Social Media Mad Men

April 12, 2012

The word ‘traditional’ is so hard to find these days.  When thinking about social media and its emergence as a full force of nature in business development, it’s weird to think that just fifty or so years ago, advertisers and marketers were eerily similar to those depicted in show like Mad Men, stoic men in suits drinking and figuring out lies to get people to buy things.  Now, it seems that social media and its gaggle of uses has ushered out the suits and amped up the transparent.  The power in social media is that it directly relies upon the consumer beyond just purchasing a product. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Bing, Pinterest, Instagram all allow followers and fans alike to voice praises as well as concerns within an instant.  That’s scary and brilliant.

There’s a great article on three powerful young people, all social media managers at large companies, who the NY Post calls today’s Mad Men (and women).  The article provides a lot of perspective on what it means to be a social media professional and where the future of the industry is going with respect to the various platforms and the people who engage with it for a paycheck.

Social media managers are the new Mad Men, making creative content to convince their audiences to spend, spend, spend. Except instead of dapperly dressed men swilling through three-martini lunches, these are earnest, sometimes nerdy kids who were always the smartest in the room, if not always the most popular.

We are no longer just selling people things.  We as social media professionals are responsible for keeping up with what they want, how they view our products and organizations, what they enjoy outside of what we promote and how to use that to use all that information to continue our success.

There are some really simple rules that I have learned in various roles over the years that every social media manager should utilize to be both effective and interesting:

1.  Transparency

Social media users want to know what’s going on in and out of the company/product.  Giving users an inside look and access to information that may not be in a commercial spot or a YouTube clip makes users feel like they know your company and can eventually be loyal to it.  Behind-the-scenes videos are great examples of this.  Addressing crisis on social media is important.  It’s not just about when things are going right, it’s even about when things go wrong.

2.  Do it both ways!

Don’t just feed your followers information.  Actively engaging users by asking questions, taking polls, allowing them to share content, etc. not only keeps you at the top of a Facebook feed, it makes users feel like they are included in the conversation and can make an impact.  It’s as simple as going from a tweet that says “Today is National Sibling Day!” to “Today is National Sibling Day! Tweet us a picture of you and your sisters or brothers!”.

3.  Know your voice and audience

In the same way that it is important to keep a consistent dialogue, it is also important to not bombard users with content that has little relevance to them or to your product/organization.  Keeping things concise and relevant will keep users coming back to see updates as opposed to posting randomness that only a few may enjoy or even find worth checking out.


One comment

  1. Awesome post man! Lots of great info!

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