As anyone working in digital marketing knows, one of the challenges of working in the industry is staying focused while keeping track of multiple clients, platforms, details, voices, and strategies. Amidst the busyness, it’s good for all of us, even the most seasoned professional, to occasionally get back to the basics. Knowing why you’re executing a plan is just as important as the actual execution of the plan. In the words of Machiavelli, “He who does not lay his foundations beforehand may with great ability do so afterwards but not without great danger to the architect and the building.” Although many of these reminders may be obvious to experienced marketing veterans, reminders are needed to spur us on when the going gets tough. Refer back to this list when you just need a refresher of what exactly you’re supposed to be doing.
The most important thing to remember is why you’re doing what you’re doing. (Hint: you’re trying to communicate your clients’ stories to their target audiences.) Although this sounds obvious, it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing when busy season hits and there are a million things to do. A strong understanding of your purpose will influence what you’re doing and how you’re doing what you’re doing. To quote Zig Ziglar, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
Keep your content consistent with the native content of the platform you’re posting on. For instance, on Instagram, remember that images rule. This does not mean that you throw captions to the wind. The quality of your copy can either make your photo a grand slam or turn it into mediocre content. Unlike Instagram, Twitter is all about the copy. When you create your content, ask yourself, “If I were the audience I’m trying to reach, would this content catch my eye and draw me to interact with it?” If the answer is no, rework (or in some cases, recreate) your post. Just like copy is to Instagram, media is to Twitter. Adding media to your post, whether a GIF or a photo, can turn your post into something that immediately attracts attention and invites your audience to interact with it. Above all: know your platform.
Each client you’re representing has a unique message they’re trying to communicate and a different audience they’re trying to reach. As a result, every voice is not created equal for every campaign. The voice you use should depend on what the message and desired audience is. This encompasses the language you use, the times you post, and the frequency you post. If your target audience is working professionals, you won’t be posting predominantly on Snapchat during the workday using high school lingo. Know your audience and change your persona accordingly.
Remember, it’s all about the people: both your clients and their audience. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t have a job. First, be respectful of your clients and keep them up-to-date on what you’re doing (within reason; they don’t need a play-by-play). View your relationship as a partnership. Don’t trash talk them behind their back (no matter how frustrating they may be). If a client is truly so aggravating that you can’t help but talk about them, choose not to work with them. A good working relationship starts with respect, and that includes what is said behind closed doors. Also, remember that you hold your client’s brand’s image in your hands. Know and embrace the responsibility that involves. Don’t post anything that could compromise their brand standards, but do be creative. Second, be respectful of your client’s audience. Don’t flood them with information that they don’t need or want just for content’s sake. Instead, craft the message you’re trying to relate in a way that’s helpful to them or something they want to see. A successful social marketer understands the audience will interact with what they like as well as what is in front of them. Remember that the message you have may be a message that they want to see but don’t know that they want to see. In order for them to see the message, you need to work to get your content in front of them.
Professions in digital media have the power to take over your life. Social media is at the tip of your fingers at all times. If you are passionate about what you do, it can get easy to let it consume you. Don’t forget to unplug sometimes and get away. Shut off your phone and go to sleep. You can’t be accessible at all times. (I mean, you could be, but that’s not healthy. Get a hobby.) When you leave work, leave work. For some, that may be an easy thing to do. For others, you may be saying, “You don’t understand. My clients need me!” or, “I was unplugged, but then I thought of the perfect tweet that I absolutely need to post!” or, “Last time I unplugged, chaos broke loose. I cannot do that again.” Whatever the case is, it’s not healthy to be constantly connected. Unplug, take a break, go for a run, make a good dinner, or hang out with your friends or family. You’ll be a better communicator if you’ve had time to think and unwind away from the screen.