3 Phrases That Make Social Media Managers Cringe

If you ask your social media managers what drives them nuts about their jobs, there’s a good chance it’s hearing one of these phrases from their teams.

“Can’t you just Facebook it?”

The first thing people need to realize about social media marketing is that “Facebook” isn’t your strategy. Facebook is a vehicle for your communications. It’s also the way you can engage a particular audience.

When you are saying “just Facebook it,” what are you actually trying to accomplish? You have to think about what sort of engagement is appropriate here and who you’ll be talking to. What do they want from you? What about posting on Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? LinkedIn? The audience changes with each platform, and so too must your communications and tactics for getting engagement.

Anyone can put up a post on Facebook or send out a Tweet. But it takes a clever social media manager who knows exactly the right audience, platform and messaging to do it right. To be successful here, you must post relevant and wanted content and have authentic front-line conversations with your customers. Your social media manager is the voice of your brand on social media, and you wouldn’t want your brand to just post any and everything, would you? You have to think the way your consumer thinks, and chances are, your social media manager knows your consumer better than anyone…

“Okay, now make this go viral!”

Let’s make this perfectly clear: you can’t MAKE anything go viral. It’s not something that can be forced. It goes viral because something about it made people want to share it. You can’t predict it, you can’t bank on it happening; you can’t create something for the express purpose of making it “go viral.”

BUT, you can create really good, relevant content, add in some humor or social commentary or sex or a cute kitten, and the chances that something will be enjoyed and shared will probably increase. That should never be your end goal, though. Seeing your work “go viral” is an amazing accomplishment but it should not be the expectation of your social media efforts.

In my past life as a social media manager, I worked for a brand that prioritized great content. We produced dozens of excellent, high quality videos as part of our content marketing strategy. One of these videos in over three years of the program went viral, and it was one of our first attempts. Sure, it was an excellent video with just enough sex appeal to make it safe for certain (liberal) workplaces. But what really made it initially take off online? The fact that, unbeknownst to us, the person in the video was a former Thai pop star. It just goes to show that you never know what will make content viral or shareable.

“Why don’t we have as many ‘Likes’ as Starbucks?”

Wait, wait, I’ve got this one: because we’re (most likely) not Starbucks. We don’t have a store on every corner and product placement in every grocery store. We aren’t in 63 countries. And I highly doubt our marketing budget equals that of Starbucks.

But on a more helpful note, Facebook “Likes” are not the end-all, be-all of your social media marketing. Sure, it’s nice to see that people want to follow your brand, but more importantly, are they engaging with you? Are you getting the right followers who actually care about your message and want to do something with it? If you run a regional business, are the people following you even in your region? How do they compare to your target customer demographics? If all you care about it the big “Like” number, you can certainly spend a lot of money on Facebook ads to bump it up…but getting the right “Likes” is a different, and I would argue, more important goal.

Now, for all the social media managers out there – do you have any more to add?

[Photo credit: Whistblog.com]

Lisa D'Aromando

Account Executive

Lisa is Innate's Client Marketing Director. She is a loyal William & Mary grad (BBA & MBA) who enjoys everything marketing & entrepreneurship, and (in her free time) running outside, designing jewelry, reading historical fiction novels, and binge watching "The West Wing" with a good glass of Cabernet.

  • Lisa Crotty

    This is so spot on! I cringe every time I see “make your post go viral” articles.

    PBS has a great show on Hitmakers. One of the producers says “if there was a guaranteed formula to make a hit, that’s all there would be.”

  • “Let’s invest more effort in Google+.”

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