I’d like to get a few things off my chest, and they involve social media marketing and community management. Here are some things that I believe form the core of social media marketing and community management, especially in the fast-paced (recent phenomenon) ed tech industry.
Tell the Truth: I have lied before. I don’t know anyone who has not. But lying is not the foundation of my business. I don’t tell people one thing about their investment in me and the work that I do and then do something else. I don’t lie about the results. I don’t lie about my capabilities. I don’t lie about the impact that social media can have on your business.
Social media and community management can be a hit or miss game. It’s mostly hit. But there will be misses. I don’t lie about those misses. And I don’t lie to clients, because a lie to a client turns into a reputation for mismanagement.
Social media has a huge potential to change people’s minds about products, industries, brands, people and organizations. It can only get that way if people keep things transparent.
Social Media Marketing is About Quality: At the end of the day social media marketing in education is about quality storytelling, it’s not about buzz and marketing.
I think women love Tiffany jewelry, not because it’s shiny and glittery. Women are not raccoons. They like it because it’s a symbol of quality and elegance, and someone loved them enough, saw the same kind of quality and elegance in them, and gave them that jewelry as a testament to that eternal sense of astonishment at a good thing.
Social Media is Not Marketing: Yes, some people will refer to social media as content marketing. That’s because the content is used to form an audience, and it is hoped that this audience grows, and as it grows, they talk about your product or service. But it’s not really marketing. Traditional marketing is about telling people what to think. It’s not really about rhetoric, convincing people, changing hearts and minds. Social media is about having a real conversation with real people. It’s about dealing with feelings and dealing with the truth wrapped around those feelings and the experiences an audience is having with the content, the organization, and the community in which that audience participates.
Anyone who tells you that social media is only a new way to do marketing for education is lying to you. Please see rule number one.
Social Media and Community Management is a 24/7 Job: Social media in education is not something that you can set up, let someone do for a month or a year and then let it go. Social media is like taking care of African Violets. African violets need a lot of attention, day and night. You have to be willing to wake up and feed them. In fact, maybe it’s not like taking care of African Violets. Mabye it’s like taking care of young African lion cubs. Those things need a lot of care.
Social Media is about Connecting Offline and Online: Some people make the mistake of thinking that social media in education is about just putting up seven blog posts during the day. It’s much more. It’s about closing the laptop, folding up the iPad2 and going out and meeting people. I do this every day with the hundreds of ed tech entrepreneurs in New York City. I go to meetups with the NYC Education Technology Entrepreneurs group I created, and with dozens of other social media meetings each week. I go to General Assembly and take classes on advertising online, social networking, and the building of apps (I haven’t done this one yet, but I have my eye on one for the gaming sector).
While I am out at classes, or having drinks with entrepreneurs, I make friends. I learn about people. I engage with them. I do all of the things I do online, only I do it with shoes on.
Same same. Life offline can be a lot like life online. Very social.
That’s it for now.
I offer my services as a social media strategist and a community manager. I have over ten years experience in live TV, media analysis, traditional and new media journalism and digital PR influence. Say hello to me on Twitter @douglascrets, or connect to me in any number of ways.
My rates are reasonable, between $1300 and $2500 a month, depending on what kind of community management or social media analysis you need for your business or organization. I can even present you with dozens of pretty pictures, graphs, tables and charts that show what your ROI is on a social media campaign.
Oh, yeah, one more thing.
Social Media Management in Education is not about Campaigns: Think of it more like training and playing your favorite sport, on the professional level, through the pre-season, the season and definitely the post-season championship series. Yes. I do that. I play it champion style.
And with me, you will, too.