What’s a Social Media Manager and Why Should I Care?

I heard of the social media manager title years ago, but never considered I would or could be one. I figured it was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management (things that didn’t exist when I did my bachelor of journalism). But then my LinkedIn job suggestions started getting…obvious.

What's a Social Media Manager?

But I’m a writer! Who cares about what a social media manager is!

Here’s a splash of what I see whenever I check LinkedIn Jobs to see what’s new and who’s hiring.

  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Copywriter
  • Office Administrator
  • An Open Letter to _______’s Future Marketer
  • Client Success Coach
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • PR Consultant
  • Marketing and Events Coordinator
  • Brand Publishing Specialist

Keep in mind these are the jobs posted in the past seven days in my area, which LinkedIn thought I’d be a good match for. If you’re a writer but have collected different skills, experience, connections, etc. you may have a different snapshot. But do you see what I’m talking about?

Two reactions come to mind I must choose between.

  1. Wow, this social network doesn’t know me at all
  2. When did I become a social media manager?

So I begin wondering, what’s a social media manager and is it different from what I’m doing now?

Well I’ll cut to the chase, all 10 of these postings are about the same. The type of work, the skills involved, the experience required, everything. No matter if it’s administrator level, coordinator level or management level. Now that’s confusing!

This tells me a few things. First, I need to understand all the ways people think of the skills I have—calling myself a writer without attaching any of the other keywords strips out nine of these jobs. Wow. Yet all require the exact same skills. OK…

What now?


Here’s what’s in the modern-day social media manager’s toolkit

  • Fluent in social—all social (paying attention to social trends, dos and don’ts, what’s hot and what’s not)
  • Strong writing skills (with a specialization in content marketing/copy writing)
  • A people-first approach to everything (a service mindset, which not only has you listening to your customers and industry chatter but being engaged in your community)
  • Graphically inclined (not a pro, but you need the basics of design and video production)
  • Comfortable with social selling (and understanding how this is done)
  • Competent at SEO and analytics (yes you will have to run campaigns and reports)
  • Confident public speaker (yes you will have to use Instastories and Facebook Live—you may even have to speak on a panelin person)
  • An understanding of human behaviour (you don’t have to have a psych degree but you do need to understand what works and what doesn’t, what people want and what they don’t)
  • Reasonable budgeting skills (show me the money! Er…show your clients how you’re spending their money!)
  • Adaptable (this industry is like a river—moving fast and constant, you have to keep up with the changes and adapt as necessary)
  • Curious and savvy (in order to succeed as a social media manager, you need to know what works—but if you’re ahead of the curve you’ll be able to move your clients’ business strategies forward faster and won’t be distracted by fleeting trends or vanity metrics)
  • Strong grasp of marketing (specifically strategy and digital, email, and funnel marketing)

If this seems like three jobs in one, you’re right.

And if it seems like a lot of different skill sets wrapped up into one, you’re right again. But this seems to be where the industry is at these days and if you want to compete, you need at least a cursory knowledge of these tools.

Keep in mind the typical day-to-day tasks a social media manager executes each day are a little less overwhelming: writing and scheduling posts, running ads, replying to fans and creating graphics.

See? Not so bad. However, the only way this works is with a strong foundation—a strong social marketing strategy. This is where the real value of a social media manager comes in. If you have good instincts and can build a strong strategy for your client, you are going to see great results. So stay at it and invest in yourself!

Are you looking to level-up your business on social? Need a social media manager? Let’s chat! Let me know what problems you’re looking to solve and I’ll be happy to send you a quote.

I never considered I would or could be a social media manager. It was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Going Viral: Creating Contagious Content

Have you ever wondering what makes something go viral? Is there a secret? What do viral-video makers know that you don’t? Learn the what and how of going viral and a few tips for what you can do to make your content more contagious.

Going Viral

Going Viral: Creating Contagious Content

It was my niece’s first birthday and her mother threw a party, inviting the whole family to join in on the celebration. Everyone was excited to share in the festivities but the morning before the party, people began cancelling saying they weren’t feeling well.

But this was my niece’s first birthday! A big O-N-E!

With much pressure on, the family came together to save the party. Those who were feeling sort of better were encouraged to show up anyway and give my niece the party she deserved.

