Thanks, Amber Naslund, Mack Collier & Cision: My experiences as a new Social Media Manager

Officially speaking, I am a social media manager newbie. Today marks the completion of my third week as social media manager of Cision US, Inc., and it has been the first job I’ve had since graduating college six years ago that I absolutely, unabashedly love. That saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” applies.

That is not to say that the duties are easy. There is a lot of room for failure, as Amber Naslund outlines in The Weaponization of the Social Web and How to Deal with It. In describing solutions to the fear people have of making mistakes on the Web – and the backlash that may result – she says, “Accept the reality and even probability that it will happen to you. And publicly.”

After reading this, I took a huge breath of relief. If Naslund – who spoke at Cision years ago and is one of the main reasons I joined Twitter and started watching the social space – says it’s OK to mess up, then – by gosh – it must be OK.

To further advocate this thinking, Mack Collier wrote about embracing failure, saying, “Failure isn’t an ending, it’s your second chance to win. Embrace your failures, learn from them, then apply what you learn and try again.”

Luckily, the head of my department, mentor, and friend – Heidi Sullivan – has made it OK to fail from the very beginning. She allows me to understand things on my own terms, think outside the box and is always there to listen when I need guidance.

Aside from Heidi, Cision is a work environment that promotes forward-thinking so I felt comfortable taking over the keys to our social media kingdom, but I couldn’t help but wonder: what if I create the next big #fail? On social networks, messages live on forever, for better or worse.

After reading Mack’s and Amber’s posts, I realized: I’m not alone. Aside from support from my colleagues and company, the social community sticks together. They teach each other, lean on each other and provide constructive criticism when necessary. They made me realize there is nothing to be afraid of.

I have had many mini-successes in these three weeks, which will be too boring to list, but include high engagement, good conversation with both clients and industry leaders, and – most of all – continuing to learn from all the knowledge shared by the community.

I have also had some fails, which I share below, in no particular order. Enjoy the laugh, and thank you for welcoming me so warmly.

  1. As you can see above, I accidentally assigned 20 posts to our Support team when I only meant to assign one.
  2. I hit enter on a blog post not realizing the Publish button was highlighted. Off it went onto our blog, unedited and not formatted.
  3. Instead of writing a note in Radian6 – which is a way to keep internal notes & talk to staff – I sent a tweet with my note contents.
  4. At least twice I went to thank someone for a RT and sent the tweet back to myself. Self-love is a good thing, right?
  5. I sent out a tweet without its corresponding link.

What have you failed at and what lessons did you learn from your failures?



2 replies
  1. Mack Collier says:

    Years ago, Kathy Sierra wrote a blog post saying that she thought of the true experts as being the people that were always looking for a way to get better. If you think about it, that means they are always trying new things, and always failing. But they are also the first ones to learn how to do things in a new and better way, because they are risking failure and learning from their mistakes.

    Congratulations on the new job Lisa, and how well you're performing at it ;)

    • Lisa M Larranaga says:

      Hi Mack,

      Thank you very much for the encouragement and kind words. It goes to show just what I explained above: industry experts encourage and provide education for others to succeed, which is really remarkable. Thank you for being one of these experts.

      I think Kathy Sierra hit the mark with her definition :) I'm glad to have quickly found a group that encourages people to try – and possibly fail – in an effort to grow.

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