Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life, right?
For younger professionals (and aspiring professionals), landing a job in social media and getting paid to post on social networks that they already frequent may seem like a dream.
Indeed, working in the social space can be a lot of fun, but it’s very different from maintaining your own personal profiles. Staying on top of trends means regularly checking in on popular hashtags, creating relevant (and appropriate) memes and other content, and regularly interacting with other people and brands in your space.
Most importantly, it’s about identifying the trends, content, and accounts that will support your brand’s community building efforts.
If these are all things you do on a daily basis anyway, great! But there are still other tasks that will require your attention when you post on behalf of a brand. Here are some basic tips for those looking to break into a career in enterprise social media marketing.
Developing and Maintaining Brand Voice
Check out some of the brand pages you already follow on social media (if you don’t follow any, this is a good time to start!). Scroll through their feeds and take note of the type of posts they publish, and how they phrase them.
Some brands are more energetic than others. Some post only about their own products, while others post about advances in their respective fields. Are they interacting with other people and brands, or do they keep to themselves?
Every brand, just like every person, has its own voice. As a community manager, part of your job will be to find the brand’s voice and be consistent in your posts. Refer to current marketing materials such as emails, newsletters, and blogs to help define the brand’s voice on social media.
Keeping Audience Top of Mind
We all want to connect with current customers and forge new relationships, right? But what if your social media strategy is sabotaging your efforts?
When brands only post product-specific information or corporate announcements, they are missing out on potential engagements. Just think about the last time you watched TV – were you more interested in the actual program, or in the commercials (the Super Bowl notwithstanding)? On social media, company news and product releases are the commercials. Focus on creating more interactive programming.
To do this, think about your customers and what they’re interested in. What are they likely to react to? How can you be seen as a trusted resource without coming across as boring? It will take some research and testing to find the right formula, but it will be worth it in the end.
Staying Cool, Even in a Crisis
No matter what industry you represent, crises are always a possibility. Restaurant brands may be confronted with food quality and service issues; retailers may have to answer for defective products and recalls; and public enterprises are at the mercy of anybody reading the latest headlines.
While crises aren’t a daily occurrence, community managers need to be ready to respond to issues as they arise. One of the most damaging things a brand manager can do is respond negatively to criticism. On the other hand, ignoring the problem altogether is another big misstep.
When an issue arises, social media managers should step back, take a deep breath, and craft a response that is calm, collected, and somewhat quick. It isn’t easy by any means, but it’s necessary for social media success.
Check out this exchange between 1-800-Flowers and a customer to see a good example of a calm, helpful brand response:
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Knowing When to Escalate
While social media managers will need to learn how to respond to negativity on their own, there are times when situations must be escalated.
For example, if a customer or prospect is asking a product-related question that you don’t know the answer to, it’s best to loop in someone who does. If a quality issue is at play, you’ll want to alert whatever teams can best address that issue.
Ultimately, you want to not only respond to problems, but solve them, too. This will often mean working with different teams within the organization to make sure everyone is on the same page.
How to Get a Job in Social Media
Still want to build a career in enterprise social? As with most jobs, it’s difficult to jump in and land your dream role straight out of the gate. You have to start small, gain skills, and work your way up.
Internships are a great way to learn, get feedback, and give your resume a boost. If you’re still in college, this is the perfect opportunity to get real-world experience while earning credits toward your degree.
For those who’ve already graduated or are looking to break into a new field, you may find success working with smaller companies and groups first. Having a background in writing, communications, marketing, or other similar fields will help provide a foundation for your social media career. Ultimately, though, the best way to learn is by doing. This might even mean volunteering your time for a bit until you find your groove managing social media profiles for brands.
Building a Career in Enterprise Social Media
Enterprise social media management is a lot different than working with SMBs or other organizations. Everything is on a larger scale, from production demands to audience development.
A career in enterprise social media means working with people across the organization to serve an end goal of helping people. Sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it’s scary, but it is vitally important to a brand’s overall marketing footprint.