Establishing boundaries in managing a professional social media account

- Entrepreneurial Skills

Hands-on Management 3.0 leadership workshops focus on tangible practices to help managers, team leaders, middle management, and C-level executives increase employee engagement and foster transformational change within their organizations.

by Devin Morrissey

Social media accounts can be huge assets for companies that are starting out and working to build up their audience. When you have lots of active and engaged followers on social media, it becomes easy to gauge whether your audience is excited about a new product or even what exactly about the product excites them. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are easy ways to communicate to your audience and to get them to communicate amongst themselves; however, it also makes it easy for your audience to communicate with you, which may be overwhelming depending on the amount of feedback they’re sending. Social media presence can be difficult to balance and it’s important to establish boundaries to maintain proper work-life balance.

Marketing Responsibilities

Managing social media typically falls under the responsibility of someone in the marketing department, whether that department is run by one, five or 20 people. This can be a huge responsibility, depending on how large a company’s presence is on social media, as you are actively representing the company through casual posts. Marketing skills help individuals distinguish what kind of posts are appropriate for the company and can help manage content strategy depending on the emphasis companies place on social media.

Depending on the size of your company’s marketing team, managing the company social media account may fall under the jurisdiction of the marketing director, who makes important decisions about how to communicate with clients and customers. Marketing directors are responsible for coordinating relationships inside and outside the company, as well as through departments. According to an article by Arizona State University, “(Marketing directors) work with art directors, sales agents, financial staff and other professionals to plan, manage and direct programs that generate interest in products or services.”

Having the expertise to plan and manage the content strategy that generates interest among your company’s audience is a huge need and skill. Emanating from a company’s vibes can be difficult to convey across social media, where posts are typically short in length to retain the attention of people casually scrolling through social media. This means that marketing managers only have a photo and a few words or sentences to connect with their audience and establish their company’s brand in a creative and memorable way.

Establishing Boundaries for Social Media

Being accessible on social media has been proven to help business and consumer relations, which can make an online presence difficult to balance. Most consumers expect a response on social media within one day, and if you’re receiving tens or hundreds of messages, it may be difficult to respond to all of them. The pressure of knowing people are waiting for your response can be stress inducing, which is why it’s so important to establish boundaries for how often you will check messages you’re receiving and which ones you will respond to. Setting social media hours on the company profile can help followers know when they can expect a response, for example, indicating social media response hours are between 8 am and 7 pm.

If you’re receiving a lot of messages on Facebook, take solace in knowing that your average response time is posted on your company’s page, which means your audience knows whether it will take you an hour or a day to respond. It can be helpful to link to a carefully crafted FAQ on your company’s page, which will both increase your company’s site visits, as well as reduce the number of messages you are receiving each day. Depending on how accessible your company wishes to be on social media, and the marketing resources available to you, you don’t have to respond to every message. Use daily posts to inform your audience and to answer frequently asked questions.

It’s a good practice to stay out of political arguments on social media unless your company’s stance is open, clear and adds to the company culture. Marketing managers are typically good delegators who know how to answer questions in ways that avoid putting the company in a bad light. It’s beneficial to company image to create uplifting posts and to always strive for positivity on social media, which will help your audience associate positive feelings with your company. This is one of many reasons it’s important for marketing managers to know what makes people happy.

Establishing boundaries for your company’s social media accounts can be difficult when social media is accessible through your phone. Make a point of signing out of company accounts outside of response hours so you don’t receive the notifications and constant reminders that customers are trying to get ahold of you. Establishing hours can reflect that a company cares about their employees’ personal time and job satisfaction, and can also foster a sense of respect between the company and customer. Establishing boundaries in your professional social media accounts is important to achieving a happy life — make them a priority.

Photo: Pexels

What’s your secret to having a successful social media account? Let us know in the comments below!

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