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Our Month Without a Social Media Manager

This August, we found ourselves without a social media coordinator here at Wistia. With a growing social presence and an audience consistently seeking support on Twitter, we needed to figure out a strategy to manage these properties for the month before Jenny, our new social coordinator, started.

The goal was just to hit a baseline level of engagement and maintenance, and hopefully have the absence go relatively unnoticed by our audience. The original plan was for myself and our blog editor Meryl to share responsibilities, but we knew that if we were the only ones managing social media, our other work would be compromised. Luckily, a handful of enthusiastic Wistians stepped up to help out!

I learned a few things from distributing our Twitter presence across the company:

Don't be afraid to ask for help.

In hopes of opening up a few days for us to focus on other projects, I sent an email to the entire Wistia team asking if anyone would be up for covering a day of scheduling and replies on Twitter, our highest-volume channel. I was pleasantly surprised that 7 people volunteered for multiple days and ended up covering almost the entire month, including weekends! While I was hesitant to send the team-wide email at first, I'm glad I took the chance.

It's okay to let go a bit sometimes.

While having high standards for Wistia's brand voice is really important to us, this experiment was a helpful lesson in the value of occasionally letting go and acting swiftly. Luckily for us, pretty much everyone at Wistia has practice speaking in Wistia's voice, and most people also keep a pretty close eye on Wistia's Twitter anyway. A majority of the volunteers were on the Customer Happiness team, so they spend a lot of time talking to customers.

Letting go was a bit scary at first, but it turned out that everyone had really good instincts for how to speak as Wistia and how to distinguish the brand voice from their own.

Let people dive right in, but encourage questions.

We helped volunteers get set up with the proper tools and shared them on a couple of short documents about how to run Twitter. Other than that, we encouraged them to jump right into the deep end. Not requiring a lengthy training session lowered the barrier for people to volunteer, and knowing that Meryl and I were always available to answer questions seemed to offer just the right level of reassurance and confidence. It turned out people's instincts were on-point, and while we did some quiet monitoring to keep things in check, we pretty much never had to intervene.

Fresh voices add a lot.

Although our community manager Elise had been running Twitter most of the time, Meryl and I would take over one day per week to help give her high-level headroom. Because social wasn't our primary focus, we didn't have time to get too experimental, and mostly just maintained the presence.

New people brought renewed excitement and ideas to Twitter, and because it was novel and timeboxed, they were much more able to focus on adding something witty and fun beyond pure maintenance!

We should probably have a centralized style guide.

Historically, a few Wistia employees who've been here for a while have served as the "keepers of the voice" who everyone can turn to for guidance when in doubt. We have a few scattered documents that attempt to summarize Wistia's voice, tone, and style, but in a moment like this, a single go-to resource would have been very helpful.

Don't forget about gratitude!

I didn't want to offer incentives up front because it seemed like it might make people volunteer for the wrong reasons, but it felt important to do something extra to thank everyone for their work. We took everyone who volunteered out for ice cream at local favorite Toscanini's and also got them all commemorative hashtag mugs! Thanks again to Emily, Jonah, Jordan, Laura, Mat, Molly, and Olivier for their help!


As an exciting aside, we're really excited to welcome Jenny Mudarri, Wistia's new social media coordinator, to the team! If you're already following Wistia, you've probably already interacted with her. If not, feel free to say hey!


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