Some of you know my job has evolved rapidly over a period of several months, from blogger for hire, to social media consultant and community manager. I love that social media strategy challenges me every day. I love many of my clients and am extremely passionate about what I do here. I started out on this path with a love of social media, pure enjoyment from tweeting, and a keen love of writing. I have moved on to understand marketing and public relations, and government relations too.
Many of my clients have taught me a lot about best practices for social media, so I wanted to spend a minute sharing what I have learned.
Five Social Media Lessons Learned from my Clients
1. Social Media is not an add on, but a necessity: Public relations, government relations marketing and social media marketing should be integrated in all campaigns. Social media builds on public relations and government relations. If you, as a company aren't here yet then what are you waiting for exactly? This is no passing fad. Social media amplifies your PR and GR messages. Then it takes them and gives them a digital life, maybe pinning images that give them endless legs on Pinterest. Or sharing a Youtube video the PR produced and helping it go viral.
2. Social media is not a silo: social media functions best working hand in hand with public relations and government relations. Communication between all the partners is crucial. The strategy worked on at a team meeting can be built on by you, social media marketing guru. At the start of one of my major campaigns I did not see it that way. I was a bit minimized in budget and viewed somewhat as the person who tweeted and did Facebook. But by month two of our relationship when it became apparent that missing any of the team meetings meant social media was going to function as a grafted limb, and not an integrated part of the campaign I knew and insisted on being there at the table as the communication strategy develops and evolves.
3. Social media strategists will still encounter naysayers: Be prepared to prove the value again and again. Be prepared to show the value you bring and report your results often. If there is still too much questioning of what you are adding to the campaign then be prepared to finish your contract and move on. The value of social media is intrinsic to all campaigns. When your job is second guessed repeatedly you need to ask yourself whether the client is a good fit.
4. You need me to stay on top of the latest trends in social media, but not jump on all of them.
The digital industry evolves fast. I spend a lot of time researching and playing with things like Vine to determine value added to my client and whether it is right for them. It is a great job and someone has to do it. But not all of my clients need Vine while some are now using infographics well as great ways of sharing visually. Not all need Pinterest - just most of you.
5. Nobody is a threat to Me: (Hug a PR person today)
When this business of blogging began, it was abundantly apparent that some public relations people felt threatened. Some traditional media felt threatened. I understand that somewhat. Things evolved fast, and still do, in social media. Bloggers were, and sometimes still are swimming upstream in the market, when they need to be embraced and welcomed and paid as professionals. Nobody is a threat to me. I play well with others and I love PR and GR and have earned some respect, while gaining respect for same. So go give a PR person a hug today.
I build strategy. I love what I do. I play well with others and I know my boundaries. Can you say the same?