How to stay social when social (media) isn’t your thing

Well, the secret is out. Hi, my name is Whitney Albert, and I’m NOT addicted to social media. For those who know me well, such as my family, friends and colleagues, this comes as no surprise. I made the decision a few years ago that I would have a presence on social media (because you can’t not have one, right?), but that I would be very strategic on how and what I choose to do in this arena.

Why, you ask? Let’s start with the facts. Yes, I’m a proud PR practitioner. Yes, I understand the importance of managing your personal brand. And yes, I am a millennial, albeit on the older end of the spectrum. But, I like to think of myself as being ‘wonderfully weird.’ Meaning, I tend to march to the beat of my own drum, even when that beat seems to be a bit off. If you were to ask my parents, they’d say I’ve always been this way. In fact, my mom would likely mention the fact that from day one, I’ve been calling my own shots, including how I would enter this world (I was a breech baby and was delivered through an emergency C-section).

While I have the luxury of choosing how/when/if to engage on social media, for my clients, sorry… there’s no debating. Your company, organization or brand must be present and actively engaged on social media platforms. Now, that’s not to say you have to be everywhere. At Obsidian, we take care to recommend social media outlets that make the most sense for our clients and their respective audiences. The bottom line is that it’s not an option, it’s an expectation for public brands to be live and in living color on social media. The good thing is that when you hire our firm, we can develop and manage your social strategy for you.

So, if you’re wondering how I can effectively manage social strategy for my clients while being semi-active with my own social media presence, here are a few disciplines I employ.

Know your stuff. I make it a point to know what’s going on around me – whether it’s directly applicable to my personal preferences or not. Staying in the know is what good PR professionals do. For social media, I’ve subscribed to several reputable outlets that focus on social media innovation and the evolution of the industry. I’m constantly inundated with information so that I can be an asset to my clients. I know about algorithm changes, new advertising options, industry trends, best practices, social media blunders and successes and more. The best way for me to demonstrate value to my clients is to be unapologetically knowledgeable.

Talk to the experts. This is an easy one. I can confidently say that we have a diverse range of talented practitioners at Obsidian. Each of us bring our own skill sets, experience and passions to the table. Thankfully, several of my colleagues are passionate about social media. So, you know what I do when I don’t know something about that new Instagram feature? I get up from my desk and just ask. What a luxury!

Learn from others. I live vicariously through others when it can benefit and teach me. I pay close attention to what other brands are doing well (and not well) on social media. I spend time going through social media platforms for various brands that fall within my clients’ industries to understand what new practices they’re implementing. I listen intently to new strategies my colleagues are executing to drive engagement to their personal and client platforms. Where I can glean learnings and apply them, I’ll do so. And, I make mental notes along the way as to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate what I’m doing.  

That’s it in a nutshell. I don’t know what the future holds for me and my social media presence, but I’m ready for it either way!