Social Media Naturals

Some people just "get" social media.

Talented social media naturals are rare.

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

As a digital strategist, I can often tell straight away if someone working at a company “gets” social media or not. In my experience, it’s more efficient to have a social media natural in charge of your brand accounts.

Here we go:

Table of Contents

    Social Media Comes Natural for Some People

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

    Some people are just stellar on a big stage in front of many other people.
    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.

    Some people find it easy to communicate via social media; some via short tweets and others via long-form blog posts.

    Others prefer to take pictures and others to post videos of themselves.

    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—A Definition

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

    Here’s how I define them:

    A social media natural is someone for whom it comes naturally to communicate via social networks.

    Now, social media naturals are not to be confused with influencers.[note]See also How To Categorise Social Media Influencers.[/note]

    Sure, most online influencers are also social media naturals—but not all of them. Some are influential online not because of their capability for social communication but their general charisma or fame.

    Social media doesn’t need to have a massive social following; they use social networks not as a vehicle to elevate their brand or gain business; they use social media to communicate their passion. And some passions may be so niched that it simply doesn’t warrant a massive following.

    Why Social Media Naturals are Valuable

    Hiring a social media influencer to execute the digital strategy can genuinely 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 themselves from constantly interacting on social media within 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 the ease of use, passion, and willingness to experiment. I’d look specifically for someone who doesn’t have any problems in 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:

    • Clear vision and direction. A social media natural isn’t necessarily a strategic genius; they often need detailed roadmaps of their expectations.
    • A clear vision of what constitutes success. While a social media natural might successfully cater to a brand audience, they will need measurable objectives.
    • Creative freedom. A social media natural must be allowed to deploy their talents; micro-managing them will rather defeat their professional purpose.

    Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Prints/Instagram)

    Bonus Resource: The Follower Contract

    The Follower Contract

    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

      Learn more about follower contracts.


    Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwer
    Jerry Silfwer, aka 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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