So, you’ve recently graduated from college or you’ve been working in a company for a while. You love hanging out on social media platforms like Facebook, and have even got a Twitter account, and maybe a Google+ account too (you really are a geek, aren’t you?)
And then you read this news item in the newspaper. How companies are hiring people to Facebook and Tweet for them.
“Damn, that is an easy job. Even I can do that!” you think to yourself. What could be easier? And you’ll be getting paid to do it!
Interacting with friends and updating your status on a regular basis is not the same thing as doing it for a firm (either in-house or in a social media agency)
Here are the things you have to understand:
- Companies and brands (there’s a difference) have Facebook pages for specific goals – these goals are of various nature, driving engagement, trial or purchase. You have to know what these are. If the company hiring you is not sure, then you’re in trouble. Ask them questions “Why are they doing it? What do they expect from it? How will they measure success?”
- Companies have specific “voices” – posting on behalf of them requires you to mimic that voice. So you need to reign in your own way of writing/replying to suit.
- When you blog, tweet or post about your company or client’s offerings – be sure to mention that as a disclaimer – else you end up losing credibility when your readers and followers discover it later.
- Focus on knowing the business. How is the product procured, made and sold? What is the competition like? What is the main differentiator between your product/service compared to the competition? Who is the market leader? What is your product’s long term strategy? What are the other products if any, your company sells in the same market? Knowing the answer to all these questions would help you to engage better.
- Knowing other employees: Social isn’t a silo. It’s like being on a company’s telephone lines as well as going out to market. Some questions you could answer by yourself and for others you would need to transfer it to some subject matter expert in other silos. If they haven’t been inducted into a cross functional team to help the social initiative then you need to build your own relationships – to be good at social externally you have to be social internally.
- Leverage your budgets – Companies understand that while social media sites are free they need promotional activities. Do basic background research of what all is out there to help you succeed. Success is defined by what the organization says to point 1, above.
- Know the tools: There are lots of tools that make posting at different social sites easier and to monitor them. Research them. Some a free while others are paid. See a list here at Jeremiah Owyang’s blog. Evaluate them with respect to efficacy in India. Since most are made in the Western world they might miss out on “Indianisms” and local flavor. Also look at what software is used for internal purposes, as some of them are bundling social layers on top of that – like Salesforce.com adds Chatter for internal and specific external collaboration on them. Salesforce.com also bought Radian6 , a social media monitoring tool. Oracle and SAP the big ERP vendors are also adding and buying social tools to connect to their traditional business software. Keep updated on the developments and inform your boss to help him/her evaluate buying the tools.