Congratulations, class of 2016. You graduated. You even landed a job.
Now, watch out.
Your employer thinks you’re a social media expert.
Just because you’re a “digital native” who played with an iPhone before you could ride a bike, your new employer thinks you can be the company’s social media manager. Without training. In addition to all your regular duties.
What are you supposed to do with that?
It all depends. Do you want to be a social media expert? Then, here are three things you need to do right away.
One: Explain to your boss what you have to learn.
- How to create a strategy for your organization, so that you reach the people you want to reach, where they hang out, with a purpose in mind.
- Who in your organization has great stories to tell.
- Who in your organization can take great photos.
- Who in your organization can produce great graphics.
- How to motivate the people in 2, 3, and 4 to send that content to you to use.
- What a publication calendar is, and how to stay on schedule.
- How to write killer subject lines for email, headlines for blogs, and text for tweets.
- How to write content that will make people look past the headline.
- The best ways to make sure your Facebook posts get seen.
- The best times of day and days of the week to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn….
- How to integrate your print communications, website, blog, email, and social media.
- What will make your followers like, share, and comment on your posts.
- How you can find and curate content your followers will be glad to read.
- How to tell whether any of it is making a difference.
Two: Tell your boss you’ll need a budget for training. (Call it “professional development”: it sounds classier.)
- There are great online courses. John Haydon’s Facebook Bootcamp and the Social Media Managers School founded by Andrea Vahl and Phyllis Khare are two of them.
- You can also take webinars on the subject of your choice. I will humbly mention my Blogging on a Mission webinar…and check out the entire series offered by NPO Connect.
- In-person classes and conferences will bring your skills up to date and keep you there.
Three, politely explain that being a social media manager could be a full-time job. Heather Mansfield, author of Social Media for Social Good, estimates that doing a good job with just Facebook could take you seven hours a week. Get a very clear set of instructions about your boss’s priorities: in writing, if possible!
But perhaps you’d rather eat live snakes than manage your organization’s social media. Then show your boss this blog entry to make the case that it’s just too big a responsibility to do on the fly. Suggest that he or she hire a communications consultant to do it right. (I might just be available.)
You just helped make your organization better. Congratulations, graduate!