When it’s done right, social media reflects the heart and soul of an organization.
It cuts to the heart of the brand’s message and presents it in a storytelling-oriented way which appeals to an appropriate audience.
As you might imagine, it can be challenging to do this as an outsider. Whether a company hires a new community manager or hires an agency to handle the campaign, there is always a “getting to know you” period.
Some companies have brand guidelines in place, which certainly can help to give you a head start. But ultimately, there is nothing quite like spending time with the company up close and personal.
Of course, it goes without saying that the new community manager can read about the company online (most of the time), or research them in publications or talk to the client about the company over the phone.
But when it comes right down to it, there is nothing quite like getting up close and personal with the subject at hand.
Does the client have a physical location? Go there. Spend some time walking around. Look at products or wall art or whatever is there. Absorb the atmosphere. Participate in the activity or buy something.
Who does the client serve? Find out if you can talk to them about their experiences. Get first-hand narratives and stories about how the organization impacted that person. Or talk to staff about their quality of life and their work environment.
Are they an online-only company? Come up with a list of things that a potential customer might be looking for, or experiences they might want. Put yourself in their shoes and give it a try.
Language immersion programs work for a reason — they force you to get close to the language, interact, and learn by doing. Getting to know a new social media client ultimately works the same way. Research can introduce you, but direct interactions breed the most familiarity.