Working in social media isn’t easy, despite the belief that it’s about playing on Facebook and Twitter all day. The industry is fast-paced, always changing and extremely public. How do you stay focused on what matters? Perspective is so important.
To keep perspective, I often think of core, golden rules that will stay true no matter what platforms come and go. Here are 10 of my social media + sport mantras to keep the right perspective. I hope something resonates with your work:
There’s a lot of noise online today. Fans see so much content all day across platforms. To stand out from the noise, you have to add value.
As you plan out content, ask what purpose the content serves. Are you educating, informing, entertaining, etc.? Make sure you aren’t just broadcasting content that adds zero value (or you’ll get tuned out).
When you work in social media/digital, it’s easy to forget the rest of the world doesn’t operate the same way. We geek out over meerkating, adore the refresh button and believe good content will save us all. Most of the world doesn’t stay up at night wondering what their strategy will be around Instagram’s emoji hashtags.
In all serious, those who work in social media and sports are different from their fans. Take the time to understand who your fans are. Know what platforms and content resonates; don’t focus on what you like. To do social media right, you have to remember that it’s not about how you consume but about how fans consume.
Relate with fans.
Many teams that get the most traction during game coverage make it feel like fans are in the living room with them watching the game. Their color commentary is something a fan could easily shout out. It might be simple, but it’s relatable. That’s powerful.
Whenever your team has the chance, relate with the fans. Speak human and tap into emotions. This approach will build a more likable presence and brand.
Less is more.
I’m a big believer that simple is extremely underrated. Fans don’t want to have to take the time to think through anything in this cluttered world. They want to consume quickly. Yes, even 140 characters is too many these days.
The beauty in this is that you don’t have to overcomplicate things. Less is more. Omit needless words when you can, focus on the message that’s important and keep things simple. In this cluttered world, simplicity is a powerful thing.
To be literal, social media is a 24-7 job. The industry requires consistency and remaining active all hours of the day and night. Unless you have unlimited resources though, it’s impossible to manage everything all the time. To stay sane, you have to automate.
Automation isn’t scary as long as it’s done right. If you decide to schedule ahead just remember that you have to still check-in with your accounts and must unschedule posts if a tragedy or PR issue breaks.
Keep an eye on the competition, but the focus on you.
If you work in social media, then your work is extremely public. It’s great to keep up with what other teams are doing to spark ideas, learn and keep up with trends. Remember this though: At the end of the day, it’s not about what other teams or leagues are doing but about organizational goals. Keep an eye on the competition and keep up with the trends, but make decisions based on what is best for the organization and your fans.
Forget the trolls.
Let’s be honest, haters gonna hate. In the high profile world of sports, there are always going to be trolls, negative fans and people who don’t like your work. Watching sentiment and understanding the pulse of your fans is important, but don’t let the minority dictate what you do. Sometimes you have to kill people with kindness and own your brand/work.
Reflect the organization.
A team’s voice in social media is just like any other industry; it should reflect the organization, not the social media manager. Make sure there is a long-term vision for the social voice in place. If the social media manager leaves today, the voice should stay the same.
Your fans are your biggest advocates. Don’t take their passion for granted; harness it. Take the time to engage with your fans and show appreciation for them. You’ll build a stronger community that stays together, win or lose.
There are many other mantras social media managers can live by, so please, share yours below.
As always, thanks for reading!0