On December 19th, 2012, HubSpot held its annual charity auction during which HubSpotters offer up skills, items, and assets others might want to pay money for.
People were offering up Celtics tickets, cooking lessons, personalized rap songs, and, in my case, the @HubSpot Twitter account.
As HubSpot’s social media manager, I was a little uh ... how do I say this ... freaked out over who would make the highest bid and essentially take over part of my job for a day.
I heard $20 on one side of the room, $80 on the other side, then back again to $120. Before I knew it, our CEO and co-founder, Brian Halligan, had purchased the rights to use HubSpot’s Twitter account at the low, low rate of $600, which was donated to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. (Turns out it's kind of hard to outbid your CEO.)
His face lit up and I noticed a devilish smirk emerging. Oh boy. Well, Brian, this post is for you. Here's my advice for you on monitoring social media ... from someone who manages it every day of the year!
Keep the Entire Company’s Goals in Mind
And yes, I understand that he co-founded the damn company, so he's probably the last person I need to give this advice to. But it's easy to let your personal goals slowly creep into execution.
This is also to say that Marketing, Sales, and Support should all be considered in every action you take. That's right, social media doesn't just belong to Marketing anymore. Actions I take can seriously impact all other departments, and it's something I keep in mind whenever I share content or interact on social media. Brian, think of yourself as the point-person for all of these departments' different goals. You're the intersection point. I hope you're comfortable with attention.
My One Piece of Advice: Don’t take selfies in the bathroom and tweet them … unless you’re doing a cover of “Sittin on the Toilet.” That might actually go viral.
Try to Think of the Bottom Line
I know, it sounds supremely unlovable, but it should always be looming in the back of your mind -- just not your primary driver. (Actually, I don't know what your natural tendency is toward, but I like to keep my priorities as: customer first, bottom line second.)
There’s a reason why the marketing team has forever owned HubSpot’s social media accounts, though. As a social media manager, I think about visits, leads, and customers on a daily basis, and how I can continue to improve those numbers. If we didn’t have a marketing person dedicated to our social media channels, we’d have a much harder time growing the top of our funnel and bringing in new audience every month -- which helps us hit our numbers throughout the rest of the funnel.
My One Piece of Advice: Check out the social media analytics in HubSpot before you get started, just as a starting point. You can see exactly which tweets were clicked most and how many visits and leads each campaign generated. Learn from the past, and then take it a step further.
If someone has a question about a piece of our content or software, they tweet it to us. If someone needs help getting in contact with someone at our company, they direct message us. It’s my job to make sure @HubSpot is there to help. But, today it's yours!
The HubSpot Twitter account gets about 1,000 mentions per day -- and that doesn’t even include tweets to hashtags like our #INBOUND13 conference, tweets with relevant keywords that don’t mention @HubSpot, or subtle requests for support help, trials, and demos of our software.
My One Piece of Advice: Get a list of people and links handy that you can reference for common questions. That way, you know who to contact for each different request, and where to find resources quickly.
Lucky for you, you're taking over the company Twitter account at just the right time with Social Inbox, so you can see the most important messages in your inbox. I just wish you had taken over Twitter before it existed to understand what I'd been working with beforehand!
Keep Calm and Carry On
Twitter is a fast-moving, cluttered stream. We use tools to streamline it, but you might end up feeling overwhelmed when you're in the thick of it all day -- especially if you're a people-pleaser, like many social media managers. Don't lose your cool! Prioritize the most important interactions, and do what you can to move calmly but swiftly.
My One Piece of Advice: You're only human for gosh sake, but don't forget you have technology by (and on) your side.
All in all, I wish Brian the best of luck today. I’m guessing he’ll have some great takeaways to share with us as he goes through the process, and a newfound appreciation for all the social media managers of the world. Please head over to Twitter and follow @HubSpot today and tweet him any questions, thoughts, or ideas as he’s interacting with 283K of our biggest fans.
And Brian, let me know if the $600 was worth it. ;-)