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Confessions of a Social Media Strategist

By: Katie Adkins, Social Media Strategist, ACS Advertising

When I was in college, and I met someone new, one of the first questions I was asked was, “Where do you go to school?” I haughtily responded that I attended Northwest Missouri State University, a small but proud university in an even smaller town north of Kansas City. As an adult, I am often asked, “What do you do for a living?” When I respond with, “I am a Social Media Strategist for an advertising agency,” it is generally followed by a blank stare and a “…so you get to play on Facebook all day?” FACEPALM!

Social media for business grows with importance every day. It is quickly becoming a necessity for companies to be present online and in the social world. People talk. They talk to companies, they talk to each other; and they are going to continue to do so. When you make the decision to be present, you then make the decision to control and host the conversation surrounding your brand. And when a business begins utilizing any new tool, software, or piece of equipment, there becomes an immediate need for someone who knows how to run and/or operate it. Enter, the Social Media Strategist.

I have used social media for years. Shoot, I remember the day I first signed up for Facebook! The days before analytics, advertisers, even before the status update! Since its inception, it has changed immensely and continues to change quite frequently; throwing curveballs like Nolan Ryan. As a Social Media Strategist, watching for those curveballs is called a Tuesday.

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE what I do. I am lucky to have had some incredible opportunities presented to me and have been most fortunate to have a career that many people wouldn’t really consider work. But most of all, I love that I learn. I learn something new every day and there are a couple of thoughts I would like to share:

· Social media is NOT free! Sure, anyone can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, but running these pages and running them effectively requires time, effort, and resources that one person cannot do alone. Having a team that is dedicated to the success of your social media presence is one of the most valuable gifts you could give the future of your company.

· Some people really do use math in the real world. As a Social Media Strategist, I am constantly analyzing results and using a statistical mind to present the best social strategy possible and tailor it to individual brands. P.S. A big THANK YOU to Dr. King, my stats professor in college, for breaking it down for me and giving me this ability!

· You can’t buy love. Social media sites have given every person and brand in the world a megaphone. The size and the reach of the megaphone may vary, but it is powerful, nonetheless. Be sure to use that power wisely.

I confess that I have my days. Between the fast paced world of advertising and the constant metamorphosis of the social media world, I have my work cut out for me.

But I am an innovator, a teacher, and a trailblazer in an industry that, I believe, is still in its infancy. My confession: I think that’s awesome!

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