Interview with Social Media Manager: Hristina Hristova from Acronis

Hristina HristovaHristina Hristova is currently working for Acronis as a global social media manager for consumer products. Hristina’s background is in social media and publishing – Hristina was a founding member of Groupon UK, and worked for the social buying giant as a social media strategist. Hristina’s interests include all things digital, web and graphic design, as well as typography. You can follow Hristina on Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest .

G: What are the key ingredients of successful social media strategy?

H: Just three words: creativity, communication and collaboration. The first step is to build a team of inspired creatives – people who not only understand how social media works, but also have the ability to create unique concepts. Content is what is most valued in social media, and without creativity you are unlikely to go far.

In terms of communication, it is important that any brand’s social channels reflect its values, principles and customer promise. To achieve this, social media managers must ensure they involve themselves with as many aspects of the business as possible. Communications between departments, as well as between users, are both equally crucial for a successful strategy.

Lastly, collaboration. Create brand awareness on social media and work together with friend-brands. Create joint campaigns and competitions.

User engagement (and community growth) is how you measure success in social media, and you cannot have these without creativity, communication and collaboration.

G: What are your favourite tools which help to implement and monitor the social media strategy?

H: My favourites are:

Klout – to know where you stand in relation to your peers and competitors.

Google Insights for Search – to help you schedule content and understand keywords better.

Google Analytics – this one is obvious. Measure the impact of your social media efforts in terms of visits and sales.

Hootsuite – organise and manage content across Facebook and Twitter.

Conversocial – I would only recommend this customer service tool to large organisations with multiple and/or international accounts.

Twittercounter – great way to measure growth and engagement. It is also an advertising platform, which works out cheaper than buying Twitter ads.

G: What do you have to provide to a community to make it work?

H: Unique, engaging content is the basis for any successful community management strategy. I find it important to find the balance between content creation and curation, as well as the ability to make content user-friendly and shareable. Great content – whether because of its informational value or incentivising characteristics – is what glues communities together.

G: What strategies do you employ to attract new community members and keep them engaged?

H: Sharing content that is likely to be re-shared is the most obvious way to go about increasing the community’s size. Being identified by users as a reliable, interesting source will ensure your brand’s penetration into the user’s network too. Sharing plenty of multimedia, such as videos, images, podcasts, apps and articles will keep your content diverse and engaging. Asking questions and requesting feedback is also a great way to communicate and collect valuable information about how your brand is perceived, and what can be improved.

Incentives are also known as a practical way to gain following – competitions and promotions attract a large number of users – it is then up to you as a community manager to retain these people through high quality content.

G: What are the most common mistakes in social media strategy planning and community management? What should companies do to avoid them?

H: I’ve witnessed many companies who set up accounts across different social media channels, and update them irregularly and inadequately. Each social media channel has its own recommended posting frequency, which is something that is often neglected. One solution would be to create a weekly or daily content schedule – and stick to it. Planning should be an essential part of any strategy.

Another mistake is to mix up the content shared on different channels. For example, many companies have automated their tweets to be published on Facebook too. Although this saves time, you’d have to be cautious about applying this method – content on Twitter it shorter and sharing on Twitter in general has a different purpose than sharing on Facebook or G+. My recommendation would be – if you do want to share the same content – then change the format and the message.

Another common mistake is to leave user comments unanswered for long periods of time. This looks really unprofessional, and can even slow down the community growth process, as new users would be more unlikely to join.

Not knowing your brand identity also seems to be an issue for many – some companies simply do not understand how to include social media in their branding strategies, or worse – do not have one.

G: What are your favourite social media campaigns?

H: Some of my favourites include Diesel with their QR code campaign, the Heinz Get Well Soon Soup Facebook campaign and Citroen’s Twitter campaign in BENELUX.

G: Do you think targeting influencers is overrated or is it an important part of Social Media Strategy?

H: There is now a thin line between influencer and your general user – everyone is an influencer. That is the beauty of social media after all – we all have a podium and our 5 minutes of fame last a lifetime. I do believe some users should be treated differently, depending on their engagement and feedback of the brand.

G: What are the key mistakes when targeting influencers and how to avoid them?

H: The biggest mistake would be to target influencers without personification – for example, sending generic, robotic emails to bloggers . Social media is all about personality, and if you do not have it – you will fail. Other mistakes include offering payments and including cliché calls of action – gone are the days of “check it out now” and the good old “click here”. As media evolves, marketers must become cleverer in the way they communicate.

G: How do you measure the brand influence?

H: Engagement is the main currency in social media, so a week-on-week increase in user interaction signifies a successful and well-executed strategy, and it is definitely an indicator of the brand’s influence.

G: How do you measure social media ROI?

H: In my reporting, I use a number of tools and metrics, including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twittercounter, and Klout.

This post was written by:

- who has written 111 posts on Social Media Citizens – Interviews with social media influencers from around the world.

Giedrius Ivanauskas is the founder/editor of Social Media Citizens and co-founder of Social Marketing Forum. He also blogs on Social Media Today and Giedrius is a managing partner at Nearby Digital - location focused social media marketing agency and is passionate explorer of Augmented Reality, Startups and anatomy of Inspiration. He curates inspiration database - Inspirisimo.You can follow Giedrius on Facebook or Twitter

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