First, I admit, I completely disagree with the terms: Social Media Expert or Social Media Guru. In an industry that changes daily, it is nearly impossible to be an “expert”. Just because you are active on Facebook or Twitter, it does not automatically make you a “guru”. Experienced marketers with understanding of advertising, human psychology, marketing principles may come closer to being an “expert”. However, they do need to can adapt quickly to the changing technology to stay ahead of the curve.
I do believe there is a way to create a learning environment to help create a great social media manager. Let me share how we introduce our team to social media management in 5 days of less.
DAY ONE – FIND TRUSTED SOURCES
With social media marketing popularity on the rise, new sources of information continue to emerge daily. First step is identifying resources that will give you the most up to date and the most accurate information on social media. Below is the list of our favorite starter kit resources. Once you get started with the business, you will create your own list of trusted sources.
1. Social Media Examiner – one of the top blogs with great writers, providing actionable advice on social media.
2. Smart Brief for Social Media – daily newsletter with the top social media stories.
3. Hubspot – marketing company focused on producing blogs, ebooks, white papers on social media best practices.
4. Social Media Today – fantastic resources on content marketing, social marketing and trends.
5. AdAge – a bit of a highbrow publication with a view into agency and advertising trends.
6. eMarketer – digital marketing and media authority, offering insights on market research, trends and data.
7. Forrester Research – similar to eMarketer focuses on trends and strategies to deal with industry shifts
DAY TWO – ORGANIZE YOUR SOURCES
Now that you have the list of resources, how do ensure that you do not miss the news. Best way for me to stay on top of things is to rely on the curation tools. I feel that these tools are must have for anyone who is trying to manage a massive amount of content
1. Scoop.It – In addition to being able to follow specific topics, you can also create your own curated streams and share materials you believe are the most compelling.
2. Alltop – See top headlines around the world broken down by topic, get instant access to the latest articles from the top sources. Create your own stream of data based on the sources you trust.
3. Flipboard – a mobile app that allows filtering information from your sources and creating a visually stunning social magazine.
DAY THREE – READ AND ABSORB
This is all about absorbing as much as you can with the purpose of:
1. Getting a basic understanding of what social media is about (including the main principles and ideas).
2. Being able to formulate a plan that is based on information you learned that you can understand and execute on.
DAY FOUR – CREATE YOUR STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN
We keep hearing: “Social Media for businesses just does not work”. I completely agree with this sentiment. It fails to work in 80% of cases. The main reasons for failure are lack of sound strategy and action plan. As you continue to evolve in your social media management experience, I am confident you will come up with a bullet proof strategy. Just to get you started, here are things you need to understand:
1. Social Media is one of many strategies that will bring customers to your business. You must understand its place in the marketing funnel and use it appropriately.
2. Social Media is an awareness and PR mechanism. It is all about building a dialog and lead your customers down the conversion path.
3. You need to know why you are doing it and measure Social Media impact on the business goals.
4. You have to have a consistent action plan to execute on social media. Here is an example of the Action Plan we would create for Facebook (we recommend you create a similar plan for each of the platforms you manage)
DAY FIVE – PRACTICE AND OPTIMIZE
This is where you actually start putting all of your findings into action. The key to success here is to constantly evolve. In addition to repeating steps from days 1-3, you will be carefully monitoring metrics and tweaking the strategy based on the feedback you are receiving.