Lessons I Learnt While Working in Social Media Marketing
A guide on how to become a better marketeer from a self-proclaimed learner.
I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, preferring to spend time by myself and feeling awkward in large social gatherings. So naturally, when I applied for a job in social media marketing, my biggest fear was the self-creation of a paradox in my professional career.
Jumping onto the bandwagon is an easy task, but standing out from the other horses in the stable is the only way you can expect to be chosen to take part in the race.
I was naturally skeptical whether I could go the distance, but it was in the process that I learnt valuable lessons, some of which greatly benefitted my work. So here are 6 ways to shape yourself into a better social media marketeer.
- Observation is the King:
It is quite ubiquitous in internet articles that content is the king when it comes to social media. Brands need to ensure their content is engaging and worthy of an average consumer’s two-second attention span.
Creating this, however, can appear to be an arduous task, requiring tons of hours of brainstorming to come up with a unique creative idea. This is true, but with a simple routine, the process can be made easier. That is of course through the art of observation.
There was once a man named Osten, a teacher of mathematics, who owned a horse called Hans. It was rumored that Hans had been taught maths by his master and could count numbers correctly.
There were numerous shows that were organized where crowds would be amazed by the horse’s ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with accuracy every time.
His feats were celebrated across the country and his fame and popularity grew to such a large extent, that a commission was set up to verify the horse’s abilities. To everyone’s surprise, Hans answered even difficult questions related to fractions correctly.
It was in the second round of the scrutiny when the questions were whispered into his ear, that the truth was uncovered. Hans was not able to respond to even easy problems.
Can you guess why? Hans could only answer the questions correctly when the audience knew the solution. In reality, he had been trained to observe people carefully.
When he tapped his hooves to answer any maths problem, he would notice the subtle signs in the body language of his audience.
As the tapping inched closer to the correct answer, everyone would display tension which subsided only on reaching the exact solution. This way Hans was always right in his shows.
As it would have been blatantly visible to all of you, the key here is observation.
A lot of the work that you see of great marketeers derives from their power of just seeing things around them, paying attention to the small details in everyday objects, picking up nuances, and utilizing them in cases where applicable.
Successful marketing campaigns have been created this way.
2. Trying New Things:
The worst fear one can have is the fear of the unknown. We perceive things we’ve not experienced like literal outsiders, trying our best to stay aloof. While many of us may want to have new experiences, the brain screams, “Hold your horses!”
This doesn’t mean that one needs to go skydiving and trekking this weekend to try something new. Having a passion for learning a new skill and delving deep into a new concept that you had not heard of before, are all classified as stepping out of your comfort zone.
These attempts are never futile as they not only open your mind to the world and its fascinating contents, but also help in building your creativity, by kickstarting the brain juices and forcing it to let go of the reins with which it holds the body.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of having the habit of learning new things, but the one that’s of paramount importance for marketeers is the philosophy of multi-tasking.
This is the age of polymaths, where the more skills you are able to master, the greater is the value that you can provide. So try your hand at writing and a bit of design, increasing your marketability in this space.
By expanding your horizons to new limits, one ends up with greater knowledge that helps them grow as individuals, and as learned marketeers.
3. Calling Them Out By Their Name:
The importance of this seemingly trivial point is H-U-G-E. As Dale Carnegie puts it, “The name of a person is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in the language.”
Even in a simple conversation, by just referring to the other person by their name in your sentences, you make them feel special and more relaxed and increase your reliability as a good communicator.
The effect is even more predominant while composing an email. Instead of the nervous “Hi”, go for the much more friendly “Hi Steve”, and you’ll notice a much better response as well.
It helps in putting your point across in an amicable manner and makes you come across as a genial person as well. Forming good communications is a primary target for every social media manager, and building these small trust checkpoints with your client goes a long way in this process.
The beauty of social media lies in its high engagement value. Almost all platforms allow you to tag people on your posts, which enriches the user’s experience.
