It’s always interesting to start at a new company. There are new polices to learn, different cultures to understand and new coworkers to befriend.
I’m used to being the new girl—when I was in high school, my parents picked up and moved the entire family to Atlanta from New York. Like starting a new job, starting at a new school means figuring out what to wear, who to talk to, what teams to join and which teachers to avoid. It’s a steep learning curve, but if you want to be successful, you have to put the time in and find out the right information.
Being the new kid is also a lot like launching a new social media campaign. While many organizations are already on Twitter and Facebook, the social landscape continues evolving at an astounding pace. Some analysts predict that Google+ will overtake Facebook like Facebook did MySpace, while others are holding out for the next micro-blogging game-changer.
Regardless if your organization has accounts across every platform or just a few, technology is changing so quickly that there will almost certainly come a time when it will be the new kid on the social media block. So treat your campaign like a “new kid,” and your brand will soon fit right in.
Wear the Right Clothes
Talk to the Right Crowd
Talking to the right crowd doesn’t just mean seeking out thought leaders and blasting out messages. When you look for the right crowd, you need to find those who have complementary goals. A bakery might look for a self-declared foodie who is seeking out new, local restaurants; a technology firm with a brand new white paper might connect with a journalist who tweeted about working on a story about that subject.
Your “talk” shouldn’t be one-sided. No one likes the new kid who only chatters away about his or her old school and old friends. Participate in new conversations; create a dialogue with your audience and establish a reciprocal relationship. Even if your go-to blogger doesn’t write about you, she might connect you with another blogger who is looking for information on just that topic.
Join the Right Teams
There is a team for everyone. For many of my friends, it was dance or drama, but some found refuge in the “Power Nap Club,” which met on Tuesdays to discuss stress management and yoga techniques. It wasn’t your average club, but the members made friendships that carry through to today. Through teams, you can find your strengths, network and grow.
The teams I refer to here are the apps and tools used to target, track and update campaigns. Are you Team HootSuite or Team Tweetdeck? Additionally, while many apps overlap in their usefulness, it’s important to find the tool that works best for you and your project. Like joining a club because it is popular, using a particular platform because that’s what everyone is using can stunt your campaign. Find your campaign’s “Power Nap Club.”
Earn an A+
Although a heads-up on which calculus teacher curves grades down can help you finalize your senior-year schedule, it’s not always possible to avoid digital tough graders. A single update can launch a chain reaction that, as many large brands know, can lead to the downfall of a campaign. Mistakes happen, negative comments sprout and SEO may take a hit, but, as with any PR campaign, it’s important to keep a level head, maintain transparency and move forward. Like high school, the Internet can be vicious, and it never forgets, but it is also surprisingly forgiving—particularly when you are genuine.
Like asking for an extra credit assignment, by showing that you have learned from your social media snafu, you can heal quite a few bruised egos and mend fractured relationships. And, there’s always the good idea of consulting an expert.
It’s tough being the new kid, but it is also exciting. My first week has since drawn to a close, but I am looking forward to each day.