Look, marketing yourself as a Social Media Guru, while somewhat pretentious, doesn’t mean you have to be able to do everything yourself.
When people first get started in Social Media they think that the onus is on them to figure out how to build a website, how to gather up Facebook likes and Twitter followers. How to rank in the top 3 on Google, write amazing copy and sell the client. It’s kind of like a trying to be a general contractor and having to know how to be an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber, a finisher and a project manager. It’s just not efficient.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to learn some pretty cool stuff from a very successful advertising company and it makes a lot of sense, when you’re structuring your own Social Media company (even if you’re the only one in it) to start to think about the following roles and how to fill them successfully.
The process starts with Actives. Those people who communicate and interact with the consumer to know what they’re looking for. In the past a campaign started with the Creatives. They used their own, personal, experience to determine what they “thought” the consumer would want to know. That’s a pretty hit and miss philosophy and not nearly as accurate as good old, on the ground, market research.
Once the Actives determine a strategy for engagement from the consumer the Creatives take over to create and curate content along whichever medium is determined to be the most useful to that consumer group. In some cases video is the most compelling. In others it may be short, informative articles. Regardless of the delivery, the Creatives work with the Actives to come up with a strategy to attract an audience.
Next up are the Connectors. These are the folks who get all that cool creative content in front of the right eyeballs. They work closely with Creatives and Actives to determine the direction of a campaign. They know their demographics, they know where their customer is online and they know how to get them interested.
Most people on Facebook and Twitter are Connectors. We, as Social Media Strategists and Marketers, are always looking for great content to share and connect with others. But a Connector is only as good as the content they share. You can’t build a great reputation on a crappy product. Just sayin’.
While you cannot be all things to all people it’s very useful to know exactly what you do need to do the right job for your client. If you are marketing your company as a strategic planning company, like I am, you need to make sure that you are a very, very good Active. You can contract out all the Creative and structure it exactly as you see fit but if you don’t have a fantastic handle on who you’re working for, what their core values are, how they do business, who their customers are and how to reach them, you’re not a strategic advisor.