Ever wanted to learn how to become a social media manager, or what it’s like being one?
Krystal, one of our talented client social media managers, is guest blogging today with her thoughts on the subject. Plus, she’s sharing a look at her day, writing and creating social posts for our client base. Enjoy!
I grew up on the Internet.
If you knew me up until college, you knew me as the shy, quiet, artsy anime/video games nerd that had some good ideas, but wasn’t very effective in communicating them. That is, unless we were friends online.
Text role play, fanfic writing, and managing online communities was how I got out of my shell and found my writer’s voice.
It was a way to communicate that didn’t always flow as freely in person. I learned how to manage folks on MMOs and do customer service via email.
These types of things were done for leisure, naturally.
I was always a reader and a lover of fiction, but when I started working for an indie bookstore, I was reading ten books a month and bridging the gap between having an online personality and communicating with bookstore patrons in person.
Now how, might you ask, did this culminate in becoming a social media manager?
How to Become a Social Media Manager: Krystal’s Starting Roots
Reading and writing have always been my pillars. I used to do more Fine Arts (I even had a brief stint in art school), but I found that I couldn’t communicate with my paintings and photos as deeply as I could with words. This became apparent to me as I started becoming engaged in online communities such as LiveJournal and managing big raids in World of Warcraft and really excelled at connecting with users and empathizing with them.
You learn how to communicate with people in a whole new way, using persuasive and subtle language to create a sense of a virtual community. No matter what online platform I’m on, that’s what I strive to do – create a community, whether it’s with fellow nerds or customers I’m trying to reach out to.
It’s like calling a hotline and having to speak to a computer. That’s bad social media. Good social media is connecting with the user on the other end. Great social media is getting them to laugh at the screen and look forward to your tweets or status updates. You want to feel like the person on the other side of the screen is your confidante, ready to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction, whether it’s helping you figure out why your flight was delayed or which ice cream is the hot flavor of the month.
Being a Good Social Media Manager is All About Great Research and Writing
Of course, there’s more to social media than just being a solid communicator. You have to love research. Having a degree in Applied Psychology, I’m used to spending hours, days, even weeks doing research on one topic.
My biggest hurdle when I first started writing copy for social media professionally was getting used to writing copy for topics that I knew nothing about, or –let’s face it—topics I couldn’t care less about.
A Day in the Life: Writing for Typical Subjects Can be Fun!
But the beauty of loving research and writing is that, in general, you most likely love to learn. This was an unexpected perk when I joined up with the great folks at Express Writers.
I was getting clients that were connected to products like luxury vehicles, RVs, beds, and real estate litigation. I happen to own a bed, but otherwise I don’t know anything about any of those. I was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was to research the kind of content that their customers wanted to see, Googling all sorts of articles and such to get people excited about RV safety. Who knew!
As long as you check your sources and make sure they’re legit, you can find some awesome content out there. I keep a word document of all the websites I’ve found to be useful depending on the subject, just so I can revisit the ones I know will give me great content if I need to.
Tip: Be Conversational in Your Writing Style
Then, I get the information out there as if I’m having a conversation with someone. Even if a client wants the tone of the copy to be professional, I try to give it my own personal spin so that every tweet feels like a greeting, a first impression between strangers. I can talk a lot about keywords and SEO, which are all essential in the most fundamental ways, but once you’ve drawn in your customers with the right algorithm, you need to keep them hooked with your personality. This is of course true with actual face-to-face interactions, but when information is flying at users on their Timelines or Dashboards.
This is what I love about being a social media manager. It’s the ultimate social experiment of the human condition, only way more fun and interactive than anything you’d read in a textbook!
4 Tips to Share on How to Become a Social Media Manager That’s Worth Their Salt
Well, I’ve zeroed in on some tips that I think you’ll find useful if you’re thinking of getting involved in the professional social media world:
1. Keep Reading
Seriously. Whether its articles online, novels, or even episodic video games – keep yourself immersed in some form of literature, whether it’s Dostoevsky, Murakami , or That-Indie-Graphic-Novel-That-You-Wish-Other-People-Read,-Too. It makes you a better, savvier writer overall and keeps your noodle engaged with language. Draw on the voices in literature to help you cultivate your own. It’s important to do, even if you only have 140 characters to show it.
The same goes for writing. If you get an itch to write a little story, poem, or blog, scratch it.
2. Stay Connected to Social Media
This is related to my last point, and it may sound pretty obvious, but it deserves special mention: stay involved.
Read your timelines, study how your favorite companies stay relevant on a daily basis and how they connect with their customers.
Really listen to their tones and how they come across.
Sometimes I even say posts out loud to see if they sound natural. You can really learn how much tone makes a difference when it comes to what kind of impact one has online.
3. Remember Your Audience: They’re Just Like You
I hate stuffy sounding social media. You know what I’m talking about. It sounds like the kinds of emails your boss writes when they’re trying to sound engaging – the ones that make you roll your eyes.
If you’ve been in the position where you’ve read a social media post that’s trying to be engaging and it makes you roll your eyes, then you know that that writer hasn’t found their inner voice.
This goes for professionally-geared social media accounts, too, not just the fun ones. Your posts should sound like a conversation – a virtual handshake to your followers – not a thesis statement.
4. Emojis Are Fine and All, But…
Use them smartly and sparingly.
Same goes for hashtags.
This is 2016 – you really don’t need twelve hashtags and thirty emojis in your tweet unless you’re a spam bot.
You can follow Krystal on Twitter @pseudomachine.
Need great social media content? Can’t keep up with the demanding schedule that social media needs for the highest exposure results? We can help! Check out our Social Media Management packages – to have Krystal on your social media, just request her in the order form!