“What do you mean you don’t love Periscope? Seriously? I thought you worked in social media?”

There are two types of social media managers.

One type gave me the above comment when I mentioned that I hadn’t recommended Periscope for a client’s social media program. She was horrified that I hadn’t embraced the latest new toy in social media and then not put my client onto it. I wasn’t “cutting edge” and my client would potentially miss out on getting into something before it became big.

At the heart of this type of social media manager is one word: fun. They’ve inevitably got 50 social media accounts running (some slavishly managed, others gathering dust) and are attracted to the new platforms because they’re “cutting edge”.

Do you know why I didn’t recommend Periscope to my healthcare client? Because I’m the second type of social media manager. At the heart of my approach is one word: functional.

I get the fact that you need to understand new platforms and need to identify the opportunities that may arise. But that doesn’t mean embracing something because it’s new. Your Honour, I’d like to table Exhibit A: Ello.

You see, I tend to evaluate new platforms through the lens of audience usage, audience respect and the platform’s ability to deliver some real benefit to my (or my client’s) business. If it stacks up, we go with it. If it doesn’t, we don’t. We keep looking for ways to get something out of it.

There is a major gap between these two types of social media manager. That gap is best described by my client, who offered up this gem: “The difference between you and the last social media consultant we had was that it felt like he was trying to impress every other social media consultant. You’re trying to impress our customers.”

I’m happy with that.


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