19 lessons I learned in 19 months as a social media manager at Websites Are Us – WAU
I joined Websites Are Us in April 2015. At the time, the Marketing team was made up of 4 people and everyone was kind of “does it all”. I joined as an intern to manage this blog and schedule posts on our social media channels, but quickly Diego, our CMO, noticed that my eyes shone more when […]
I joined Websites Are Us in April 2015. At the time, the Marketing team was made up of 4 people and everyone was kind of “does it all”.
I joined as an intern for manage this blog and schedule posts on our social media channels, but quickly Diego, our CMO, noticed that my eyes shone more when I was doing and talking about our social strategies.
I was inexperienced, knew little about Digital Marketing and was still venturing into the world of content. But he trusted me, saw my thirst for learning, threw everything in my hands and here we are: 19 months later, I’m a social media manager at Websites Are Us.
These 19 months have not been easy.
I went through some drums and I learned a lot, but a lot.
I’ve already talked about what it takes to be a social media analyst.
I write this post today with another objective: the hope of helping those who are entering this world, those who already work with him and are a little lost or to clarify what you pass on to your mother, who cannot understand what it is at all that you spend doing all day on Facebook (no, mom, I don’t keep making memes).
(Ok… only sometimes).
1. You can’t escape the numbers …
Diego is a guy very focused on numbers. As soon as I started to manage our social networks, he asked me to raise the 5 most important metrics for me and explain how I would measure each one.
I accepted the challenge, but inside I was like this:
And that is the life of a human being who needs to venture into unknown terrain. It took me a while, but I did it. I came up with some tools to help me and figured out how to measure it all.
I told this case to tell you that there is no use trying: there’s no escaping the numbers and reports when we work with social networks. There is a lot at stake that needs to be measured, measured and evaluated.
No guesswork – your strategy needs to be based on data.
Tip: Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, Quintly and the analytics of each social network help me a lot!
2.… but they can also trick you
Have you heard of vanity metrics? Well… they are one of the biggest problems for those who work with social networks.
And the reason is quite simple: let’s assume you posted a blog post. Gee, he performed well! You got a lot of likes. You were really happy! Then you went to look at how many real clicks this brought to the blog post and found that the number is very low.
It is the sadness and pain of the numbers that deceive you.
Yes, you can be happy to gain followers or have a million likes on your post. But don’t let your ego speak louder and think that this is the only reason why your strategies are working.
You need to have deeper analysis.
Tip: in doubt if you are analyzing too much a vanity metric? Focus on engagement (which measures the reach, likes, comments and shares of a post)!
3. Patience is your best friend
To say that a person who works with social networks needs to be patient is practically a cliché. I deal daily with a direct service from customers, readers, curious and people who are considering hiring our services.
We are talking about 6 Websites Are Us channels on social networks and a total audience of approximately 100 thousand people.
That’s a lot! Everyone has a thousand questions and I really try to answer each one quickly. But I am only one person and this is not always possible and some people are very angry!
We have the best fans in the world (seriously! WAU fans are amazing!), But we are not immune to criticism. There are people who criticize all of our steps, who hate our ebooks, who cannot hear about our brand and who like to make this clear in several places.
And you need to have patience to deal with this audience.
4. Be careful who is on the other side
Did you receive a heavy criticism? No cursing back, losing your mind, or diminishing the opinion of anyone who came in contact with you. Treat each of them with affection. No rudeness.
Ah: and try not to take anything personally!
That user is angry with your brand, not you. Of course, sometimes I feel like shouting back, but whenever that happens I stop, I take a deep breath for 10 seconds and then answer whoever is talking to me.
We only have #goodvibes here.
But how to deal with a user who is losing his own reason? Let’s go to the next point.
5. Some battles cannot be won
Yes, ideally, you should try to answer everyone.
Does that mean you have to keep responding to someone who is repeatedly offending or threatening you? Of course not!
You cannot win all battles. If you notice that a user has started to threaten you, stop responding and look for appropriate measures to protect yourself.
You are not a machine, you are a human being. Respect your own feelings
6. What you fear most can happen. And you need to prepare yourself to deal with it
Anyone who knows me knows that I have nightmares about social media crises. Whenever something like that happens with a brand, I am terrified of being the next one. That kind of thing takes my sleep away.
But once you are dealing with a large audience, you are subject to this situation. And the internet does not forgive. What I learned was that it is useless to spend my worry fearing this crisis – I need to prepare myself if it happens.
What I see most are brands completely unprepared to deal with negative feedback from the public. Don’t fall for it! Did it shit?
A fake and robotic excuse is not the solution. Gather your team and think calmly about the next steps, which takes us to our lesson number 7:
7. Don’t be ashamed to admit when you get it wrong
Did you post a wrong link? Did you make a grotesque spelling mistake? Did you do something very crude and everyone criticized?
Please: don’t try to justify yourself. Wrong? Admit your mistake, apologize and move on.
A sincere excuse is better than a senseless justification.
8. Put your face in the sun
Websites Are Us is a diverse company, in every way. It is one of our greatest characteristics, it is what makes WAU the WAU.
And we need to celebrate!
Some people may not like it. But we don’t really care about that. It is a value that we do not give up.
Does your company believe in something or has some very strong value? Don’t be afraid to show it!
9. Your best insights can come from your audience
Can I tell you something? If you’re ignoring comments and suggestions from people who interact with you, you are missing out on a HUGE source of ideas.
Some of the best insights we’ve ever had came from suggestions from our audience. Don’t underestimate your audience – ours, at least, is extremely creative.
Tip: Keep a spreadsheet of ideas and suggestions that your audience gave about your brand. You can be sure that one day it will be very useful!
