The hardest job

Emmy rarely moves from her desk. Every day at 8:30 am she straps herself to her desk, begins to mainline a green sludge full of caffeine substitutes (it’s organic).  She leaves the building every day looking as though she’s run a marathon.  

And with good reason.

The hardest job in our building isn’t the Creative Director who breathes life to our Director of Strategy’s brand and campaign ideas.  It isn’t in our 3D/animation department where our designers routinely churn out Pixar quality animations on deadline. And, it isn’t in our content/copy department where our writers routinely produce magic capable of breaking your thumbs mid scroll.

No. The most unenviable job in the building is the Director of Social Media. 

This person speaks for a client. They need to sound like the brand, step into the personification of the brand, embody the brand.   And here’s the hard part-They can never make a mistake. Ever.

A typical company social media strategy produces, distributes, and converses with the public about no fewer than twenty unique messages every week.  Contrast this with a two-day turn around timeline to produce a generic press release, a week to produce a brochure, a couple of months for a product video and so on. 

A tweet lives for 13 seconds, a Facebook post for 1:31 seconds. Or so one thinks.  

There are a lot of ways for individuals to screw up on social media. Nasty comments, rude tweets, a timeline full of misspellings and other faux pas. There’s no end to them, but they’re usually easy enough to fix or delete without it seeming like the end of the world.

Not so for those big business accounts. Sure, corporations are people, too—but they’re people under constant scrutiny by a wary, jaded, or sometimes downright angry public. That’s a good thing. Sucks for the firms that make a mistake when trying to do simple media promotion.  While spotlighting what can go wrong on social media can be fun at times and tragic at others the flipside of all that wrongness is how hard it is to do it right.

Finding Success on Social Media

To further tease apart the difficulties of managing social media communication one need look only at how hard it can be for a company to win deeper engagement or recruit an appropriate audience.  There is no playbook, no set of guidelines that provide guidance that suggest, “do this at 9:15, say that to incoming messages, be cheeky here, be respectful there.” All of that has to be won.

The Mob is Fickle

You know who you want your audience to be. Who has connected to you, what they want from you, what they need before they engage is likely a mystery to you.  And this is why social media communications are so hard.

No Rules, No Guidelines, and No One Is Telling

So what is one to do?  Test, test, test.