So they came.

And it was a lovely time. Good food, good conversations and good feelings all around.

Later that evening…

I haven’t vomited from being ill since I was a child. But vomit I did, from midnight till 8 a.m. the next morning. Who was the culprit? No real idea, since there were a few people at the party who weren’t feeling 100 per cent and we spent the day switching children, changing seats, and grabbing snacks from the same bowls.

And I learned I wasn’t the only one. Most of the other non-sick party-goers spent the next day beside the toilet.

It all happened so fast. One moment we were minding our own business, living life like normal, and the next we were swept up into a wave of vomit-filled illness by no fault of our own except for attending the party and enjoying ourselves.

What happened? Our party went viral.

Going Viral: The What and How of Creating Contagious Content

What does “going viral” mean?

Sans vomiting, going viral in Internet terms is seen as a good thing. It’s what happens when a piece of content (article, photo, video, etc.) is shared, copied and otherwise spread across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

How many shares does it take before something is considered viral?

I’m sorry to say, there isn’t an exact number. Viral status is achieved when the proportion of people seeing the content and then sharing it increases over what’s usual.

I know, could it be more vague?

Think of viral sharing like a secret. If you share a secret with someone, and that person shares it with someone else and then another, and another. Pretty soon everyone knows your secret. But if the person keeps your secret, that’s where the sharing ends. It’s safe and no one knows about it.

The simple math of virality

Viral content is relative. When you share a piece of content on social media, how many shares is normal? If you see your shares go up from normal on a couple posts, you can consider those viral. However, if your shares go up and stay up then it’s the new normal. Not viral anymore.

The more complicated math of true viral content

Of course, a few extra shares here and there doesn’t make a big impact. We want to know about the life-changing kind of viral content like Chewbacca Mom’s laughing video or Mandy Harey’s deaf singing audition for America’s Got Talent. How do you get those?

The next level of viral content

When you level up on going viral this is where stuff happens. On day one a piece of content is shared and you receive your regular likes, shares, and website visits, plus a few extras. This (according to ShareProgress) is called “first generation.” From there, a few of these first generation people share your content on their social channels and some of their friends check it out. They’re called “second generation.” By the second generation there should be more likes, shares and website visits. Now it’s on the second generation of visitors to share your content. If a few more than the first round do this, then the third generation of visitors should be seeing your content. If this continues then you’ll see exponential likes, shares, and website visits. This is where things get crazy.

In the simple viral example, you’ll have a bump of activity and then things will go back to normal. In the next level of going viral, the momentum grows and keeps growing and, if you’re prepared for it, sends your life in a new direction.


How do I make something go viral?

Yeah, sorry. I don’t know how. Actually, I don’t think anyone does. No matter how many terms I Google, all I come up with is “there’s no formula, there’s no secret.”

But here are a few things you can do to help your content be ready for going viral.

Here are some reasons people are most likely to share something.

  • If they have a strong reaction to it
  • If they have a positive emotional response to it
  • They are more likely to share if they feel inspired by it
  • If they are surprised by it
  • If they find it practical and useful
  • People are more likely to share something if they think it will help someone

Where to go from here

Before you write an article don’t think about what will or won’t make it go viral, instead think about what will help and inspire your audience. Think about what they’d like to read/watch/hear and then create it. Be genuine, be real, and be positive.

Here’s how Derek Halpern says it.

Positive uplifting content always gets shared. Remember, there’s a lot of unhappy people in the world, and while there are different reasons for being unhappy, content that is uplifting and inspirational helps people get out of their rut…even if it’s only for a few seconds.

I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to help someone out of their rut today.

If you need help coming up with content ideas or don’t know who you’re audience is, that’s where I come in. Drop me a line and let’s start a conversation. I’m here to help!

Have you ever wondering what makes something go viral? Learn what going viral means and a few tips for what you can do to make your content more contagious.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Influencer vs Influence

Even if your dream isn’t to be a social media influencer you may wish your online following was stronger. But does stronger mean bigger? Not always. If you have the right followers numbers aren’t as important.