10. Use your team well
Nobody makes a social media strategy alone.
When we need to publicize something (be it an ebook, post or any other content), the first thing we do is ask our rockers for help.
“Can you share and enjoy this link quickly? Please, I never asked you for anything … ”
Anyone who works at WAU knows that this request is a constant here. And we are not ashamed of that! Everyone is part of our success. And whenever the team is engaged, our results are much better.
Tip: we send an email to the entire team weekly, telling them what content is the most important of the week and lovingly asking them to share what they think is coolest.
11. Your creativity will run out – and that’s not the end of the world
THE creativity is a constant demand from those who work with social networks. You need to be the first to post that joke, to use that news, to share the latest meme, to make viral content.
But whoever works with it knows very well that not every day we have great ideas. Need an urgent creative spurt?
Stop a little. Not the end of the world. If it does (and you can be sure it will), revisit things you have already produced. Take a look at what they are talking about on Twitter, look at the main news sites, ask your team and your friends what they are consuming.
Today may not be a good day for ideas, but that doesn’t make you a bad professional.
12. Timing is important – but it is not everything
I’m not going to lie to you: timing is VERY important when it comes to social media.
But he is not everything! Of course you will not post that meme or super-old joke and risk becoming the pave uncle.
This does not mean that you cannot invest in something that has already passed a little bit of timing. I’ll convince you with an example of ours:
We posted this quiz in September, a few weeks after Stranger Things became a worldwide fever. Did we miss the timing? Yes! But we still got good results: 753 people took the quiz, not to mention sharing the content.
If you liked the series and didn’t audition, there’s still time! Find out which character in the series represents you in the world of Marketing!
Timing is not everything!
13. Facebook is an incredible social network, but if you want real results, you’re going to have to invest
Oops! But how so? Don’t you live talking about how to generate more engagement on Facebook?
Yes, we did. But you should not only invest in organic. The social networking algorithms are killing the reach of the pages and you need to be smart to understand how to react to it and keep getting results.
And let’s be honest: Facebook wants your money.
Tip: I already made a very complete article about social networking algorithms. Take a look to understand more about it!
14. Tools are essential, but don’t rely solely on them
I am a fan of useful social networking tools and use several in our strategy. But one day, the tool I use for scheduling social networks went offline for a few hours.
Putz! And now?
What did that mean? That I didn’t know what was already scheduled and at what time. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to schedule my other posts for the day, because I would run the risk of posting twice at the same time.
This would affect other days’ posts and turn into a snowball.
My week went crazy after that, and I learned a valuable lesson: don’t just rely on tools! Have other ways to control your routine. Today I keep an editorial calendar, where I can keep up with the day’s posts, without the need to constantly look at a tool.
15. Forget common sense: only you know what is best for your business
One day, Diego came up with a bold idea: he wanted to increase our daily postings on our main social networks to 10x a day.
What? 10x a day? But don’t the top experts put 1 to 2 daily posts as the correct frequency on social networks?
Well, yes, they say that, and we are not saying that they are wrong. But we are not afraid to test. We started making an average of 10 daily posts on our channels, adding up to around 500 monthly posts in total.
But it is not possible that this worked! You flooded your users!
It will be?
We started this strategy in July 2016. The numbers don’t lie:
Our social traffic increased by 64.58%. Clicks on our content, 72.55%. And our engagement? 69.32% increase.
I am not boasting about these results. What I want to show you is that the rules out there can guide you, but don’t take them for granted.
No specialized website would tell you to post 10x a day, but it worked (and a lot) for us. Only you know what works for your business. Test, test, test and discover for yourself what brings you good results.
16. Everyone thinks they understand everything about social media
In these 19 months, one thing is certain: everyone has a clue, a suggestion or something to say about their social media strategy. They are not always right. Sometimes, they are completely wrong.
And everything is fine! This was never a problem for me and it shouldn’t be for you. Thank for the suggestion and move on!
17. It is worth daring from time to time …
Getting out of your comfort zone is great! We love doing this around here and testing things that we never thought to test before. The best example I could give you about this:
Yes, we did a quiz about the hurricane cart.
The result? Unexpected engagement. Almost 1300 people took the quiz! Did we receive any criticism? Yes, of course. But it was really cool to find out how our audience would react to this type of content.
This opened new doors for Websites Are Us. It showed us that our audience was much less conservative than we expected!
Are you curious? You can take the quiz and find out who you are at Carreta Furacão do Marketing!
18.… but the zueira has limits!
Gosh, but if it worked so well, why don’t you always do it?
Because the zueira has limits! In WAU’s marketing team I am known as “the filter”. Controversial ideas always pass through me before. Our team is very creative (hehe) and I need to let a lot of “no” out there.
Is having lots of people engaging with your content cool? Yes, we love it. But we are a company that offers real results for all our customers and we need to convey that image. We are professionals, after all.
Not everything is a joke!
19. Engagement will ALWAYS be my biggest challenge
If someone asks me what was my biggest challenge this whole time I already have my answer ready: keep our engagement in constant growth.
Engagement is the most important metric on social media. It measures the actual reach of your content, how many people interacted with it, how was that interaction. It sums up the user experience well.
And with the constant decrease in organic reach, this challenge remains and only increases. We are still struggling with this and I am the first to admit that we are always trying to improve this aspect of our social media strategy.
Isn’t it the way I would like it? Of course not, but I’m already very proud of how we grew up.
It was an intense 19 months, but very important for my career. I still have a LOT to learn and I make it my goal never to settle for old certainties. We keep walking.
Do you work with social networks? I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from the profession! Let’s talk
Hugs and see you soon!