Social Media Naturals

Yes, some people just "get" social media.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

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 … 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: How To Categorise Influencers: Nano, Micro, Macro, Mega

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 how to position 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 who has 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.

Thank you for reading this article. Please consider supporting my work by sharing it with other PR- and communication professionals. For questions or PR support, contact me via [email protected].

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.
  • Any potential involvement on my part will be determined by me, the follower, 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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