An Always Changing Landscape

As marketing professionals, social media managers have a few objectives that are always part of the job: 

  1. Staying on trend across platforms
  2. Being aware of the greater communications efforts that work together as a collective vs focusing solely on social media efforts in its own silo. 

 With these universally recognized challenges in mind, Hay There Social Media was thrilled to bring in guest speaker Nikki Little, Senior VP at Franco PR, as part of our monthly professional development offered to our INsiders Pro & Certified Members.  The topic focused on what “integrated communications” really is in 2023 and social media’s role within the big picture. It was a critical conversation that reinforced to our community of freelance social media managers how important it is to have a high-level marketing view in order to be a sharp and effective social media manager.

What’s Working in Social Media

Nikki has dedicated her entire career to communications and shared that as soon as she heard about Twitter (er…”X”) back in 2007, she was fascinated and from that point forward was driven to discover how social media fit into the larger marketing picture. Nikki’s presentation to Hay There INsiders covered the full picture of integrated communications from paid to shared to earned and owned.  Being a Senior VP at Franco, she shared what’s working and what’s not with social media marketing for national clients.

  1. First and foremost, having a firm grasp on the various customer personas is a crucial first step. Without that, it is impossible to identify & attract different audiences and personas.
  2. Social platforms used to be geared towards quantity over quality. That trend has shifted. Today, one or two high quality, authentic posts go a lot further than just high amounts of activity alone.  So Nikki’s message was: “get smart about it and make sure it’s quality.” 
  3. User generated content and social listening is key. People want to see real peers versus branded content especially on visual channels like Instagram.
  4. A key – and sometimes marginalized factor – is social content’s power to enrich company culture. The audience is also internal staff and can be a powerful retention strategy for a company.
  5. Today, social media platforms don’t want you going off-site, so considering this in your preparations for how you plan to use the content is important.  

Proving Results

Social media managers can often feel like they are on their own island, readying for battle to prove their results with metrics that may not accurately reflect the role social plays in amplifying a marketing message that compels customers to engage. In order for social media’s impact to be maximized, it must be viewed as the very middle of the four part sphere model where you would also see reputation, trust, thought leadership, and authority. 

The presentation delivered by Nikki Little encouraged our Hay There INsiders  community members to step back and look at all marketing efforts their clients are utilizing to ensure content and tone are consistent throughout all of the messaging from earned to owned.  We then shifted gears to discuss how social media will continue to evolve as we draw closer to the end of 2023 and plan for 2024.

The Value of “Closed Conversations”

Nikkie stressed the effectiveness of dedicated communities to get real feedback regarding similar experiences as well as best practices you could never find in a public setting online.  Lucky for us, we all have a safe, secure place to connect, learn and grow in our Hay There Social Media community. You just can’t Google what is discussed in our group! 

Nikki was able to discuss some specific challenges and opportunities with members of the Hay There community from ways to look at impressions versus likes and comments and posting a variety of video lengths and styles.  All in all, the discussion  further cements social media’s central role in connecting the other parts of integrated marketing in 2023. 

If you would like to learn more about how we connect social media managers to paid work, how we help social media managers gain credibility through our upskilling courses or if you are curious about Hay There Social Media’s INsiders community (starting with a FREE tier), visit us here


Alison Spitzer

Administrator at Social Media Manager Training Courses
Alison Spitzer has contributed 8 articles on since January 29, 2022.

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