Being a Social Media Marketer is great. Yep, that is my first sentence of this post, because it's true. Though I don't think it's quite like the image other people have for it. I have gotten so many remarks and such that include:
- "So, your job is to basically sit and browse Facebook all day?"
- "You get paid to tweet?"
- "Excuse me. Some of actually have to work around here."
So on and so forth. For some reason, Social Media Marketers have this stereotype that we "don't work". I don't know where that originated from but it's really not true. I think they believe that because for years social media was made for personal expression and was targeting a certain type of audience and users. But in recent years, it has taken a more professional approach. Trying to include businesses and other ways to attract different types of companies into their platforms. So, for all of you who believe that Social Media business people still fit into that stereotype, this post is for you. I'm going to share a little bit of what social media in corporate looks like. They can say whatever they want- I love my job and it doesn't bug me that they believe those things. Hopefully this post can shed some light on all the work that goes into the business side of all of those big name social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
If you're a Social Media Marketer who manages multiple channels, it would be smart to start scheduling your posts ahead of time. It's convenient for bigger companies and gives us more time to focus on other things...But what happens when something that you hadn't scheduled or planned for enters its way into your calendar? For the past month I had the privilege on working something pretty amazing. I had the opportunity to reach others within Hitachi Data Systems and work towards a goal.
Here's the story:
On September 8th, 2016 I received an email from my colleague, Claire...
"I’ve nominated Hitachi Data Systems for the “Best Information Governance Company” award. FYI, the voting polls close in 4 weeks and awards are 100% chosen by the community. Since we’ll want to share this so that we can get as many people as possible to vote for Hitachi Data Systems, I think it would be best to include this in the Friday ambassador note as well. Let me know if you need any additional information from me before sending out tomorrow."
She was asking for me to include this into the HDS Marketing newsletter that I put together and send out every Friday. I'll be honest- I'm a VERY competitive person. So, when I heard, "polls close in 4 weeks and awards", winning was all that I could see for HDS. So we were going to win.
But I'm going to share with you some best practices on how to encourage engagement with your audiences. Here we go:
1. Network with your company and target key contacts.
Hitachi Data Systems is a global company. And being a global representative for corporate, I have to engage and network with people all over the world. It's pretty cool. So, when a contest and poll like this appears- I contacted my social media colleagues who manage their own geographic location around the world for HDS. They translated and contacted their key contacts... and BOOM. Ripple affect. Neat, huh?
2. Post to all of your social accounts and handles.
Not going to lie, when I first got this email, I had about 5 million thoughts floating around in my head. Might have been the caffeine. (Office life problems.) But we hadn't planned for this award on our HDS content calendar and this was the first year we have ever done something like this. We had to come up with a plan to get the word out about this poll. Since, I'm the Social Media Specialist for HDScorp, I immediately got posts out onto our social channels. I knew people were going to notice the post and vote. If there is one thing I know that'll win over attention and engagement in social media, it's a contest. And it did. Within the first 24 hours we received over 100 votes for HDS. Once the newsletter was published and sent out that number tripled. The power of social revealed!
3. Give updates for all those who are interested in what is happening.
We didn't just post that one time onto our social channels. We posted weekly and made sure everyone knew what our placement was on the leaderboard. Those who already voted could be even more motivated to see the progress we were making- and those who hadn't voted had the chance to. It's a win-win situation. Make sure to keep those updates coming.
4. Monitor any changes that may happen in the last stretch and use those to your advantage.
The polls closed on the last day of September so we were very careful and consistent with our monitoring. Each morning, Claire and I would log onto the InfoGov site and count the votes and see if any of the competition were gaining us. Majority of the time we were in the lead and had 52% of the votes for Hitachi Data Systems so we were calm and confident that we were going to win. There's a word for that: cocky. And being cocky never does any good for anyone. With 24 hours left on the countdown, I logged back onto the website and saw that within 30 minutes HPE had gotten 346 people to vote for their company. At that time, HDS had 402. It took us a month to reach that number and we had to get more if we were going to stand a chance against HPE. That's when we really utilized and reinforced Practices 1 & 2 on my list. Little by little we managed to stay ahead of HPE by a couple digits. I think knowing the competition was so close to beating us gave us more fuel to encourage people to vote.
5. Let people know how you did.
The winner will be announced Tuesday, October 11th. Stay tuned for an update. We want to thank everyone who voted and supported Hitachi Data Systems! We will post about the results after October 11th to let everyone know how we placed. Thanks!!