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Best Social Media Manager Advice Ever

by | Sep 30, 2011 | Industry News & Trends

Be an explorer not a guru

I read a blog post this morning entitled The 10 Qualities of a Successful Social Media Manager. I happily checked some off and made notes to work on others. Until I got to this gem — the best social media manager advice ever — “Is not overly confident about her social media skills.”

What?? Your social media manager, the person you entrust with your organization’s online voice, shouldn’t be a guru? An expert? A ninja? The short answer is yes, she should be. The long answer is “but she shouldn’t know she is.” With an “expert” title comes the self-satisfaction there’s nothing more to learn. None of us — in social media thus far — knows everything. From advancing technologies to brand new platforms, there’s always something new to learn. Having a guru title inhibits exploration, inhibits continual growth and discovering best practices.

Doctors with years of training still “practice” medicine. The same should be said of social media. Sure, some of us are just learning our way around the share button while others are writing books on the subject. We’re all at different stages in the education but we’re all still learning and that’s part of the fun. With an increased awareness and emphasis on sharing, we’re able to learn from people all over the globe in different stages of their social media exploration. I saw a tweet several weeks ago (and I wish I remembered the source) but it was about social media. It went something like this — “You’re all doing it wrong….and you’re all doing it right.” You know your organization and its audience. You know what the most effective outposts for reaching that audience are – be it via a public or private online community or a mix of both. Only you can say for sure what they want to hear and how best to communicate but one thing most of us agree on is that one-way marketing monologues are so early ’90s.

You want your social media person to be a “guru” when it comes to your message and know your strategy and goals inside and out but you don’t want him to be “overly confident.” When it comes to social you want him to be a life-long learner; someone who believes the journey is the destination. You want an explorer, a scientist (perhaps) who creates hypotheses along the way and tests them and notices response. You want someone who is not afraid to change direction or admit something didn’t work out as planned. You want someone who is responsive and will never be satisfied to be considered “an expert.”


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