By Tathiana Moise, Vice President of Career Services
Before the Grammy’s aired on January 26 this year, Mashable posted an article about the Grammys social team being just one woman, Lindsay Gabler, and explained how she does it all. It took everyone by surprise that one single person was capable of handling the work of promoting the social media of the Grammy’s, an annual award ceremony by the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences given to artists for achievement in the record industry, all by herself.
In fact, this isn’t an isolated case. Within our own PRSSA chapter of Salem State University, Nick Ziogas actively handles all of our social media profiles from our Twitter account to Facebook. Yes, compared to that of the Grammy Awards, our organization’s social media is on a smaller scale, but what about Boston’s own Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)?
BWH has been a place of medical breakthroughs that has drastically improved lives around the world and is a worldwide leader in medicine. And yes, they have one social media specialist managing their social presence online.
Jessica Maki is the Media Relations and Social Media Specialist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s hospital and she, does it all. After sitting down and talking with her about what she does and how she succeeds, I learned just how much work goes into handling the social media platforms for an organization.
Maki is in charge of all the social media accounts for the hospital which includes Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, two Twitter accounts, and last Google Plus. She also does media relations where she works with the media on external hospital news, which she equally enjoys. She has held this position with the hospital for the past two years.
Speaking as the voice of one of the most prestigious hospitals in Boston to some would seem very intimidating. However, to Jessica Maki, her favorite part of handling the social media is the power to shape the public’s views on health news. The thing about social media is that contrary to popular belief, it isn’t easy for everyone to do successfully. Of course our generation has grown up with social media ingrained as part of our lives, but to use social media as a tool in the workplace?
In her case, she believes it was an acquired skill. Maki learned most of the skills on the job at the BWH. “Success with social media as a tool only works,” she says,“if you are super vigilant and proactive about content planning.” The social media queen for the Grammy’s, Lindsay Gabler, is quoted saying in the Mashable article, “A huge part of what we do is making sure that we’re tracking the conversation, so we can be fluid and adjust to what people are talking about, what’s trending, what kind of content we should be putting out,” she said. “It’s definitely a challenge.” This is proven to be true for all social media managers who want to keep their audiences entertained.
The work that Lindsay Gabler does leads up to one day, the Grammy’s, while BWH has many events throughout the year. All hospital wide events are promoted on social media. For each event, planning starts approximately a month in advance, then 2 weeks before it is promoted on social media, and sometimes there are even live tweets during the event. After the event is over, Maki will strategies and take note of what worked well for next time.
Each channel used for social media has a different audience. The key publics that Facebook and Twitter aim to target are what BWH refers to as, “the chief health executive”. This is typically women between the ages of 20-60 who make the health decisions in their family. One way Maki targets her audience is by the use of photos. A great example she shared with me are the photos of the babies from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Maki says, “the moms really seemed to love the baby pictures.” Of course, who can resist cute baby pictures?
The most important part of the job is being proactive about content planning. Maki runs analytic reports monthly and analyzes in retrospect each month in detail. The reports help keep track of conversation and trends by seeing which post made an impression by counting how many likes a post got or how many retweets. Also, staying up to date with current events helps her create content that people are interested in reading.
There are so many different data assistant tools to choose from. The use of Socialeye by Overdrive Interactive helps make Maki’s job easier. Socialeye helps manage, schedule, approve, publish and moderate social media messaging from one secure place. This tool make it easier to track interaction and connections, and how much traffic is coming to the sites on the dashboard. Gabler used some data assistance from the analytics agency Allied Integrated while working the Grammy’s.
Since so much work goes into keeping the social media for the hospital up to date, it is understandable that personal social media suffers. For Maki, facebook is a much easier platform for personal use, and as a result, she used Twitter a lot less. The same can be said for many other social media managers. Could it be that doing it for work takes the fun out of doing it for yourself?
Maki believe social media work is very important and would love to continue working with it. Perhaps in the future she will oversee social media work, but for now, she is happy singlehandedly managing Brigham and Women’s hospital online social presence.
Recently, the rise of social media jobs has increased at rapid speeds resulting in the increase of organizations that are hiring people to handle their accounts. It isn’t farfetched to think that you could end up in a position like this, so if you love social media, go for it!
Photo Credit: Brigham and Women’s Hospital