I think we can all agree that social media marketing is always evolving and changing. With that being said, it’s obvious (at least to us social media marketers) that it’s a harder industry to be in than people think.
Something I have noticed about being in the social media industry is the community that you are automatically welcomed into. There are so many Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, Instagram accounts – the list goes on – that connects like-minded people and allow you to share thoughts, ask for advice, and more. The social media marketing community can’t be beat!
I took some time to chat with members of the social media marketing community and fellow Orcas to check in and see what they wish they’d realized sooner about social media marketing. And, to no surprise, the responses were incredibly helpful.
Advice From Our Team
1. Himanshu Jain – Software Developer @ HeyOrca
“I realized a few things: 1. There is great value in building an audience. 2. Early starters do have an edge in most cases, so trying new social media isn’t a bad idea. 3. (In the context of the social dilemma) – It also has the power to change us or mould our beliefs”
2. Casey Russell – Customer Success Manager @ HeyOrca
“One thing I wish I realized sooner is that content creation works best when it’s treated as a “marathon” rather than a sprint”
3. Joe Teo – CEO @ HeyOrca
“Quality over Quantity! Instead of obsessing over what the best times to post is or how many posts should I post a week? Ask yourself if the content that I am creating “helpful” or “relevant” to my audience. It’s better to do 1 thing well than to do many things sub-par!”
4. Stephanie Schwartz – Director of Product @ HeyOrca
“There are in fact humans on the other side of the computer screen, and you should treat them as such. This may sound obvious to anyone who works even remotely adjacently to social but I don’t think that the general public realizes how much of a Social Media Manager’s time and emotional energy goes into the content they create and respond to messages from their audience in a helpful and thoughtful way. They deserve the most respect!”
5. Alyssa Martin – Customer Success Manager @ HeyOrca
“I think one thing I wished I realized sooner was that the industry is always changing and new social media platforms are always popping up. It’s definitely important to take some time each week and read up on the latest news”
Advice From The Social Media Community
6. Christina Garnett: “People want the recipe for the secret sauce. The perfect time to post, how many hashtags, how long a video should be. As soon as people think they’ve figured it out, the masses jump on and saturate that method; think LinkedIn line breaks/stories or threads on Twitter.”
7. Alexandra Anema: “Clients need to understand that having a third party run their social is a collaborative effort. I always try to make that abundantly clear during the pitch phase, and they always seem to forget when I start scheduling ongoing calls”
8. Cathrine Alexandra Nelson: “You’ll get better. That one misspelled word on that one tweet that one time is not worth losing sleep over.”
9. Leanne Shinkle: “It’s important to understand what is expected of you before accepting a job. Ex: They say analytics are extremely important but then tell you to do things against social media best practices.”
10. Laurel Stark Akman: “Social media marketing is an amazing opportunity for leaning into challenges or opportunities and having a transparent conversation with fans and customers. It’s better to speak than not. And it’s better to be proactive than to be defensive.”
11. Chris Lynam: “Wish I knew earlier that you can’t think/strategize/plan your way past the early awkward stages of finding your content writing voice. You need more consistent quantity instead of slow, inconsistent quality.”
12. Laurel Johnston: “That project management and social calendars go hand in hand– coordinating to get content you need is much better when you work ahead.”
13. Atlas Marketing Group: “It’s so important to spend time reaching out to your audience, commenting on & engaging with THEIR posts as opposed to only focusing on your own content. It’s the best way to expand your community! Spend 20 mins each day and watch the results!”
14. Emily L. Phelps: “I wish I’d known sooner that it’s okay if something doesn’t work. Your audience is more forgiving of an error or missed message than if you constantly talk at them. Try new things! Learn the native language of your audience and use it to inform your program.”
15. Maryann Werner: “Try different styles of copy and post structure. Seeing how formats like polls, “share a how”, quotes, articles, etc are consumed and engaged with helps you get into a groove!”
16. Gaurav Arora: “What I’d realized sooner – One to one connection is directly proportional to engagement. The more people you befriend/communicate with, the more +ve impact it has on your content.”
17. Cindy Diaz: “It is important to know expectations and whether you are going to be a one-person social team or if you are going to be working with an actual team. I would also second burnout being real and the importance of analytics. Many times people ask why I am not super active on my accounts and the answer is usually, I am on social most of the day for work, it is hard for me to keep my own.”
18. Kevin Berry: “So many businesses approach social wrong. What value can social bring us? When it should be: What value can we provide? Ironically by providing value you usually accomplish the original goal.”
