5 Tips on Social Media for Managers
Author: By Julie Frey, APR, CPRC
Julie Frey, APR, CPRC, director of information and communication technology at the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, has worked in public relations for 20 years. She serves as vice president of professional development for the Florida Public Relations Association and as immediate past president of FPRA Gainesville.
Not so long ago, businesses communicated nearly everything in print.
Whether it was an annual report, company newsletter, press release or brochure, printed pieces dominated company communications. Managers and business owners were involved in the process by either creating or directing content or by approving the final product before it was printed and distributed.
While we still have printed pieces today, we have many other channels, including social media. As our organization’s presence on social media continues to grow, in some cases, it creates a communications gap between management and the communications staff. Managers might not know much – or anything – about the organization’s social media strategy.
Taking steps towards bridging the social media gap will help not only the organization’s communications strategy, but also the organization’s overall mission. Here are 5 tips that will help guide management in bridging the social media gap with their communications team.
Be part of the conversation. Do you have a Facebook account? Are you on Instagram? If your company is, you should be too. Even if the company hasn’t ventured onto a popular social media platform, you should. Logging into the various social media sites allows you to get a sense for how they work and what type of content is shared. You will learn the terminology, which in turn, will allow you to voice your ideas and concerns to your organization’s communications staff.
Identify goals. Social media may feel different, but it’s like every other communications effort in your organization. You need to set clear goals for what you want accomplished. This will help your staff identify which social media sites support the goals.
Share your expectations. Let your communications staff know what you expect from the organization’s social media efforts. Do you want thriving audience engagement on a specific social media platform? Do you want to see all of the available data from each account or campaign? Do you want to benchmark your organization’s account against others in the industry? Being clear about your expectations will help your staff manage their time and resources.
Trust your staff. Many factors go into making decisions in any business. Yet, sometimes, that process is neglected when it comes to social media. It’s easy to be drawn to the fancy new social media site everyone is talking about. While you might suggest exploring a new social media platform, the communications staff has the expertise to research whether it’s a good choice for your organization.
Let go (at least a little bit). In business, we are used to managing our message. We carefully construct the content not only in our printed pieces but also on our websites, in emails and elsewhere. However, in social media, you need to push boundaries in order to capture attention. Talk with your communications staff to find the line between jumping into the latest trends and taking too much risk. Each organization’s threshold is different.
By opening a dialogue with your communications staff, you will discover ways of leveraging social media to support your overall goals and the organization’s bottom line.