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5 Qualities You Will Need to Effectively Manage a Social Media Presence

5 Qualities You Will Need to Effectively Manage a Social Media Presence

I have the privilege of managing the social networks for TerraCycle, the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste. Managing every aspect of your company’s social media presence can be a challenge, especially when there are dozens of different platforms being utilized at once. Over the years I have identified five important qualities that every social media manager should have in order to stay on top of this dynamic social media environment.

1. Focus
We live in a world where it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the newsletters, social media profiles, blogs, and other digital information we have access to. If you manage any social media presence, whether it is personal or business-oriented, it’s not uncommon to receive a plethora of incessant notifications on your phone or email inbox. With so many possible distractions, it can be difficult to stay on task.
Say you need to pull a report on your Facebook insights, but you notice a post that did really well and want to transfer it to your other social networks. As you are setting up the post, you get a tweet from someone influential in your industry, so you retweet them. Just then, you see a mention in a post that one of your hyperlinks is incorrect. While on bitly.com to pull the correct link, you notice an article is becoming particularly viral, and decide to post it to all your social networks. By the time you realize you have been on four or five different networks, you forget to finish the very task you had started: getting your Facebook insights report.
In the world of social media, this can become a habit if you don’t have the necessary focus to weave through the inevitable chaos. If you know you have trouble with focus, social media can be a dangerous environment for you. The good news is that there are always solutions. For example, a tool I often use to keep me on task is E.gg Timer. This simple timer has a countdown tool that buzzes when your time is up. Say I wanted to finish a report: I estimate I need about 45 minutes and then set the timer to keep my mind concentrated.

2. Consistency
Consistency is one of the most important qualities you must have to be effective in managing a social media presence. Social media is a mode of communication like TV or radio; it’s not just a fad. That being said, your favorite radio or TV show remains your favorite because of its ability to consistently keep you interested and engaged. Social media demands consistent management, which means the person managing social media must be consistent as well. It’s better to be consistently good than inconsistently great. Kim Garst, a leading social media influencer and CEO of Boom! Social, stated that in 2014 “businesses will need to consistently create high-
quality, original content that actually adds something to the conversation and gives real value to their audiences.”

3. A Human Touch
No matter what technology, tool or gadget gets released, people will be people. Having a human touch is crucial to managing an engaging social media presence. I don’t know about you, but whenever I call a bank or cable service with an automated machine operator, I quickly find how I can speak to a real human being. Even though these artificial voices can sound real, there is nothing like having a conversation with an actual person.
It’s the same with social media, as our social media conversations reflect our interpersonal abilities. The best, most engaging posts or tweets come from a point of view that engages your audience, allowing them to identify and relate to something. See an example from the TerraCycle Facebook page:

4. Adaptability
It feels like every other week there is a new change on a social network, whether it’s a new Facebook policy, updates to Twitter’s layout, or tweaks to Instagram. Either way, someone who doesn’t adapt to change in the beginning may eventually succumb to the change in the end. A prime example of this happening is when Facebook decided to change their layout to the new timeline format in the beginning of 2012. As you can imagine, some decided not to adapt to the new changes until they logged in one day and found that Facebook had forced the change upon them. Changes this big do not happen all the time, but there are subtle changes that occur frequently throughout the year across social networking platforms. As stewards over our personal or business social media profiles, it’s our job to search for the new changes so we aren’t in frenzy over any unanticipated modifications down the road.

5. An Intern’s Mentality
Lastly, it’s important to have a mindset of an intern. This means having a continual thirst to learn and get better by learning and applying new knowledge. That’s why at TerraCycle we heavily utilize interns; they aren’t afraid to make mistakes as they have nothing to lose; they are inquisitive and unafraid to ask questions, and are motivated to develop their skills and become proficient. If we all incorporate this mindset into our lives when it comes to developing in the social media environment, we will never stagnate or develop a “know-it-all” attitude. There is always more to learn, and a sure way to do that is to continue learning about our industries, businesses, and the people we serve. Like social media thought leader Brian Solis said: “To succeed in the business of the future, we have to become the very people we’re trying to reach.”

6. Bonus: A Good Amount of RAM
This is self-explanatory, but crucial nonetheless. In order to be able to manage your social media presence, you will have to have a reliable computer that can handle new technology, multiple projects and programs, and plenty of browser tabs. Even if you have all five of the qualities listed above, not having the necessary technology or tools to match will make managing social media much more difficult.

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10 Responses to “5 Qualities You Will Need to Effectively Manage a Social Media Presence”

  1. These are great tips to almost any business, not just social media. I love the part about focusing, especially since science has proven that multi-tasking actually makes people less efficient and less effective. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

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  2. I just manage my own social media for my e-commerce and every attribute you listed applies. Good reminder.

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  3. Great advice. I read often about how important it is to be consistent and it’s so so true. Constantly engaging and blogging to keep people engaging and coming back to your site is so necessary. If you come and go anyone who came to your page will just go. Sharing valuable information and stories consistently will keep people interested and waiting to hear what you will say or post next.

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  4. I find that social media managers can be far ahead of the average business person.

    After focus, I like the idea of finding a path and sticking with it.

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  5. These are definitely qualities needed to be effective in managing social media. For me, I really resonate adding the human touch, always. Life is about relationships and the online world is no different. If people see you as being human and accessible, they will want to connect and develop a relationship with you. Thanks for the reminders to keep it real and keep it human.

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  6. Thank you for this informative post. I am working on increasing my social media presence and I found all 5 of the points tips that I will incorporate into my strategies.

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  7. I’m impressed by this list of qualities. I thought you just had to be a bit of a crazy person… that’s how I feel anyway!

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  8. Great tips on managing your social media – thanks David! I find that consistency is the one factor most people fall down on. We get busy and let things fall by the wayside. That gives people the impression that you’re ‘flakey’ and can’t be relied upon. Just like turning up to meetings in real life, you have to show up and be consistent.

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  9. I think a lot of people struggle with the #3 because they think that it is more important to have quantity over quality. I decided on the later long ago and while I may not have the largest number of likes, comments, followers, etc, I think I do provide a very human, very real, very genuine feel to everything I do online and that resonates with people.

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  10. Consistency is really important in social media. It includes, among many other things, voice, quality, frequency, etc.

    Good stuff!

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