THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM WORKING IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Largely relevant to media brands, but hopefully helpful for all.
- •It's Not Personal (But You Still Need a Thick Skin)Social networks can be mean places—which is why The List has been such a complete delight. As a general rule, people are much more likely to respond to a prompt if they have negative feedback than they are to give praise. But when a commenter notices a typo and tells you to fire yourself then die, it's not about you. It's about their bad day. And when a commenter tells you they hate that beet recipe you posted, and that you should fire yourself then die, that's not about you either.
- •You Have to Engage—Even When You'd Rather NotLet's go back to those commenters wishing a pox on your house. As much as you'd love to tell them to jump off a cliff, or, more likely, simply ignore them, you shouldn't. Take a breath, make some tea, and tell them you're sorry you made a grammatical error, posted a waffle recipe that required a 12-hour proofing period at 7 a.m., accidentally shared a slideshow of Indian recipes with a picture of a corgi attached instead of naan bread (that was a bad day). Apologize and ask what they'd like to see changed in the future. Then listen.
- •Clickbait Doesn't Work. PeriodIt's insulting, and frankly, your readers are smarter than that. You're smarter than that. Come up with something better.
- •The Best People to Promote Your Content Are the Ones Who Write ItWe don't have a dedicated social media manager at Bon Appétit. Rather, everyone on our digital editorial team has a hand in writing our tweets and Facebook posts. The way we see it, we know the best quotes to highlight, the heart of the story, and therefore, how to really sell it.
- •Each Platform Serves a Specific and Distinct PurposeSome social platforms will send readers to your website. Hooray! Some won't. That's okay. They're still important. Driving the brand and being engaged with your readers are very worthwhile activities.
- •Twitter Does Not Drive Traffic...But it sure is a hell of a lot of fun.
- •Pinterest Is Not a Social Network…It's a search engine. In my personal life, when I'm browsing "ombre hair" on Pinterest, it's for my own knowledge, not to share with my friends and crazy Uncle Frank. Adjust copy accordingly.
- •Instagram Is Best When It's AuthenticYes, Instagram is looking more curated than ever. But I believe accounts are more successful when they present a real and accessible version of themselves. Go ahead, use that filter. Just be mindful in to strike a level of attainability in your copy.
- •Snapchat Is...I'll get back to you on that.