When someone compliments you or leaves a good comment on your page, reply to it by referring to the person by name.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth on a social media platform. These small simple steps increase your reach and make you come out as a friendly brand, which encourages more people to engage with your content.
4. Building a Community:
The talented marketeer knows all the tools required to run a successful campaign, but the smart marketeer is cognizant of how to keep the brand relevant and engaging even after the campaign is over.
The secret is having a passionate community surrounding the brand, loyal customers who understand you, and more importantly, who you understand.
Once you pay close attention to your audience to understand them properly, learn and develop new skills to increase the quality of your content, and engage regularly with the audience, you are already demonstrating your passion, which is always a good sign for a brand.
Allowing communication from both ends shows your brand’s humanity and the fact that you care.
Showing that you are available, compassionate and willing to engage adds tremendous value to your content and social media platforms respect that. One positive affiliate mention can do you wonders.
One of the best examples of good practices is Red Bull. No doubt it is a huge brand, but their social media strategy is very well designed and has been successful in building a great community.
The posts are well received, and the brand makes it a point to respond to individual comments, hold regular contests for their followers, and reply to messages with GIFs to show their human side.
People are even given the free rein and encouraged to vote for what should be the next post on their Instagram Stories. User-generated content (UGC) is a prominent feature on their social media, which is largely responsible for a healthy community to grow surrounding the brand. Without a doubt, Red Bull has grown wings and flown to the top.
5. The Difference Between I & You:
The usage of the correct pronoun at a particular instance is a factor that can completely change the user experience. Wait — what? How could a simple thing like that affect a brand? It projects the image of your brand in the mind of the consumer.
It is universally known that there are three types of pronouns, the first person ‘I’, the second person ‘you’, and the third person ‘them’. The meaning of your brand communication completely changes when you alternate between these pronouns.
For example, consider this statement: “Do you always feel frustrated that no shoe size fits you perfectly? Try XYZ Shoes to find a comfortable partner for your feet.” This allows you to directly address your customers and speak to them in such a way that they relate to your words.
Now, here is the same statement restructured: “I have always suffered because of the size of my feet. It gets so frustrating when no shoe size fits properly! This is why XYZ Shoes was a savior.” The personal pronoun does exactly what it states; it makes your brand more personal and approachable.
By adding the human element, it allows for connections with the audience.
Lastly, the sentence can be stated this way: “George is always frustrated by his feet since he is never able to find a shoe size that fits him properly.
So he opted for XYZ Shoes to find a comfortable partner for his feet.” This gives a more professional look to the brand, giving it the feel of an entity to be respected.
Choosing between how you wish your brand to be projected in the eyes of the audience plays a huge role, and the correct pronoun is integral in this process.
A major choice here is also the usage of the terms ‘I’ and ‘we’. Hear it from the horse’s mouth from the example of Netflix.
The streaming giant has been using social media effectively, making major announcements, and sharing humorous content at their own expense at the same time.
While posting in a jovial manner, ‘I’ is used in a majority of the instances, giving a first-name-basis relationship feel with the audience and providing for greater engagements. ‘We’ is mostly used when communicating team efforts to show their repertoire as a unified entity.
This mix allows Netflix to project itself as an approachable brand on social media and build a passionate community.
6. Reading, Reading, and Reading:
This is the one factor that distinguishes successful marketeers. Staying up to date with current trends is a constitutive part of this exercise, without which any brilliantly thought out campaign would remain lackluster.
Reading ties up all the aforementioned factors together; your observations meet with the spiraling of your inherent creativity and new information. Staying relevant is the most crucial aspect of any marketing endeavor, and that is possible only through reading.
Every learning is indispensable. What you read may not be related to the work you are currently doing, but it always helps in the future, opening your mind to never-thought-before-concepts.
It helps in making you a good conversationalist, with things to say to different people, increasing your understanding of the world, and allowing you to stand out among the among horses in the race.
So in conclusion…
Giddy up, get your creative juices flowing, and do the basics right. No force is strong enough to alter your momentum when you’re running this race.
Brain capacity filled with weird questions about life, the universe and everything.