Social Media Naturals

Yes, some people just “get” social media.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

Talented social media nat­ur­als are still rare.

This art­icle will explain the concept of social media nat­ur­als and why they could be an asset to your business.

As a digit­al strategist, I can often tell wheth­er someone work­ing at a com­pany “gets” social media. In my exper­i­ence, hav­ing a social media nat­ur­al in charge of your brand accounts is more efficient.

How do you recog­nise a social media natural?

Here goes:

Social Media is Easy (For Some)

Having done my fair share of media train­ing, I’ve learnt that most people have their pre­ferred means of communication. 

  • Some people are stel­lar on a big stage in front of many others.
  • Some people are the most com­fort­able in smal­ler groups as networkers.
  • Some people can get any­thing to hap­pen by just pick­ing up the phone.
  • Some people are at their best in a one-to-one conversation.
  • And some people find it easy to com­mu­nic­ate via social media. 1Perhaps “social media” isn’t the best name. Because why should­n’t a tele­phone be con­sidered a medi­um for dir­ect social inter­ac­tion? Early on, social media used to encom­pass search engines, blogs, … Continue read­ing

In many ways, social media has opened up a whole new array of human com­mu­nic­a­tion forms, thus increas­ing the chances for each of us to find a par­tic­u­lar style of com­mu­nic­a­tion that suits our personality.

Social Media Naturals: Definition

Identifying and empower­ing social media nat­ur­als with­in an organ­isa­tion is often more straight­for­ward than you might think.

Here’s how to define social media naturals:

  • A social media nat­ur­al is someone for whom it’s nat­ur­al and effort­less to com­mu­nic­ate via social networks.

Please note: Social media nat­ur­als are not to be con­fused with influ­en­cers:

Sure, most online influ­en­cers are also social media nat­ur­als — but not all of them. Influencers are influ­en­tial online not because of their cap­ab­il­ity for social inter­ac­tion but their abil­ity to attract and enter­tain an audi­ence.

Social media nat­ur­als don’t need large fol­low­ings; they use social net­works to con­nect deeply with oth­er like-minded people around their pas­sions and interests. 

Read also: The Influencers in Public Relations

Why Social Media Naturals are Valuable

In future gen­er­a­tions, almost every­one will be a social media nat­ur­al. But until then, organ­isa­tions will have to find — and hire! — them.

Hiring a social media influ­en­cer to execute the digit­al strategy can be a hit-or-miss enter­prise. I’ve seen this sev­er­al times from a close-up perspective. 

Influencers tend to care mostly about their brands; for them, it’s always about pos­i­tion­ing them­selves in the mar­ket­place. However, a niched social media nat­ur­al can find an organ­isa­tion with match­ing passions.

Identifying social media nat­ur­als with­in an organ­isa­tion is often more straight­for­ward than one might think. This is because they can­’t stop con­stantly inter­act­ing on social media with the top­ic of their interest. 

Many organ­isa­tions have experts who are already using social media to dis­cuss and con­nect, but no one might have invited them to con­trib­ute pro­fes­sion­ally to the organ­isa­tion’s social media strategy.

How To Empower Social Media Naturals

When look­ing for a com­munity man­ager, I always invest­ig­ate their per­son­al social media presence. 

I’d look not for massive fol­low­ings but for the ease of use, pas­sion, and will­ing­ness to exper­i­ment. I’d look spe­cific­ally for someone with no prob­lems find­ing the right ton­al­ity for vari­ous social media situations.

Once with­in the organ­isa­tion, I’d sug­gest cre­at­ing a frame­work well-suited for social media naturals:

A shared vis­ion and dir­ec­tion. A social media nat­ur­al isn’t neces­sar­ily a stra­tegic geni­us; they often need detailed roadmaps of their expectations.

A shared idea of what con­sti­tutes suc­cess. While a social media nat­ur­al might suc­cess­fully cater to a brand audi­ence, they will need meas­ur­able objectives.

A shared under­stand­ing of cre­at­ive free­dom. A social media nat­ur­al must be allowed to deploy their tal­ents; micro-man­aging them will rather defeat their pro­fes­sion­al purpose.

Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing it with oth­er PR- and com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: The Follower Contract

The Follower Contract

Many brands must rethink their approach to hav­ing fol­low­ers, fans, and sub­scribers. Having a brand com­munity is your priv­ilege, not theirs. How can you hon­our their engagement?

Think of every single fol­low­er, fan, and sub­scriber hav­ing this agree­ment with your brand:

Dear Brand,

  • Yes, I’m now fol­low­ing you. Congratulations (to you).
  • I fol­lowed you based on what you’ve demon­strated in the past, so don’t be sur­prised if I’ll stop enga­ging (or unfol­low­ing) if you do oth­er stuff.
  • You now have my per­mis­sion to provide me with the type of con­tent that first attrac­ted me to your brand.
  • I, the fol­low­er, will determ­ine any involve­ment on a future case-by-case basis.
  • My fol­low is not a ‘pay­ment’ for your past accom­plish­ments; my fol­low is an ‘advance pay­ment’ for what I expect from you in the future.
  • It would be best if you always pre­sup­posed that I’m inter­ested in myself and my friends first and then, maybe, in your brand.
  • Until we part ways, I expect you to be clear about my poten­tial involve­ment in your cause.

Best regards,
Your New Follower

Read also: The Follower Contract

1 Perhaps “social media” isn’t the best name. Because why should­n’t a tele­phone be con­sidered a medi­um for dir­ect social inter­ac­tion? Early on, social media used to encom­pass search engines, blogs, and for­ums, but the scope of what the term includes has been nar­rowed down over time.
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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