How to begin managing a social media community

Once you have a client or boss that agrees to let you “handle it and do a good job”, it’s all downhill…

What’s next?  Here are 3 ways to get started.

1.  Ask for log-ins to their existing networking sites.  Some common ones are:

  • Facebook Profile:  *If they want you to invite all of their friends to their fan page- you’ll need access to share it from the owner’s account.
  • Facebook Fan Page:  They need to make you an administrator.
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Yelp
  • Google +
  • Email client
  • Foursquare (if location business)
  • Website

I would also recommend that you start them a new Gmail account to use as the master log-in for all the social networks you join.  Then just have all their emails forwarded to you.  Share the calendar with relevant people and/or on the website with a WordPress widget.

2.  Gather any logos, fonts, sales and marketing copy.

3.  Create a Google Spreadsheet to manage information about the accounts while giving various levels of access to viewers.  This is a living document, so you don’t have 5,000 versions of the same charts flying around.  Some of my tabs usually are:

  • LOG-INS:  if someone else is paying you to manage their account, this level of transparency is only reasonable.  If they get in there and start squirreling around- that’s another story, but mostly they just like to know they can, if they want.
  • KEYWORDS: common tags, keywords from SEO research
  • COPY: bios, tweets
  • LINKS:  useful bookmarks and common promotional links
  • CONTACTS:  specialty contacts, related to the business like website designers…
  • UPCOMING: events, specials, contests
  • TASKS: what needs to be done, by whom

4. For the accounts, they don’t have- start signing up.  Remember to think strategically about the Twitter handle or channel name.  It would be great if you could have the same handle access all the networks, but the party started a while ago, so you might have to go by your middle name or Bob8575.  While you are in there- fill everything out completely.  This is going to take some time, but you gotta do it right.  Make sure you put any relevant information in your spreadsheet, so the next time you have to fill out the company profile.

*Tip: take the time to optimally size each of the profile pictures.  If you have to edit the logo- do it.  If you want to try to do it yourself- it’s not too hard.  Or collect all the variety of sizes you need and offer some dude on Craigslist $100 to give you all the versions you need.  Or if you got the disposable dough- get it done right.  In any case- get the pictures in jpg, png and psd files, if possible.

5.  Start looking for connections, relevant influencers and mutually beneficial promotions.  This is an ongoing process.

  • TWITTER: Search lists, follow the people that the people you respect follow.  Follow the followers of the Twitter people you’d like to connect with.  (Make sense?)
  • FACEBOOK PAGE: “Use Facebook as a Page” and make friends with other pages (like mine) and comment.  It’s one of your only sources of free leverage on Facebook.
  • FACEBOOK PROFILE: invite business owner’s friends to their page and only invite your friends if you would otherwise.  It doesn’t do anyone any good to have “false fans”.

That’s it for now.  Unless, of course, you are ready to create your library.