But when I ask them a few basics about social, they have no idea what I'm talking about. Not good!
Social media management is not just a matter of tweeting and posting cool stuff. You need to know the best channel for particular messages and goals, and you must be able to measure impact. You need to know who's on which channels, and how they use them.
You also need to follow the field and keep up with change. Just as paywalls are a hot topic in the newspaper business these days, social media companies--Facebook in particular--are trying to amp up their revenues. Because these companies need to make a profit.
1. Did you know, for example, that Facebook is now charging people with subscribers (these are often reporters or organizations whose posts you'll be promoting) to get posts into those subscriber feeds?
nytimes.com Bits columnist Nick Bilton recently blogged about this:
I’ve stayed on Facebook after its repeated privacy violations partly because I foolishly believed there was some sort of democratic approach to sharing freely with others. The company persuaded us to share under that premise and is now turning it inside out by requiring us to pay for people to see what we post.He also talked about his situation as a journalist who is using Facebook to connect with readers on WBUR's Here and Now last week.
I have noticed this with my Fiftyshift feed recently. Just to recap: Last semester, I bought Facebook advertising to get more "Likes." Now I have more than 400 Likes, and Facebook wants me to pay more money to "promote" my post with these users. So I'm now being asked to pay to reach people I've already paid to reach.
In this Forbes.com post, contributor Elan Dekel de-constructs a Facebook marketing campaign and its costs and benefits. His verdict: Facebook pages are a bad investment for small businesses.
The comments on this post are also worth reading.
Here's another very useful post from streetfight, which covers hyperlocals, Why Mom and Pops Will No Longer Pay for Social Media Management. Interestingly enough, it comes from Julie Brooks, CEO of eCape, which advises hyperlocals on Cape Cod.
What's this development going to mean for the organization that is hiring you to manage its Facebook page?
2. Did you know about a thing called Klout? You should.
Also: Chartbeat and Google Analytics. Get under the hood with these platforms!
The Social Flow window on Google Analytics can tell you boatloads about how social users connect with your organization on the web and what they do once they are on your site. From measuring the social on my little web page, I can see that Pinterest users look at different content from my Facebook users. This helps me develop strategy for my social media.
3. Learn who's using social for what. There's a lot of bad information out there on this topic, mostly produced by digital marketers who profess to know everything. Those are the people you'll get when you do a Google search. But I like the Pew Internet Center, which provides a lot of research on users. Also: Mashable, AllFacebook.
4. Keep reading! Here's Website Magazine's post on 5 Questions to Ask Your Social Media Consultant.
5. Take my Entrepreneurial Journalism course this fall. We'll be doing all kinds of research and presenting on this topic and lots of others at the intersection of journalism, technology, entrepreneurship and awesome. Okay, maybe the awesome thing is pushing it. But it's still a great class. Sign up for it during pre-reg.