.
Speaking from experience..
To reiterate, what your social media manager doesn’t want you to know is how badly they’ve managed campaigns, interpreted the numbers and failed to execute on the opportunities at hand. We don’t want you to know how many followers we’ve left on the table, how ass-backwards lucky we’ve been on some of the examples in our portfolio or that when we speak of the deadly sins of social, we’re speaking from experience. These mistakes may not win us any awards, but they make a damn good case for why you should hire us.