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When you handle social media initiatives for one organization, it is easy to develop linear thinking. Even when you follow the trends, stay on top of all the latest developments and devour all the social media news you can stand, you still tend to apply it to your own company or think about how certain tactics can work for your industry.

This is certainly not the case for everyone so please don’t take offense. I know when I worked at a news organization I was very focused on how we could adopt social media or better yet incorporate social media into our products to better serve the needs of the readers and viewers. I did think about other industries, mostly because I was intrigued at what they were able to accomplish when mine couldn’t even come close. But that was the extent of it.

Now that I am social media manager at a communications agency working with a myriad of clients from very different industries, my horizons have broadened. I think much more deeply about strategies and tactics.  I am challenged in ways that sometimes make me extremely exhausted but I know I am better for it.

I think a lot more about regulated industries, because many of our clients fall into that category and their barriers to entry are real.  I am grateful for all the work the Dachis Group has compiled in that regard. Research is much more important to me than it ever was and I often dissect it into small pieces. Read the rest of this entry »

I was asked recently to share my thoughts on what exactly I do as a Social Media Manager at Capstrat, for a blog post over on 10000 Words. What’s funny is before I even started talking about that, I mentioned the work I did as a Community Manager and before I knew it I was comparing the two.

Since many of you don’t have the insane interest in journalism that I do, I thought I’d share my comments here and also  introduce you to a blog that I read regularly, that may not be on your radar.

So, here is my two cents: Be sure to read the full post to hear from others as well. And let me know what you think.

I believe there is a distinct difference in the role of community manager and that of social media manager, though each means different things to different companies. I was a community manager for three years. During that time I launched, nurtured, managed and ultimately grew a brand new community from zero to 15,000 members. It was often rewarding yet grueling work. A lot of blood sweat and tears goes into managing a community particularly when you are responsible for its maintenance and growth. I have strong opinions about the differences in managing a branded community vs. one on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn but we can save that for a different day.

That said, I have been in the role of social media manager at Capstrat exactly two months today. My role is very different now. I am a change agent. It’s my job to show clients how they can use social media to meet their goals and objectives. It requires an understanding of the client, knowledge of how social media is being used across a wide array of industries and the ability to shift gears at warp speed. I am working to build an area of the agency that is still perceived in some cases as a fad. The focus isn’t in a single area at an agency, A community manager has the luxury of focusing on a core group whereas a social media manager does not. For me, that’s a good thing because it makes me push myself to absorb all that I can and immerse myself in different industries.

So much of this will evolve and I doubt that my job will be the same in a month. We have a great opportunity to bring value to organizations through social media. One of my goals is to create a fully integrated strategy for PR and social media because social media is the ultimate PR opportunity. So while I wish I could give you a distinct definition for this work, I don’t think I can. Some say social media is the Wild, Wild West. Well, if that’s the case then any of us can strike it rich at any given moment.

I think I’ll be exploring this angle a bit more. It’s always nice to realize you have a strong opinion on a topic when you didn’t really know it. I think I owe it to myself to make it even stronger.  Thanks to Mark Luckie, for seeking my opinion.

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It started out as an innocent tweet from my soon-to-be employer, Capstrat and turned into a full-blown twitter event that made me feel like Elvis.

In case you missed it, the big news is that I have accepted a great position as Social Media Manager at an amazing communications firm in Raleigh, NC called Capstrat.

To say that Capstrat has a great reputation would be an understatement, and to say that I am excited about the opportunity would be as well. I would not have resigned from my position as Managing Editor of User-Generated Content at WRAL.com and editor of GOLO.com if the opportunity wasn’t worth it’s weight in gold.

And this one is.

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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