19. Jason Bradwell: “Social can be super effective in B2B when it’s given the investment / attention it needs. Where things start to fall down is when it’s treated as a checklist item.”
20. Crystal Rhiannon: “That everyone is just learning as they go for the most part. So much is changing at all times and no one knows everything.”
21. Alexandra Skazka: “There’s no guaranteed way to succeed. You can do everything by the book yet still get disappointing results. The key is to experiment and see what’s working for you and only you. And thus creating your ultimate SMM strategy – even if it contradicts all the how-tos”
22. Alexandra Anema: “Clients need to understand that having a third party run their social is a collaborative effort. I always try to make that abundantly clear during the pitch phase, and they always seem to forget when I start scheduling ongoing calls”
23. Peter Whent: “Social media is a stage to perform on and not a storefront to sell from.”
24. Christine Johnson: “You don’t need to be everywhere at once. Take your time and pick the platforms that you’re interested in and align with where your audience is spending time. This applies to both large brands and personal brands.”
25. Heather Larson: “B2B marketing is a world. Boring to the outside, but interesting to the inside.”
26. Megan Kopalasingam: “That brands can have a personality on social media. I always had used it strictly as a distribution channel, and not as a way to engage with people.”
27. Ashley Ashbee: “I wish I’d known sooner that you can automate a lot of the research instead of manually doing keyword and location searches.”
29. Kami Huyse: “I wish I had realized sooner that you will both attract and repel people. It’s okay if not everyone likes you. I spent way too much time trying to please my peers instead of finding and helping my clients.”
30. Translate Digital Marketing: “There’s no secret recipe. Just because something works for someone doesn’t mean it’ll work for us. It’s essential to check our own analytics and use the data to inform our decisions.”
31. Lee Benecke: “Every channel is a mouth to feed. If you don’t have enough content, choose where to play wisely.”
32. Madhu Sharoff: “Back when IG started, I totally thought what a waste of time… anyone can be a self-proclaimed photographer! Only to find out what an opportunity I missed out on! Dec 2020 started my IG account! Lesson: early adapters win!”
33. Jolie Kesler: “Automation is important for streamlining your workflows and maximizing your time, BUT, that has to be blended with authentic, frequent engagement with your followers and potential followers. Don’t just set it and forget it.”
34. Mike Allton: “It took me a year of more error than a trial to sort out that social media is about being SOCIAL and that means developing relationships. Understanding that sooner would have been extremely helpful.”
35. Nimit Kapoot: “What I’d realize sooner – no. of followers is just a vanity metric. A lot of companies are still chasing followers. They look great on paper but you can’t use them to explain business outcomes. What matters is who your followers are and whether they feel connected to your brand.”
36. Anna Laura: “Social media should never be your brand’s last resort, nor should it be prioritized as such. Your social strategy should be fully integrated across your entire business model and respected as a vital part of your marketing efforts. Also – you can’t depend on social to generate sales or ROI without having all of the other pieces in place: good customer service, a well-maintained website/landing page, etc. Social is a long game that’s better suited for building brand loyalty and relationships.”
37. Erika Manassis: “I wish I had been more assertive early on about the importance of robust social listening tools + expertise. With conversations & trends evolving so quickly, overlooking relevant content/mentions can mean a huge miss for the brand.”
38. Jason Mashak: “Social media marketing is one of the few areas that can be increasingly difficult to master over time, rather than easier (as one might expect) – in part because it feels as if the platforms themselves are continually working against you.”
39. Jennifer Bulandar: “That it is a team of one for most places. When you do your best you have people with zero understanding questioning and doubting you. This is not an easy job, but to make connections/engage online, make customers, make sales, share info is rewarding.”
40. Maroof Salehpour: “Don’t stick to the one successful content, learning your way of success in social is depends on many factors, try to make humanize and meaningful connection rather than trick the algorithm. community building is a hidden gem of social media.”
I told you! The social media marketing community cannot be beat!
Everyone who has contributed to this article is linked, so check them out! Build your community. Social media marketing can sometimes be an overwhelming space, but everyone is constantly learning and building their strengths. It’s an incredible industry to be a part of.
Need a little guidance when it comes to communities to join? Don’t worry – I got you. Check out our blog post Facebook Groups Every Social Media Manager Should Join.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about what you wish you’d realized sooner about social media marketing? Send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add your thoughts to the blog.