You’ve passed through interviews with flying colors by promising big things for your new company’s social channels. You’re feeling really good.
Fast forward a few weeks. The job offer afterglow is gone and it’s day one in your new role as content marketer or social media manager. You have to prove your marketing prowess and translate those fun GIFs into conversions and revenue your boss cares about.
Let’s reiterate that point. Your boss thinks you’re super creative and blah blah—but really—they want to see the money. You know the deal. If you can’t show the business value of social media you’ll never get a promotion, or worse—never be taken seriously.
By following these six steps, you’ll not only impress your boss by looking incredibly business-savvy, but you’ll also get your team on the map by working towards broader company goals.
1. Conduct a social media audit
Start by performing a social media audit of all existing social accounts. It’s basically an objective, no-nonsense way to get going on your social agenda. Your audit should record the following:
- Social presence: All of your company’s social media accounts
- Purpose: The reason for the channel’s existence. Is it part of a bigger plan?
- Target audience: i.e. Your customer personas. Different audience for channels?
- Frequency: Number of posts per week on each channel. Is it consistent?
- Content types: The kinds of content being posted. Is it on brand?
- Success metrics: The way success has been measured on each channel. Are there metrics in place and has the company been successful in reaching those?
By collecting this information you can quickly identify what the company is doing well and what needs improvement. The audit isn’t necessarily an analysis, but it should lead to one.
2. Create a social media marketing plan
Ah, wouldn’t life be wonderful if things could begin and end with a social media audit. Only, the social media audit is merely an observation tool—a springboard—for you to analyze and build a social media marketing plan (i.e. what you can do better and how you’re going to measure it). Your report should be an extension of your social media audit by covering:
- What’s done well (and why)
- Areas of weakness and/or opportunity
- What you think can and should be done (i.e. goals)
- How you’re going to measure success (i.e. targets and benchmarks)
- Your target audience and how you’re going to talk to them
It’s important that you provide a strategy proposal based off the evidence of your social media audit. That way, you will manage the expectations of your boss by creating goals around what’s possible rather than broad ideals that may never get met.
3. Create weekly or monthly reports
Let’s assume your boss has approved your proposed social media marketing plan. Rather than charging ahead until the end of the quarter, start with the end in mind. Track your performance on a weekly (or bi-weekly) basis and share reports at a frequency that you think is appropriate (typically per week or month). If you’re using Hootsuite, you can use our analytics to track your social channels’ performance and generate reports.
Consider keeping two separate reports, one for your immediate team and one that is company-wide (i.e. the one for your boss). Your immediate team will likely understand all the technical terms, so it can be less reader-friendly. However, your company-wide report should synthesize all the analytics from your reports. If you do a slide deck, for example, it could look something like this:
- Slide 1: A summary of the time period
- Slide 2: Key successes and areas for improvement
- Slide 3: Shout outs to people, campaigns, or programs
Don’t forget that a great way to make friends at your company is to give credit to those that have helped you and contributed to your success.
4. Know the scoop on social before your boss does
There’s a lot on social media that will be planned—everything from campaigns, to blog content, to weekly chats. But there’s also daily news and life stuff that you need to stay on top of. If your boss knows about news stories before you, that isn’t a good sign. It’s your job to be the eyes and ears of your industry. Here are some simple ways to stay ahead of the game:
- Set up Google Alerts for keywords, influencers, and competitors
- Create keyword search streams in Hootsuite
- Subscribe to email newsletters or RSS feeds for your industry
- Enable Twitter alerts for news accounts like @BBCBreaking or @cnnbrk to remain sensitive about what goes up on social
5. Work with other departments to strengthen strategy
In order for social media to stay relevant to your company, you need to work with other departments and teams to double down on projects and objectives. Are there campaigns coming up? Awesome guest speakers? These are things you should know about and be part of to represent your company’s activities on its social channels. Get involved by offering suggestions and creative direction. Build trust with other teams so that you can give your team the street cred it deserves.
6. Enlist the help of your allies to polish your work
Your boss might be like “hey, I’m cool, ask me anything!” But do they really mean that? There are some things you shouldn’t ask your boss. Find your social media allies (people who care about social media as much as you) and ask them to read over your proposals, proofread your work, and help you with anything else that adds to your professionalism when you’re presenting your work.
Go beyond social to impress with social media
You probably sold a lot of things in your interview. Truth is, you can’t deliver on all of it. Or at least not yet. First, you need to manage expectations and show that you’re engaged and care about your work and the goals of the company. By following these steps, your boss will not only think you’re a social marketing genius, but also that you’re a strong leader and strategic thinker. The perfect candidate for a raise.