Executive Director of Social Media

As the Executive Director of Social Media, you will oversee all of social … Support CRO and work with VP Digital and VP Product on development of … Read source

5 things executive directors can do to manage social media outlets:

1. Play defense. Despite what you may read or see in the headlines, social media is not just for the young and the technologically savvy. It is also a great way for adults and senior citizens to remain involved members of their communities, as well as a way for them to stay up-to-date on issues that affect them. That’s why it would be unwise to think that social media platforms are completely “risk-free” for community-based organizations; they’re not.

So it’s important that executive directors know what’s out there on the web about their organizations, along with the people who work there. BEWARE: this stuff could include everything from compliments to outright lies borne by malice or mistake.

Someone who knows little about your organization may read something negative online that isn’t true … then repeat it to others, with you on the receiving end of their unintended slander (sometimes told in a loud voice). So you should start by doing a “Google search” of your organization’s name plus two key words: “complaints” and “reviews.” You’ll probably find a few unhappy people who are grumbling about your services in cyberspace – sometimes via online review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List.

The first rule is not to panic when you find these things … nor be too quick to delete them if they’re favorable comments (BEWARE: deleting comments only draws more attention). The second rule is: Be swift when you respond (even if all you do is forward the post back to the poster with an ultra-brief note declining to reply any further). Be unambiguous … because a court might well decide whether your response was sufficient based on how things appear online!

2. Be ready for – and act on – compliments. Along with criticisms, innocent mistakes and deliberate falsehoods, don’t forget that online reviews might refer to kind things someone said about your organization … but which has nothing whatsoever to do with your skill, behavior or competence at delivering services (BEWARE: one person’s positive comment can attract another who might try to be helpful by trashing your organization for unjustifiable reasons … even if he/she doesn’t seem credible).

In any instance, when someone online says something positive or negative about your organization – even if it seems unconnected with your mission – take note. If anything positive appears online keep track of what was said and use it as leverage when defusing future problems; even bad reviews can likely be turned around into good PR (though only you should ever write them!). Though remember: whether something good or bad is posted online … it means nothing until PEOPLE give it meaning!

3. Don’t jump into every conversation headlong; prepare ahead of time! I love reading advice from folks like journalist Jay Rosen [author of “What I Think About When I Try Not To Think About Global Warming’] … he writes some sharp things about journalism today including: We need reporters who put up a wall between themselves and their subject before reporting begins.” [Huffington Post link here]. I believe this holds true in managing our social media presence as well so let me explain why: Too often we let our emotional responses drive conversations that could haunt us later on if we don’t always do everything just right; therefore we need time out before we open our mouths – and time out again before we trust ourselves enough to speak candidly without consulting anyone else first!

4. Keep your comments constructive. Sometimes debate on social media can become heated to the point that calmer minds need to intervene and bring discussions back to a level of professionalism. The reason we must always strive to maintain control of a potentially explosive situation is because you never know when someone could use inflammatory words against you later if they go beyond the bounds of what’s considered reasonable online (think employee who takes his/her boss’s words out of context in their resignation letter … thereby making it sound as if the boss had treated them unjustly).

Even so, there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle conflict on social media: one thing that’s always best not to do is “unfriend” people for saying things with which you may profoundly disagree (unless … someone has been abusive or said something directly about your organization that you feel legally compromised by). However, you only need to unfriend those people who don’t share your passion for your work or remind those same people why tolerance is so important.

5. Enlist others to help keep an eye on things. As I said earlier: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY ONE PERSON TO ACTUALLY MANAGE A SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE – so if you are regularly part of such discussions … at some point someone else needs to take over from you! That’s why whenever anyone in my organization becomes overloaded with responsibilities I say: Right now, we’re all wearing many hats at once … but not forever. You should find ways for others within your organization, both big and small, to contribute their own ideas whenever appropriate, especially in dealing with difficult situations and stressful moments online – even though it eventually means letting go of exclusive control over what happens online (something most leaders need to learn how to do)! Conclusion

So much more could be written about this subject (some day so will be!).

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