Challenges & Opportunities for Solo Social Media Professionals (A #SoloSocial Chat Recap)

March 31, 2014 was Opening Day, not only for Major League Baseball, but also for the #SoloSocial community chat! My home team—the Milwaukee Brewers—delivered a victory, and this group of dedicated professionals did as well. With about 10 participants in our inaugural Twitter chat, the conversation was flying so fast and furious that I didn’t even get through my eight prepared questions! Almost 250 tweets were sent, and of those 100 were replies. I’d expect nothing less from this extremely social group. Here’s a quick recap of what we discussed. If you prefer to see this in tweet form, check out Jonathan Eisen’s Storify (I’ll also embed it at the end of this post).

Solo Social Job Functions

Everyone participating in the chat had one thing in common: they were solely responsible for managing social media for a company/department/organization/client. The most common job function they performed was content creation, but that was just one of many:

  • Content creation & curation
  • Editorial calendar management
  • Research
  • Customer service
  • Analytics
  • Promotion
  • Social listening

How To Maintain Balance as a Solo Social Pro

Everyone in the chat seemed to take a different approach to scheduling. One person was trying to get a month ahead on a content calendar, while another always had Monday scheduled and managed to wing it for the rest of the week. Almost all seemed to organize their content curation with an aggregation tool like Feedly, Buffer or IFTTT. One participant mentioned that she often feels out of balance simply because she has to manage a number of different accounts with distinct voices.

Challenges of A Social Media Team of One

As you can imagine these solo pros encounter a variety of challenges in their positions. Among them:

  • Convincing others of the value from investment in social media
  • Choosing what to focus on or cut out
  • Going after too much too fast without allowing room for current initiatives to grow
  • Proper measurement to incorporate social into the larger marketing strategy
  • Not enough planning time
  • Balancing social with other responsibilities while keeping up with minute platform changes
  • Finding time and money to continually expand skills
  • Coming up with new, engaging content that maintains relevance for customers

Overcoming Challenges

We can’t have a discussion about challenges without talking about how to overcome them! Here’s what chat participants are doing:

  • Set realistic expectations and be patient
  • Work on time management
  • Bring new ideas to relevant committees
  • Pursue social certifications
  • Work with others to generate purposeful content
  • Train others for succession planning and/or internal certification
  • Delegate account management
  • Continually educate others re: social

Recognizing Opportunities

Solo social pros have a unique role that brings unique opportunities. A few were mentioned, but it was clear that these opportunities weren’t universal for our participants.

  • Making your own decisions
  • No coordination hassles
  • Hearing directly from customers
  • Major influence on social strategy

Future #SoloSocial Chat Topics

The time flew by! We reserved the last few minutes to talk about ideas for future chats, and even nailed down a date. Our next chat will be Monday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m. CDT. If you have a preference for one of the topics below, or an idea for another one, please indicate that in the comments of this post. If this schedule continues to work, we’ll continue with an every-other-Monday rotation.

  • Social media fatigue
  • How to efficiently create or re-purpose content
  • Focus on a specific platform (Instagram, Vine, etc.)
  • Metrics/measurement
  • What to do when your current approach isn’t working or you feel stuck
  • Social media management tools

Stay Connected Everyday

If you’re a solo social media professional, you don’t have to wait for our next chat to get connected. Join our LinkedIn group for support and guidance from other solo social pros!

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2 Comments on “Challenges & Opportunities for Solo Social Media Professionals (A #SoloSocial Chat Recap)

  1. Great recap and wonderful first chat. I love all the upcoming ideas, so I’m game for discussing any and all of them at some point.

    BTW, I LOVE your blog name. That’s awesome.

    • Thanks, Melanie. I can’t take credit for the blog name. It was suggested by a friend years ago 🙂

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