Tag Archive for digital

Walk in the Shoes of a Social Media Manager

If you want to know what it’s like to be a social media manager, just as Maren Guse, Assistant Director of Digital and Social Media at Syracuse University (SU). She’s one of the brains behind the operation that keeps SU tweeting, posting, and sharing.

Introductions First

Guse is responsible for content across SU’s main flagship social accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, among others. I had the chance to sit down with her and pick her brain about what it means to be a social media manager to her.

“What I do is oversee the accounts on social media under the flagship accounts, so everything that is branded “Syracuse University.” What we do is provide content on those channels and then develop conversations around that content that relates back to our brand.”

The Brand

Yes, SU is a brand. After all, they have an image to uphold, and social media can either be a blessing or a curse for any brand. When done right, social media with the help of an effective social media manager can have large and positive impact on a brand.

The first thing that I learned from Maren is that in order to do your job well you need to understand both your brand and your audience(s). Most of the time you will have multiple audiences, and that is important to recognize too.

The Audiences

What do I mean by multiple audiences? Well, for instance, Maren monitors and interacts on multiple social channels, like the ones I mentioned above. They don’t all have the same audience, so Maren needs to recognize those unique audiences and tailor content on each platform to best fit the needs of the users. Facebook has a more alumni based audience, where Twitter is made up of mostly current and prospective students. See what I mean?

The Job

Maren explained her job as a social media manager well,

“It means to develop conversations with people and foster dialogue around a brand, but also to get the University into those conversations.”

Sometimes it is starting conversations, other times its joining in on conversations, and other times it just means listening. All of these are important, and all of them require planning. Any effective social media manager knows that you can’t just sit down in front of a computer and start tweeting. Maren explains that content calendars help plan day-to-day content, and regular meeting help create long-term plans too.

Yes, it is social media, which means it can be unexpected at time. That’s where listening becomes important, and then thinking on your feet comes into play.

Maren also spoke about using tools to help you collaborate and manage. Tools like Google Docs and Tweetdeck are Maren’s go-to, but anything that helps a social media manager listen and interact across multiple channels, and to collaborate with their staff will do.

The Take-away

The biggest take-away from my conversation with Maren was to always be listening, always be adaptive, and always be human. By being human, a brand can make connections, create a community, and build meaningful relationships.

Are you a community manager, do you aspire to be? How do your experiences compare? Comment below or tweet me @JaredMandel

How To Connect With Your Digital Audience

It is no longer enough to connect with people in a physical realm. Although the value of making connections in person cannot be undermined, building relationships people often happens online. It is through social media that brands and business can connect people based on a common passion or interest. Community managers for these brands have emerged to combat new problems: captivate an audience and keep them coming back for more. These new digital challenges certainly comes with obstacles. Blogger Britt Michaelian has written a piece about ways in which strong social brands connect with their audience, and how to best keep users engaged.

Give Them What They Want

One of the things that Michaelian highlights in her piece is to remember that “strong social brands are givers.” The society that we have grown accustomed to floods us with information. Thus, social media brands must continue to give to their community. Learning how to give back socially can make a brand stand out from its competition.

Michaelian participates in a panel at UCLA about social media

Michaelian participates in a panel at UCLA about social media

How Do You Do That?

Michaelian shares her tips for how to be a socially giving brand. Some of these tips include:

  • Engaging in meaningful conversations with followers on a consistent basis – Don’t tweet just to tweet. Make sure that posts are meaningful.
  • Share, RT, comment and like content on the profiles of their supporters – It’s important to encourage a positive vibe within a community. Share that support.
  • Keep their social exchanges positive and uplifting – No one likes to hear bad news. Make sure you’re a voice that people want to hear.
  • Realize that without their audience, their message would not be heard, so they express and show gratitude often – Community managers can’t be community managers without a community. Be thankful for the people who interact with your brand.

Be Realistic

The tips that Michaelian provides in her article are all uplifting and positive. While it is important to constantly have a positive attitude online, it is also important to be realistic. Online, it’s crucial to remain transparent and be as human as possible. This allows people to feel more comfortable and connected with a brand. It’s important to remember that the news brands have to share will not always be positive. Community managers should be able to show a range of emotions in order to better connect with the news that they are trying to share. Although Michaelian shares tips such as admitting when you’ve made a mistake, many of the tips she leaves discuss remaining happy and positive. Your community will appreciate if they feel like they are talking to a real person at the other end of the computer screen rather than someone who is always happy go lucky. Remember to be real!

How else do you connect with your audience online? Share in the comments below!