When tasked with pulling together a “Social Media” presentation for a recent group, I decided to draw on the expertise of many to benefit the few. I asked a group of 23,000 social media managers, “If you had to choose one thing you WISH you’d known when you started SM, what would it be?

•Over 100 responses (thus ranking me as a conversation starter!)
•This is a sampling for your consideration and discussion.



“If I had to choose…”
Alex M: Good social media is a lifestyle and takes time to take effect.
Understand who your target audience really is.
Provide value to your audience.
Utilise (sic) free resources to develop knowledge (YouTube and podcasts).
Forget stats and numbers and be authentic.

“If I had to choose…”
Alex M:
That would do for the first course…

“What was I thinking?”
Jula P: Focus on doing one platform well instead of doing multiple ones poorly.

Zach: Know why you’re on social & what your goals are.
Understand the differences between platforms.
Create something of value for your audience.
Tell a story with your content.


“Listen to your data.”
Heather: Quality over quantity.
Evaluate your OWN needs and data, don’t just listen to prescribed “you should do this X times a day” or “always use [insert content type]” recommendations.
Provide the kind of content that engages YOUR audience!

“What to post??”
Michael G: Test everything and don’t be romantic about your initial ideas, do what works.
Tell a story with your content
Challenge yourself to find examples of great social media, then analyze it.
Pull data from your accounts and crunch the numbers.

“Who cares?”
Know your audience and take some time to define WHO you are talking to and where they are on the interwebs.

“You’ll hear voices.”
Cathy S: Stay true to your brand and voice.
Use your expertise as a business owner and communicate with your SMM if it isn’t you.
If you’re doing social for a business make sure you understand the brand and can speak in their voice.

“It’s SOCIAL media”
Christina (manager): If you are going to be on social, BE SOCIAL!” Seriously.

Emphasize the importance of community management and caring for your audience.

“Just keep swimming”
Anthony B: Never. Stop. Learning. Ever.
There will ALWAYS be more knowledge, more tools, more studies, and more classes you can take. Develop new skills.
Challenge yourself to find examples of great social media, then analyze it. Pull data from your accounts and crunch the numbers.

“Follow the rules.”
Tressa: Know what your regulatory and compliance rules are for your industry.

Christin: It’s a moving target that will never be mastered. Thirst for knowledge and adaptability to perpetual change will go a long way.

“In the long run…”
Racey B. (meaningful contributor): Social Media is a marathon not a sprint.

Erica L: It’s a 24 hour job.
 
“Misty’s rules”

Misty J: Run local engagement ads on Facebook for at least $1 a day all the time.
Be genuine and try to include real people as much as possible.
Don’t steal photos on Google.
Get reviews and split them between yelp!, Facebook, and Google.

“Your web is critical.”
Miller F: Have a website to market 24/7 and be a place to direct social media marketing to. Use blogs or product catalogs for interest.

“You’ll never know…”
Sneha M: Learn fast, fail fast and never be scared of experiments.
Keep learning. Stay humble.
Accept that you don’t know everything though you feel you need to.

“Consistency is sexy”
Be consistent in voice, tone and look

“Make it legit”
Claim your username and verify your page on all platforms.
What’s the problem?

“Under the bridge”
Don’t pander to trolls…
The best way to reduce the importance of a BAD review is with 5 GOOD reviews.
Respond to complaints or negative reviews with an invitation to listen.
Don’t apologize or accept blame publicly.
If all else fails, hide the comment or block the poster.

“Just the facts”
Cheri B: (ME and 52 others created the most engaging posts in Social Media Managers in the past month.)

Choose the most important KPIs to track to show the ROI you are looking for. Close the marketing funnel with tracking through your website.

“Who’s going to do it?”

Jeanne E: Hire a professional…not your neighbor’s daughter’s BFF who has a FB account.
-OR-
Alexandra N: You’ll learn more on your own and networking than you ever did in college. -AND-

Libby C: Get good at graphic design
-OR-
Cheri B: Use www.canva.com

“Breathe”
Put your phone on do not disturb during your out- of-work hours and remember that the posts you spent hours on have a short shelf life so don’t sweat the small stuff.

That seemed like a pretty good list to me. Thanks to Social Media Managers and SM Pro for allowing me to ask the questions.