Influencer vs Influence: How to Build an Authentic Brand

Influencer vs influence

Last summer I had a string of clients who hired me launch and maintain their Instagram profile. These small businesses wanted to add social media marketing but didn’t know much about it. Since I love both social media and marketing this is pretty much a dream project. I worked hard to create a strategy that reflected the brand and would attract their ideal customer. I chose or created images, wrote captions, and scheduled posts based on best practices.

And then we launched

After two or three months of social media posts my clients complained that they weren’t happy with the amount of followers they had, wasn’t that the point of the work I was doing?

The first time this came up I was surprised. We had talked about the long game, how gaining authentic followers doesn’t happen overnight. I thought we were on the same page. So why were we so far off base?

Expectations.

These clients were new to social media. Their businesses were also new. They had little to no online presence and had heard from a few people that if they went on social media they’d find success. So imagine their disappointment when they realized building an authentic brand on social media doesn’t happen overnight and also is a lot of work.

It was a tough lesson for both of us. I learned I needed to be a lot more blunt about how much time and energy needs to be devoted to building a legitimate social media presence. Now when I begin working with a client I put in writing what is within my control (posting frequency, content) and what is not (sales, growing followers). And I believe these clients also learned that becoming and influencer on social media isn’t something you can automate and expect return from. It involves relationship-building, listening, and connecting with your ideal customer.

What you can and can’t buy

The influencer role is somewhat new so it makes sense that people don’t quite understand what an influencer is. In general, an influencer is someone who has an engaged following of people who pay close attention to their thoughts and opinions.

A true influencer can post about a great new product they’ve discovered and they have built so much trust with their audience that they rush out to also purchase the same product.

I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love this kind of influence. I mean, duh! It’s amazing! But where people get confused is they see an influencer and they equate the number of followers they have with influence. But numbers don’t equal influence. You can purchase social media followers and engagement. You cannot purchase influence.

How to become an influencer on social media

There is no silver bullet when it comes to becoming an influencer. If you can build a community of people who want to hear what you have to say and trust your judgment then you’re an influencer. And your message is amplified the more followers you have.

If you Google “how to become an influencer” you’ll see many, many articles dedicated to giving you the answer. But no matter what you won’t find a secret tip to getting away from putting the time and work into building your platform, branding yourself, and showing up with authenticity and something to say.

If you want to be a social media influencer and work with brands then you do need at least some sort of a following. To improve, choose one platform to focus on and become an expert at it. Learn the rules and how people engage. Figure out how you fit into the picture and then create a strategy based on finding your ideal followers and connecting with them. It will take time and energy. It will not happen overnight. But if you can make authentic connections and continue offering value to your followers, you will become an influencer.

For more, here are the three things brands look for when hiring influencers from the Spark Society.

Even if your dream isn't to be a social media influencer you may wish your online following was stronger. But does stronger mean bigger? Not always. If you have the right followers numbers aren't as important.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Setting Social Media Goals: How to Do it and What to Track

Today we’re talking about social media goal setting—how to set social media goals and what to pay attention to.

Setting Social Media Goals

Setting Social Media Goals: How to Do it and What to Track

Here’s the thing. We need social media goals because we need to know our time is worth spending on social media. How can you figure this out? By reaching goals that move your business ahead. How do you reach those goals? First you need to set them.

The first step: When setting social media goals, you need to be realistic

Goal setting. You’re going to need goals. Let’s agree they’re integral to this process. However, while it’s fun dreaming and thinking big, the work of it is figuring out how to reach your goals. The best way to set goals you’ll actually work to achieve is following the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model. It’s quick, straightforward, and keeps you focused on action. If you’ve taken my free five-day marketing challenge you’ve gone through this process with me and I hope you’re still working towards them! Start with setting S.M.A.R.T. social media goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.

The second step: Audit your current social media efforts

This is important to make sure your goals are based in reality and to ensure your profiles are on brand. You can audit your social media presence in any number of ways but I recommend creating a spreadsheet and collecting the following information.

  • Platform name
  • Whether or not your profile is on brand (Yes or No)
  • Whether or not your password is saved in a central place (like a password safe; Yes or No)
  • How many friends/followers your profile has
  • What your target/ideal number of friends/followers is

This is a simple document but it helps you stay organized. I also recommend looking at your follower number versus your follower goals and measuring them against the S.M.A.R.T. goals system. Are they achievable and relevant? Will they help you reach your social media goals? If not, adjust them as necessary. Need more? Here are five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.

