8 things I learned from “Behind the Social”

Today at SXSW I moderated a panel of three kickass women who manage social media for national public television productions: Molly Jacobs (American Experience), Olivia Wong (Masterpiece) and Hannah Auerbach (Antiques Roadshow). To structure the hour, we thought of seven standard best practices on social media and dug deeper, sharing our thoughts and strategies for going beyond.

Here are 8 things I learned from the panel.

  • Great content is not a problem for these people — what is a problem is finding the resources to do more on social than the bare minimum.
  • Go beyond understanding your audience, and keep them in mind when creating content and writing posts. In a nutshell: Don’t know your audience, be your audience.
  • Understand what makes your audience share your content. For example, Molly understands that the American Experience fan wants to feel smart, so they show their support by sharing that knowledge with others.
  • Add context to an event, don’t just take advantage of a trending keyword or story.
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin by chasing after every new platform, but it’s great to diversify your content, and have content that is exclusive to each platform.
  • Rethink your partnerships and the time you put into them: The best partnerships on social are organic, and come from the influencers who truly love your content.
  • Be visual on social. But don’t be visual to the exclusion on other types of content.
  • Know your goals for social — is it growth? Is it engagement? — but identify what gets you excited about social and experiment with it.

Below is the original deck used in the panel, plus some great additions from the audience. Thanks for a fun afternoon, SXSW!


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