A social media manager does not stand center stage. That privilege is reserved, often times, for CMOs and CEOs. No, no, a social media manager is always present and prepared, hiding in the wings, waiting for the next great piece of quotable content to tweet while simultaneously snapping, Instagram-storying, and grabbing the best photo possible for your Facebook stream.
A social media consultant must learn to put her ego aside. I exist. But for my clients, my job is not to exist. My job is to stand in the wings. At center stage is the client, is the brand, and most importantly, the story.
Each day I have to sit and balance the story of each brand with the analytics and algorithms. Did that piece of content reach a large audience? If yes, why? We all know a cat GIF will reach tons of fans, but if I’m selling tuxedos and accessories, does the story really match? (maybe if it’s a tuxedo cat). There’s a balancing act between the left brain and the right brain. There’s a desire to play to the algorithms, to give the machine what it wants to see, in order to get the returns and bring back positive results. But that success can hurt the brand if it is not authentic to who they are. Remember, tuxedo cats aren’t for everyone. On the creative side, it can be easy to fall in love with a concept that lets you play and add personal flair and bedazzle. In a year where video, especially live video, there is a wave of streaming without structure. Buying a fun camera and 3-poin lighting kit does not mean you should live stream without thinking about the story the brand needs to tell.
Standing in the wings is the greatest service you can bring to your clients. To remain silent and observant is key. When I work with Creative Mornings Buffalo, I stand on the wings and let our featured speaker have the stage. But I’m not just watching the speaker – I am watching the audience as well. It’s a treat to find the most engaged member of the audience, where eyes are glued to the speaker, ears tuned into every word. That captured moment is what makes a brand shine. It is what I live for in the wings. The only reason I should ever come out of the wings is to run damage control or community management. It can happen and that is why the understudy learns every line. It is important to be prepared.