As part of your audit also look through your posts from the past couple weeks. Ask if your posts are on brand, interesting to your ideal customer/reader, and personable. If not, there are a few more social media goals to add to your list.

The third step: Create a social media strategy

You knew I’d go there

You know what you want, you know where you’re going, now you need to figure out how you’re getting there. That’s all a strategy is. It’s a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Don’t freak out! It’s not hard and it’s not restrictive. Having a strategy breaks down these huge, intimidating goals and makes them reachable. Go for it!

And don’t worry if you’re lost, I’ve done the heavy lifting—here’s how to create a social media strategy in five steps. You’re welcome.

The fourth step: Measure your impact by paying attention to the right metrics

When you’re setting social media goals it is easy to become obsessed with metrics and check them five times a day (or more). But this is not good for your mental health. You can’t ignore metrics but you also don’t need to focus on them every day. Check your metrics every week, month, quarter, or whenever makes sense to you and pay attention to the ones that will move the needle towards your social media goals. I can’t tell you the exact metrics you should watch but I will caution against vanity metrics that make you feel good but don’t mean anything. Once you start measuring you’ll understand what I mean.

Here are some suggestions of metrics to watch (also known as key performance indicators).

  • Follower growth
  • Frequency (how much are you posting?)
  • Content type (what are you posting?)
  • Engagement/Reach
  • Link clicks
  • Social media referrals (on your website)
  • Email signups

Setting social media goals helps you control how much time you spend on social media and keeps you focused on why you’re there. It can help you get to know your audience better, determine the type of content you produce, and see what’s working. By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, doing a social media audit, creating a social media strategy, and measuring your platform growth you will find building your brand on social media not only makes sense but is fun and worth your valuable time.

Do you have more tips for setting social media goals? Please share!

We need social media goals because we need to know our time is worth spending on social media. How can you figure this out? How do you reach your goals?

Extra Credit: 9 Social Media Goals You Can Set for Your Business (and How to Track Them). A helpful article from Buffer.


One more thing. If you’ve got these tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Here’s your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don’t have time to be social. Stop being overwhelmed and start marketing!

Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers

Let’s face it. Social media marketing can be overwhelming. The more experts and gurus you listen to, the more steps there seems to be to reach the social media success train. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve put together a quick and easy five step social media strategy for those times you don’t have time for marketing.

Because you’re busy and looking for help NOW we’re going to dive right in. Take what you need and do it NOW.

Pro Tip: Don’t do this all at once. Choose one thing you can do now and work on it first. Then come back and pick another to work on. Then another. Look at it like building blocks—do what you can, master it, then move on to the next step.

Here’s your five step social media strategy

Step One: Decide on your objectives

Your options are endless here, but the key is choosing a goal. What are your social media goals? Why are you posting? You need something to keep you focused on the big picture so you keep moving towards your writing/business targets.

Here are a few objectives ideas: build your online profile, build brand visibility, networking, reach new clients/readers, stay connected with current clients/readers, launch products/books/services.

Remember, choose one and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that objective move on to another, then another.

Step Two: Choose your social networks

I know you know. You don’t have to be everywhere. However. You do need to be online. It’s the modern marketplace. Since you can’t do it all, you must choose where to spend your social time/energy. There is a lot of advice out there for which networks have the biggest payoff but you will need to decide for yourself what works. A couple questions to consider when choosing your social networks: Where are you most comfortable online? Where are your clients/readers most comfortable online?

My two cents. If you’re a writer and trying to build your platform as a writer, I recommend Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as your networks of concentration.

Twitter

Yes people are saying Twitter is on its way out and yes it’s not the same as it was a few years ago. However. This is where you meet other writers. You know who else you meet on Twitter? People looking for writers. How you manage Twitter is an art in itself but once you have it set up, you will understand why I won’t let Twitter go.

Twitter is for quick interactions. It’s great for sharing helpful links, meeting new people, and getting ideas. However, it’s not a place to sell. You build relationships on Twitter, 140 characters at a time.

Facebook

This is where the largest concentration of people who are on social media are. Facebook. Join the conversation.

