By now you’ve read through a heap of blog posts on social media. You’ve gone through the importance of content, of distribution, the necessity of SEO, the need for clever marketing. But who, in the whole social media chain, is the most important, the most critical individual in the process? Who’s the one person in your social team that you just cannot do without?
First off, it’s not the strategist. The strategist is crucial, having a plan, a map for how you’re going to focus your social media efforts is absolutely necessary, so you need someone with a good handle on the social landscape, the networks most relevant to your brand, the variances in platform etiquette and the best practises for each one. Your strategist needs to be creative, open to new things, and active. You’ll rely on your strategist to steer the ship, so you’re not going anywhere without him/her. But the strategist is not the most important one.
Your tech/SEO expert is not the critical link. Again, you can’t do without an IT savvy person, someone who is aware of the backend processes and the technical ins and outs of SEO. Without them, you don’t have a website to work from, and it’s pretty hard to establish an authoritative presence without a platform. With no knowledge of SEO, your site won’t be optimised, your content won’t be reaching its full potential. You need to be aware of the technical details, it’s a crucial element in getting to where you need to be in the digital landscape. You need someone to rely on for this aspect. But they’re not the key person.
I would love to say it’s your content creator. Without good content, you’re never going to get the attention you need. Your content creator needs to be an excellent communicator first and foremost, and a creative thinker, someone who’s aware and excited by the possibilities of social media. Excellent writing skills are a must – how many times have you stopped reading a post because the grammar is hard to follow or the structure is all wrong? You could have the best, most informative and intelligent insights in the world and they’ll never reach your intended audience if you can’t communicate them correctly. A skilled content creator is absolutely integral to the make-up of your social media team – a writer, an editor-in-chief, someone who ensures the brand message is underlined in every post. Essential to the process. But not the one.
It’s not your analytics expert, your designer, not your chief content curator. It’s not your marketing director either – all these elements are required and critical to the structure of your social team. And obviously, in small to medium businesses, there are people who’ll take on some or all of these roles individually (remember this when you’re pressuring them for answers on something). Without any one of these elements, the system won’t work. But none of these individuals is the one, the key role that you need to ensure social media success.
The most important person in your social media team doesn’t even work for you. That’s right (and apologies for the cheesiness), the most important person in your social media team is your target customer. This is the one, the person you need to listen to, the one that’s critical to every individual process stream. This person is more important than any other element, critical to the ongoing success of your social brand.
The strength of social media is not in the size of the audience or the ability to market to a wide group efficiently. The strength of social media isn’t even in engagement. It’s in listening – the ability to tune into what your audience is saying. This is the info that can change your whole perspective, that enables you to understand how best to create a brand that fills a need, a brand that improves the lives of its customers. You do that, and you’re on the path not only to social media success, but business success in general. And everything starts from listening to what your audience is saying. Understanding. Providing.
The most important person in your social media team is each individual target customer. Remember that, in every process.
Image credit: Eduardo Fonseca used under Creative Commons