Stop talking and…you know…go strategize something.
Oftentimes when I meet a fellow “social strategist” for coffee, I’ll notice one of two things (if not both) right off the bat: they can’t sit for more than 10 minutes without checking their phone and, they never stop talking.
And in my head, I often wonder, “How in the world do they manage to do this job?”
For me, strategic thought requires deep attention, empathy, understanding and oftentimes, silence.
Yes, I need to participate in conversations and chats in social channels, read feeds and posts on an ongoing basis and keep abreast of trends that change seemingly overnight. But I also need to hold all of that information in my head and let my neurons wrap around them until a strategic path forward emerges.
This is a process that includes…
- Reading industry articles, books and blog posts (um…the whole thing, not just the first paragraph so I can tweet a sound bite) and attending industry conferences, seminars and webinars.
- Researching, testing and reading case studies on new social tools to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
- Analyzing quantitative and qualitative data on my client and their customers, competition and brands, looking for trends, traffic and red flags.
- Listening carefully to my client’s story, both the parts they voice (“This may be a challenge for our department to launch.”) and the parts they show me through their nonverbal clues (This person behaves as if they were told to launch a social media strategy, but don’t really want to. I’m going to need to identify a back-up champion to include in the planning process.)
This part of my job is SO not sexy.
So I gotta think that some of the people who are trying on the sexy new “social strategist” hat for size might be inclined to gloss over some of these tasks.
... "they can’t sit for more than 10 minutes without checking their phone and, they never stop talking."
I can talk for hours on end...
I spent most of my time analyzing data, connecting with influencers, writing quality content ánd pitching media & bloggers.