If you think of Facebook as a place to host/advertise events, join writers groups and share your blog posts and article clippings, it may start to make more sense.

However, this is not a place to vent your personal feelings about in-the-moment happenings. Yes you see people doing that all the time, but they’re not trying to build a professional brand and they’re using their personal profile to do that. If you think about your professional goals and aligning what you post on Facebook with them, you’ll know what you need to do.

Instagram

This is where your future fans and readers are. Trust me on this. It’s time to figure Instagram out.

Instagram is a wonderful place to connect with people as you build your brand. How? Consistency and engagement. That means YOU are consistent and YOU are engaging with others.

You can share your writing, post prompts or inspiration, and behind-the-scene peeks at your writer’s life. Images have a way of connecting people with you that words alone don’t. However, this is not a place to post your entire vacation photo album—not when you’re building your professional brand. This is also a place where you do need to engage and be active. If you don’t post and interact with other posts, you don’t grow.

Wondering how on earth to do this?

Read my post on how to build an Instagram strategy. This is one of my favourite social media services and I’ve seen this strategy work time and time again.

Remember: choose one social network and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that social network move on to another, then another.

Step Three: Complete your social media profiles

Smack in the middle of your five step social media strategy is optimizing your profiles. This comes after you choose your social media platforms because I don’t just want you to complete your profiles but optimize them. How? I’m glad you asked! Read my post with five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.

But maybe you don’t have time to read another blog post. Here are the main points.

  • Choose a professional/standout profile picture and cover photo
  • Make it easy for people to know who you are/what you do
  • Link to your website
  • Include keywords about your services
  • Be clear on your location/contact info

My biggest tip for optimizing your social profiles is consistency across platforms.

Each network has its own rules for how long your bio can be, what sort of profile image works and where your website link goes, but if you can keep more or less consistent then you’re on the right track.

Step Four: Interact with your audience

We talked about this a bit in the Step Two of the five step social media strategy but it needs repeating. The point of social media is to be social.

I know, you don’t have time to be social. But do you have 15 minutes? Spend 15 minutes a day checking into your two or three chosen social networks and leave comments, reply to comments and lend your expertise whenever convenient. Trust me, this will expedite your brand building like nothing else will.

If you get nothing else from this five step social media strategy remember this: You’re not on social media to sell. You’re there to be social. Offer value, compliments and help. Sales will follow.

Step Five: Build your promotion strategy

All along we’ve been talking about how you DON’T sell on social media. But you do need promotion. There is a difference.

In most cases, clients/readers need to know, like and trust you before they’ll hire you/buy your book/work with you. In a virtual world, how do you make this happen? You need a strategy for converting warm leads into clients and retaining existing clients.

If you can stay in touch in a consistent, helpful, positive way, people who visit your website or connect with you on social will get to know you and will develop trust in you and your brand.

I know it as a “keep in touch strategy.”

I first heard about it when I read Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. He suggests building an automated strategy using customer relationship management (CRM) software. While that’s something you can build up to, there’s lots you can do before investing in a CRM.

You’ll need to figure out a few things you can do to make people feel special, noticed, and important. Here are some ideas.

Passive ways to stay in touch

  • Posting regular blog/website content
  • Posting regular social content
  • Share real-life tips and tricks from behind the scenes of your business
  • Commenting on/liking/sharing others’ posts on social media

Active ways to stay in touch

  • Build an engaged email list and connect consistently
  • Send handwritten notes or cards
  • Live streaming—doesn’t get much more personal than that!
  • Initiate communication
  • Send an article you think your contact would appreciate (personal touch)
  • Become a connector—in helping your connections cross-promote or develop business otherwise (even if it’s without you) you will build so much good will
  • Share gratitude and compliments—recognize others, say thank you, give sincere, public displays of affection

Remember, this is a five step social media strategy but work on one step at a time. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that strategy move on to another, then another.

There, of course, is more. But you don’t have to do it all today. If you’re feeling like you don’t have time to be on social media or you’re overwhelmed with where to start, then please implement this five step social media strategy. It WILL help you! And if you are just plain stuck then I can help. All you have to do is get in touch.

Feeling overwhelmed by social media marketing? Here's your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don't have time to be social.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required