When working at a social media agency, I lived and breathed social. Our lives revolved around it and countless ideas were tossed around the room making it easy to tackle any new pitch or project.

Then I transitioned to a general marketing role.

Straddling social media with other marketing activity forced me to glean some tricks on how to manage my time in order to grow our reach, increase engagement and keep the good content flowing. Looking back, there were a few golden nuggets I think any in-house social media expert can benefit from:

GET INVOLVED

Most likely you work in marketing, but your company is so much more than one department.. Familiarise yourself with the goings-on of the company. For example, schedule informal meetings with other departments and introduce yourself, get to know your fellow coworkers and learn about the business from their point of view. See if you can score a seat at the next business development meeting or tag along with a department who’s going out into the field for the day – don’t forget your camera! Let your community know where you’ll be going. Open up the conversation for their questions and suggest they follow along with you for the day. All of these ideas will give you valuable insight and create endless amounts of genuine content.

PLAN AHEAD

Social media may be all about real-time updates, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead. Do you have any new products or store openings you’re excited about? What more can you do than a generic announcement and photo? Pay a visit to the new store and share photos? A giveaway to the first customer? Knowing as much as you can about what is coming down the pipeline will allow you to do more with the event – solicit a blog post, start building your custom URLs, and ask your team: ‘What else?’. Use the extra time to think fresh, new and outside the box.

SOURCE CONTENT

You’re the social media expert – but don’t forget that business experts surround you. Enhance the authenticity of your strategy by collecting content from those who know your brand best. Before approaching coworkers with your ideas, have a solid understanding of what you want from them and take into account their busy schedules. Remember – this is your job, not theirs. Don’t make more work for them. Use this time to share what they do and let them be the expert. Who doesn’t want that celebrity status? And you’ll give your community a glance to the biz. In my experience, staff love the spotlight!

BUILD A COMMUNITY

Advertising can give you a ‘likes’ boost, but it’s useless without meaningful interactions. Continually produce credible content. Follow others in your industry and participate in the conversations. If you’re a bank, are there any social forums where business owners are talking about operating concerns? Engage in conversation and show that you care – they could come to you for a loan. Think of yourself as someone contributing to the topic – don’t be the Facebook page that’s a billboard shouting specials, giveaways and promos. People will ignore you. They want to know you’re listening. Establish yourself as a key player who has a lot to offer and contributes to the crowd.

In reality, a social media strategy is a lot like life. Have a plan, tell the truth, and don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand when you need it. It doesn’t hurt to check your local digital agencies for a few pointers now and again either 😉 Happy tweeting!

Amy is a Social Media Manager from the San Francisco Bay area, USA. She has worked for brands specialising in travel, tourism and women’s retail.