By UCLA X425 Student Lucy Harel
The lowdown on making social media work: reflections from a discussion with Clint Schaff
From growing up on a farm in North Dakota to working with some of the biggest global brands, Clint Schaff (@clintschaff) has his finger on the pulse of social media. His no-nonsense, practical advice for developing a social media plan – or not – is shared ahead.
Clint’s advice for great social media starts with four questions:
- PEOPLE: Who are you trying to reach?
- OBJECTIVES: What are you trying to achieve?
- STRATEGY: How are you going to do it?
- TECHNOLOGY: What is the best technology to use?
And sometimes, the best decision is to not embark on a social media campaign at all; Sometimes it just isn’t the right fit.
The landscape is changing. There was a time when ad people were stereotyped as art people who make cool stuff – they’re the great storytellers who win awards with no regard for client budgets. PR people, on the other hand, are versatile – and may be former sorority girls who were great at planning events. They are writers who know how to uphold a good reputation. Then there are the digital agencies – who work with the ad people and the PR people. Social media is blurring the lines for these roles and introducing extra opportunities for getting your message out there – if you do it right, using the right person or people to do it.
Your community manager – the primary person who does the posts – needs to hear what is being said, understand what the trends are, own the strategy and be the steward of your brand. The social media presence should provide experiences that draw attention, sustain interest and provide value. He or she can take feedback to management to help inform decision making. The voice behind social media will ultimately drive success.
Clint’s 5 tips for great social media:
- Genuinely care: Show interest, improvise, expand your community, and be passionate about your topic.
- Contribute value: Identify what’s important, comment and engage with people who comment, and compliment others publicly.
- Be interested – and interesting: Tell your story, add flair, and share experiences.
- Be yourself and be consistent: Engage with others in an authentic way.
- Look for efficiencies: Create an editorial calendar, do social media experiments and track how they work. If you’re time poor, try 15 minute bursts of activity.