Let me be honest—I never thought I’d work in social media. When I was studying PR and communications, I had a feeling my future roles might include some aspects of social media management, but I never imagined I’d be tasked with helping build a brand during its initial stages. Over a few years of working in my chosen industry in comms, I realized I wanted to take on this challenge. And that’s when I found Wrk.
One of my first tasks when I started as Social Media & Content Coordinator was to build a new, overarching social media strategy. As imposter syndrome rolled in, I pored over that presentation for weeks. I practiced it several times and even recorded myself to anticipate where I’d stumble over my words on presentation day. After talking my team through my plan for the upcoming year, I came to what was a shocking realization for me—I can do this.
Fast forward to just over a year later and I got to watch my organization grow, lead our social efforts as we closed our Series A with over $55 million in funding, launch new platforms and initiatives, and even lead a Lunch & Learn session for my team about the importance of employee advocacy on social media.
While I consider myself a lifelong learner and believe that as professionals, we are never done learning, I’m happy to share some helpful information I’ve picked up (so far) through leading our social initiatives at Wrk.
Employee advocacy and social media
Social media has a big role to play when it comes to telling a brand story or building brand recognition. In fact, studies show that a whopping 90% of people buy from brands they follow on social media and 79% of job seekers use social media when conducting their job search.
So it’s vital that if we are active on social media, we’re able to articulate our brand story in a way that is authentic, impactful, and positive. And that’s where employee advocacy comes in.
When it comes to employee advocacy and engagement in general, company culture builds from the outside in. Employees are ultimately the biggest advocates for their brands and positive engagement is, in a word, contagious. Since it’s currently a “job seekers” market and terms like “the great resignation” are in flux, job seekers are looking for companies with great cultures and a mission, vision, and value they can truly get behind.
It’s vital to always remember that the voice of your team is powerful and impactful, but it’s also important to note that social media isn’t for everyone. And some team members may not be sure of best practices to amplify your brand on social media. In this sense, proper training is paramount.
While this is a work in progress for us at Wrk—and something that will change and evolve as we continue to grow—the first step was leading a workshop for our team, as noted above. Because transparency is a core pillar at Wrk, I started by providing the team with an overview of our social media strategy, the platforms we’re currently active on and planned future launches, and how we actually plan our content sharing efforts in our Marketing team.
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Then I went into how personalizing reshares of posts can go a long way towards fostering engagement and painting an overall picture for brands. And finally, I explained our marketing messaging. By offering the right type of training, you can ensure you don’t lose control over your message and that it doesn’t get diluted.
Ultimately, if you manage social media for your organization, you must consistently remind your team that you’re there to offer support when it comes to helping them become more active and engaged on social media.
Test everything, track everything
For marketing professionals, testing and tracking everything is paramount and may seem like an obvious strategy. But it bears repeating and can’t be overstated enough. How many times have you come up with a unique idea that you think is going to hit but after publishing it you realize the engagement is low? Sometimes it’s a blow to your ego, but you want to continuously try and make your vision work. Eventually, you need to give up the ghost and realize that while you thought your concept was fire, your audience thinks it’s a flop.
Conversely, you may try something new and watch the likes and comments roll in and be surprised by the uptick in engagement. Either way, you need to track how much or how little engagement different content receives on social media.
And if you are in marketing, you probably don’t need me to tell you that you’re constantly testing. What works today may not be as new or as exciting tomorrow, but then 3 months later you could post the same thing and see shockingly high clicks again.
The point is to consistently test out new strategies and track the results to help you plan stronger content tomorrow.
You’re only as strong as your team
You may have been put in charge of social media management, but more often than not, you can’t fly solo. Different content requires buy-in, perspectives, and participation from your team. For example, if you’re looking to show off your company culture, you’ll need participation from members of your team to bring that culture to life on social media. And in order to do that, you need to build and foster relationships with your team members in different departments.
The ultimate goal should be for your teams to work together to become a web of shared and transferable knowledge. You need to lead by example to make that happen and ensure that your team knows you’re there to support them so that you can also lean on them for support you may need.
When it comes to the Wrk brand specifically, in the content marketing world, we typically don’t come from technical backgrounds. So in order to explain what we do and how we do it accurately, we often collaborate with our talented and knowledgeable Engineers, Functional Analysts, Product Specialists, and more to ensure we’re hitting the right messaging. We also work with our Sales and Customer Success teams to really understand our clients’ pain points and needs so we can articulate them in a clear and cohesive way through our messaging.
Social media does not, nor should it, act in a silo. Social media is a representation of your brand as a whole, so it requires participation from your team in some way. And it’s on you to build strong relationships with your team to foster that participation and partnership.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s a Friday afternoon. There’s an upcoming event you need to share a post about soon, but you’re still waiting for an updated graphic to share on your channels. The problem is your manager hasn’t approved the posting and your Graphic Designer got locked out of Adobe Creative Cloud and is on hold with their Customer Support team. The question is, if this post has to wait until Monday, is it the end of the world? Probably not.
As a Social Media Coordinator, one thing I had to learn was not to sweat the small stuff. If I’m waiting on a blog that hasn’t been double-checked over yet, I know I have a bank of content to lean back on in case I need it. If I had to count how many times I’ve carefully laid out the plan for my social media calendar only to shift it around for other pressing articles, it would probably be twice a week.
The best-laid plans often go awry, and that’s okay. 9 times out of 10 nobody will notice if something didn’t go out when you said it would. And at the end of the day, you’ll be the one beating yourself up about it. If you work in social media, you know that you already have enough other things to worry about or put your energy towards than wasting time stressing about a delayed post. My motto is to always put the focus on doing something right rather than doing it fast. So if it can wait, let it wait.
Evolve and evaluate
While the concept of social media infiltrated the internet with platforms like SixDegrees.com, Friendster, and of course, MySpace, it really took off by 2005 as Facebook gained traction. Today, we have an influx of platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, the infamous Tik Tok, and more.
It’s no surprise that social media is constantly evolving, and as social media professionals, we must evolve with it.
But we must also be mindful of where our target audiences are and what our goals and metrics are for each platform. I often get asked why we aren’t on Tik Tok. In a nutshell, it doesn’t make sense for us right now. But who knows? Maybe a year from now, it will. So I never say never. And that’s why that evaluation piece is crucial when it comes to social media management.
Social media management, never-ending learning
I still don’t consider myself an expert in social media. I don’t think any person working in social media ever should. Why? Because as I said, it’s always changing. New platforms emerge, algorithms change, and user behaviours change. So as much as I’d like to say I know all there is to know, I never will, because there will always be more to know. And to me, that’s what makes working in social media management so exciting.
But what I do know is that I joined the Wrk team for its unique growth potential and strong company culture. You can learn more about it and our awesome team by checking out our company culture blogs!
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