Talking Social

Most social media administrators are keenly aware how time-consuming maintaining SM channels can be: We monitor. We find content. We answer questions. We monitor. We obsess over data, insights and fan totals. We roll our eyes at trolls. We tweet. We re-tweet. We monitor.

Every now and then, it’s good to be re-energized and reminded why we decided to take on social media in the first place.

Last week, the Social Media Strategies Summit was held in Boston. Attended by Fortune 500 companies, the headliners were people representing businesses and organizations considered thought leaders in social media. We’ll be sharing much more at the next Social Media Council meeting on Dec. 5, but the best speakers taught lessons on how to make your social media brand one that users will seek out. Here are the top three takeaways from the summit and hopefully you can share the collective buzz.

Lesson #1: Shut up and listen.
Time and again, presenters talked about the importance of keeping the “social” in social media. It seems like a no brain-er, but we can lose sight that a huge part of being successful in SM is listening to what is going on. What are your friends, fans and followers saying about you? Are you just posting event announcements and not asking people to share their experiences? Sometimes it’s as simple as a Google search or a glance down the news feed.

One of my favorite presenters was Jessica Gioglio, PR and Social media Manager at Dunkin’ Donuts. Jessica talked about the popular “Fan of the Week” contest on FB, interesting contest ideas and this really interesting response from a fan who took to Twitter to complain about his breakfast sandwich:

The obvious point: Dunkin’ Donuts was able to turn an unhappy customer into a fan willing to post a YouTube video on how amazing they are all because they were listening. Now we deal with students, alumni, faculty and staff all with issues a little more complex than melted cheese, but the same holds true. Being responsive to problems, engaging and listening are what can help shape the collective online identity of Boston College.

Lesson #2: Know what a full plate looks like.
Katie Richman, who is in charge of Social Media at ESPN W, shares the challenge of managing multiple SM channels and a boatload of other work. Her advice? Know your limits and set the expectations with coworkers. Finding a way to make “100%” tangible within social media is a challenge, but if this is a strategic goal of your office, department or group, Katie argues that everyone needs to prioritize how these channels will be manned.

Lesson #3: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
With so much happening on the social media front, SM administrators need to constantly circle back and review what is being done and if it is working. Kaelin Zawilinski, Digital Editorial Manager at Better Homes and Gardens (Pinterest page exceeds 250,000 followers), spoke on the need for tailoring content for different audiences. Modernizing a brand that has been around since 1922 was no small undertaking. Kaelin explained it was made possible by embracing the new while repackaging concepts and themes that have made her brand so popular.

As SM administrators, we need to know how to “edutain” across different platforms, presenting content in different ways to our varied audiences. People are not on social media for our press releases or event postings. To be successful, we have to remember that above all else, we tell stories to a community with one thing in common: your corner of Boston College.

One response to “Talking Social

  1. Start Listening: You may be surprised to learn that the most important part of social media is not talking, but listening. That’s because social media allows customers to engage with an organization in a way that traditional media has never been able to; it allows customers to talk back! So before you start sharing your story, listen to what your customers and others in your industry are talking about. Know what the conversation is before you become involved in it. Your customers are also going to want to talk to you. Monitor your social media channels to see if customers are asking you questions or providing feedback. Use this opportunity to respond and develop a relationship.

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