Do you feel like everyone under the sun is competing with you on social media for the hard-fought engagement that seems to only be decreasing? That is because you kind of are, but don’t be discouraged, hear me out.
You look around and it feels like standing out is impossible and getting people to engage with your posts is nearly as impossible, does this sound familiar? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that Social Media Management is changing! And I don’t mean just the algorithms, I mean the entire way we think about it and how we use it has changed a lot, especially over the course of 2019. People don’t want just pretty Instagram feeds, they want a story, they want to connect, they want a reason to be interested and care at all.
Great, So How Do I Make Them Care?!
If you want people to start caring enough to actually engage you need to give them a real story. You need to take the focus away from how many followers you have grown by each month and start worrying about how many real people (ideally that ALREADY FOLLOW YOU!) are leaving responses or sending you messages because they really connected with your post.
So How Does Reailty TV Help Me?
Getting people interested and wanting to connect is exactly what brings me to reality TV, yes, reailty TV. What do the Kardashian’s or Chip and Joanna Gaines have to do with your social media? The formula behind pretty much every reality TV show is the same, and IT WORKS!
Think about it, no matter what show you are watching, whether it’s wholesome family fun (Enter Chip & Joanna), guilty pleasure worthy Real Housewives, or somewhere in between, they almost always focus on a person or small cast of people who are working on launching a business or product by the finale. Am I right or what?
I had done a case study on Uncommon James’ Instagram account which is a brand by my favorite reality star, Kristin Cavallari also behind the show Very Cavallari that is worth the read as well. Season one of their show took us through the process of Kristin launching her new brand, Uncommon James. We got to see Kristin in her element working on these products, going through the struggles, sharing the wins, and the Finale was the launch of a new product line for the brand.
This is what people want to see on your social media! They want to see YOU while you work, create, overcome, and succeed!
When you share a selfie with your morning coffee while you are preparing for your next meeting and you share a few things you like to do that help you not feel overwhelmed, people connect with YOU. They ALSO learn that you work with clients, that you prepare, and they may even learn that they are similar or have a similar habit. Those little habits, favorite foods, places, songs, notebooks, and anything that makes you YOU are what makes someone remember you and want to comment on your post.
What Is a Social Media Producer? Sounds Like a Lot…
A Social Media Producer is a term I just made up (though I am sure someone has this title by now!). In my opinion this is one of the many roles a social media manager will oversee or take on as this digital marketing landscape keeps evolving.
Currently, most people associate a social media manager with some of the basic social media tasks like writing captions, creating and finding images, responding to comments, scheduling posts, and regularly posting to stories and reporting. Some may also include ad management, though for me I think that is a separate beast to be tackled by an ad manager specifically if possible (unless you are a well trained ad manager, of course!)
A producer, say for a reality TV show, is tasked with creating the story (among other things) and actually producing a segment or entire show. They figure out what their audience will connect with most, who they can bring into the mix (such as guests or writers), what can be turned into regular segments, and how the story will link back to the overall goal of sales, views, and engagement. Sound like a job you might already be doing too? I thought so.
A producer may do things like brainstorm episode or segment ideas, work with a writer or on camera personality to create a script or talking points, coordinate time to film or record audio, assist in editing the content, and then also the marketing of the content. Don’t worry, we aren’t ACTUALLY producing full shows or any elaborate segments, this is meant to explain a bit behind what producing something actually entails. This can be on a very small scale or a massive one (think local access cable vs. The Oscars).
How Do I Apply This To Me?
Chances are you are already doing a lot of production, but when you think about it as what it actually is, it feels a lot more doable and easier to organize. If you can take the things you are currently doing on social media and the time it takes to do all of those and then completely re-prioritize what you are doing I know you will see results. The point of this post is to get you to re-think the role of a social media manager and the tasks around social media. Here are some steps you can take to reframe your role managing social media for yourself or a client so you can work with your audience instead of against the algorithm!
Do a Brain Dump
Brain dump all of the tasks you can think of that need to be done to manage your social media. Put on your new social media producer hat too and think of some of those tasks you are doing or wish you were doing. Once you are done see if any tasks can be combined into one or a single term. If you can, assign an estimated time to complete the task to each one. This list will help you create a new role for yourself.
List Your Inspiration
Make a short list of some of your favorite accounts to follow AND ENGAGE WITH on social media. This can be ANY account on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere really. It doesn’t need to be a business exactly, related to your business or clients, or anything. Who do you always comment on that isn’t related to you or your BFF? Just list them, don’t overthink it. For me, I always comment on Randi Zuckerberg, Mel Robbins, a couple of bloggers and Jenna Kutcher.
We’ve been thinking of social media managers the same way for quite some time which keeps us stuck in the same loop whether it works or not. Pretend you had never managed a social media account before (maybe you haven’t!) and look at your list of accounts that you love to engage with. What do they all have in common? I know the accounts I listed all do one thing really well, TALK TO ME. They share genuinely and make me feel like they are speaking TO me and not AT me. Some of the accounts I always comment on have well produced videos and some don’t. They all are active in their stories sharing bits of their lives in the raw.
Now, pretend you had to recreate this experience, what tasks that you listed in your brain dump from step one would help you get there? Re-write your role as a social media manager and stop just scheduling posts. Produce a social media channel that people want more of! This may take some time for you while you adjust to finding ways to get clients to participate in content creation or find time to film rather than just spending it scrolling, but making these changes WILL make a difference!