One of the most critical responsibilities of a social media communicator is monitoring and collecting information about what people are saying about your brand online. This information is essential for brand strategy and for building a positive reputation among consumers. Gathering information and knowing how to use it is just one of the many skills that make social communicators essential and important to have at the marketing/communications table.
Ragan and PR Daily caught up with Nicole Carlone Losi, director of digital content at Kent State University to ask her a few questions about social media communications. Losi will be a speaker at Ragan and PR Daily’s upcoming Social Media Conference being held in person from Sept. 21-23 at Disney World, Orlando.
Ragan: Why did you get into social media communications?
Nicole Carlone Losi: I started becoming interested in social media communication/marketing for businesses right when social media was really taking off (basically, prime Facebook/Twitter and the newly created Instagram era). Managing (and growing) the social media presence at my first job out of college was a responsibility of mine. I quickly saw how effective social can be in terms of generating an audience, marketing products/services, raising brand awareness and playing a part in the overall communications strategy. I was successful in that role, as I understood how social media can play a large part in organizational goals but also had a solid sense of where social media would take us. From there, I took a role dedicated to the social space for Kent State in 2014. The responsibilities of the role I’m in today, director of digital content, have grown exponentially in tandem with the ever-changing social media environment.
Ragan: What do you think is the most important part of a social media communicator’s role in an organization?
NCL: Social media communicators have the pulse of what is being said about your brand online. And I believe that information is vital for leadership. Not only can social media managers monitor and collect this information, but they can also provide feedback and recommendations based on what they are seeing in the social space. Essentially, you’re running free focus groups every day — and I believe we should utilize this information to inform strategy.
Ragan: What tips or advice can you share so that organizations can make the most of their social media communications?
NCL: Listen to the feedback from your social media managers. They have a very good sense of how information should be tailored to meet your audience’s needs and respond/communicate. Organizations should also make sure their social media managers have seats at the marketing/communications planning table. Social media seems to be the “go-to” communications resource for many organizations, so it’s imperative that our social staff is included in the beginning stage.
Ragan: What do you see as the next thing for social media communications? What should organizations be doing now to stay ahead of the trends?
NCL: I think the “next big thing” for social is what we are seeing now — video is king. TikTok, YouTube, Instagram Reels — I think those spaces are going to continue to grow and video will remain paramount. Also, it’s important to understand that it might not make sense for you to have a presence in every single social media space and that is okay! If you’re interested in exploring a new space, you should go through a research phase, where you’d take a close look at the overall landscape and your competitors’ accounts, you walk through realistic content planning and account management, discuss measurement, etc. From there, if you find yourself entering a new space, trend monitoring is key. Set up a system to monitor trends on a regular basis and have a plan in place for creating content IF it makes sense for your brand to hop on a particular trend. Staying ahead of the trends is important, but what is more important is not jumping into trends with no real objective. Your content should be on-brand and fall within your organizational goals.
Ragan: At this year’s Ragan and PR Daily’s Social Media Conference, you’re on a panel discussing new collaborative skills for social media champions. Can you give our readers a preview of what they can expect to hear from you?
NCL: Some of the topics I plan to talk about are setting realistic goals, understanding the value of internal collaboration (I have some good examples I plan to share!) and compliance and using tools for standardization. I’ve been lucky to attend various conferences over the years where I’ve learned so much invaluable information, so I am looking forward to sharing tips and best practices that I have found helpful with all of you!
Join Nicole and other social media leaders at Ragan and PR Daily’s Social Media Conference, when speakers from TikTok, Intel, Facebook and more will share their ideas and success stories. Register today!