4 Cs and an F that I’ve Learned Are Essential to Success as a Social Media Manager
I was not one of the first people to jump on the social media bandwagon. I didn’t participate in chat rooms or forums. I didn’t have a MySpace account. I didn’t join Facebook until 2010 … four years after anyone over 13 with a valid email address could join.
And yet, I was quick to see the business opportunity of managing social media for clients.
Recurring monthly income I can count on. Short copy. Never boring … in fact, maybe even fun!
It turns out, being a Social Media Manager is all of that and more.
It is fun work. And it really stretches my creative muscles.
It also requires systems and discipline, as well as a commitment to honor the nature of the medium.
I’ve learned that success as a Social Media Manager boils down to following 4 Cs and an F. These five guidelines have helped me maintain a solid client base and a steady stream of income for more than 10 years now.
I hope they’ll spur your success as well. Let’s dive right in …
Social media demands a conversational writing style. Throw out the formal “rules” of writing … although please maintain professional standards!
Good social media management is not just about scheduling broadcast sales pitches and then leaving it alone. We are guiding the conversation, not delivering a monologue.
We want our audience to be engaged with us. We strive for the Likes, comments, and shares. But, let’s face it, we have to earn each Like, each comment, each and every share.
You need to respond to comments, even when there’s push-back from your client. Because if someone has stopped the scroll and has taken the time to tap out that comment, they deserve our attention.
One of my clients wanted me to simply delete any negative comment that was posted on their page or on their posts. I told him it was better for his long-term reputation to keep the comments … and publicly respond to them. To have a respectful conversation for everyone else to see.
He agreed, but I knew he wasn’t convinced.
I remember one particularly unhappy customer who wrote a public rant about this client. I got the details from my client and wrote a reply that respectfully told his side of the story. And that’s when the magic of the medium kicked in.
Other customers also started commenting on the post … in support of my client.
My client was blown away by all the positive things his customers had to say. So, I gently pointed out that they wouldn’t have said any of those things publicly like this if we had deleted the comment instead of continuing the conversation.
He was convinced. And he stopped pestering me about deleting customer comments.
You get out of social media what you put into it. If you post on an inconsistent basis, you’ll get inconsistent engagement.
You have to consistently make deposits into the relationship account if you want to have anything there when you want to make a withdrawal (i.e., when you want your social media followers to buy something or share your messages).
Clients understand this in a general sense. They also can’t — or don’t want to — commit to that consistency themselves. This, in addition to our copywriting skill and marketing knowledge, is why they hire us.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to live on social media to be a successful Social Media Manager.
I’ve found that creating batches of posts and ads all at the same time is the system that works best for me. It’s time efficient, and I can simply stay in my client’s voice and get everything done at the same time rather than jumping in and out of character.
Once it’s created, I can then schedule the content out according to the overall social media marketing plan so there’s consistency for the brand community.
You (and the client you’re managing social media on behalf of) aren’t alone on an island with a moat around yourself. Don’t act like you are.
Social media is supposed to be … well … social.
So, invite others to participate. Give them a sense of community … a sense of identity … a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
It’s human nature to want to belong. And we Social Media Managers can instill that in our followers.
We need to honor and respect our followers as our community. But we also need to participate ourselves (as the brand we’re representing). Not with a megaphone from a stage, but down in the crowd, arm-in-arm with them.
Also, realize you’re not the sole content creator for your client. Customers and brand followers also create content with every comment — both on your page and elsewhere. Every post they publish about you becomes your content, too.
Being a Social Media Manager requires a commitment, not just to your client, but also to their brand community.
For example, there have been times when I’ve taken on the role of advocate for the community and stood up for their user experience when my clients were a little too insistent on constant promotional content.
There has to be a balance between promotional content and content that’s inspirational, informative, educational, or just plain fun. It’s the Social Media Manager’s job to keep that balance.
There’s also a commitment to ongoing learning. Because the “rules of engagement” are constantly changing. You can’t ever get too comfortable.
Let’s face it, social media is supposed to be fun! Sure, users expect value, but they also want it to be fun.
And being a Social Media Manager should be fun for us, too.
I have a sticky note that travels from my wall to the edge of my computer screen when I sit down to write my batches of social media content. It says this:
Are we having fun yet?
It’s a reminder to keep the fun in what I’m writing for social media. It’s also a reminder for me to have fun with the work.
It makes me smile every time it catches my eye.
Your Turn …
So, to recap, my 4 Cs and an F to success as a Social Media Manager are:
I don’t spend all my time managing social media for clients. In fact, it’s a relatively small part of my writer’s life. And yet, it has accounted for about a third of my overall earnings as a copywriter.
I know other writers who make social media their full-time gig.
If you’re ready to get started in social media, Nick Usborne’s program, How to Make Money as a Social Media Expert will get you up and running as a social media writer in a matter of weeks! Check it out today.
What could you do with your social media skills?
I’d love to hear, so let us know in the comments.
How to Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert
Everything you need to know to become a social media marketing expert, as well as four different ways to make money using that expertise. Learn More »