THE REALITY OF BEING AN SMM 💼
This week, Dan Quitério, Director of Social Media @ The WNET Group shares his thoughts…
Tell me a little about you and your role
My marketing career predates social media marketing by a couple of years. I started off as an account executive at a number of ad agencies before “accidentally” cutting my teeth in social at digital agency 360i in New York City, working on community management for a number of TV shows for NBC Universal networks.
Fast forward several years and I’m now the Director of Social Media for a company that produces several shows for PBS. We focus on building our shows’ online communities with an eye on turning our viewers into evangelists for each show’s brand.
Favourite thing about working in social
I love connecting fans to our brand and to each other. Engaging with our audiences is a real highlight. Social media managers possess a lot of power; they have the ability to make someone’s day with a simple acknowledgement, be that a like of their comment, a quick reply, or a follow.
If your brand is one that they really admire, that little action that says “I see you and I appreciate you” can make a real difference to them. And being able to connect fans to others with similar interests is something I never take for granted. I run a Facebook group and a fan posted that because of that group she was reunited with a friend she hadn’t heard from in years! Now that’s pretty amazing!
Least favourite thing about working in social
Anyone with a Facebook account thinks they’re an expert. That becomes a problem when you’re trying to convince colleagues of the real value of social media marketing.
Many don’t take your work seriously, and some view it as “playtime,” not considering or realizing a very real mental health toll when you’re on the frontlines representing your brand to the public; having to be always-on with 24/7 community management, constant platform changes, and strategy pivots; and living in the often-unfriendly comment section.
Social is far more nuanced and complex than many give it credit for, and as a result, resources—both people and budget—don’t always reflect what’s needed to do the job effectively.
1 in 5 people live with a disability. That’s a huge chunk of your audience. Yet, most don’t consider accessibility when planning and executing their social content.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your content is truly inclusive so that your ENTIRE audience can enjoy it—from something as simple as using CamelCase hashtags (capitalizing the first letter of each word, like #SocialMedia) or writing alt text for all images, to heavier-lift tactics like including video captions and transcripts to producing audio description in your videos.
Learn more ways
to make your social media accessible with this toolkit, courtesy of a few U.S. government agencies.
Don’t forget that you can’t be successful in social without your audience, so be audience-first in your planning and execution. Basic social listening and reporting is how you can easily learn what your audience likes and doesn’t like. With this in mind—as well as knowledge of how the algorithms work—you can make a real difference in building your brand on social. A super easy way to do this is by asking questions.
Everyone has an opinion and they like to express it, so give them the space to do so. A simple question graphic (I like to call them “conversation cards”) can be an easy way to activate your audience AND learn more about them (I find the broader the question the more people who will answer it). You can then leverage those learnings to create more content. And don’t forget to engage with them, too.
Ask them follow-up questions in the comments; keep that dialogue going. That’s how you build relationships and get casual fans excited about your brand—not to mention the platforms like to see brands engaging in that way and will reward you by placing more of your content in people’s feeds.
If you’re interested in sharing your experiences as a SMM, please reply to this email or DM me on Instagram.