How fffunction does social media

Written by: Dan Goodwin On: 15 Jan 2016 In: Workflow

Actually the post should probably really be called “How fffunction does Twitter”. Technically we are on the following social networks:

But I think it’s fair to say that although we post to all these networks (thanks to the awesomeness of Buffer - more on that below), we only really think much about Twitter. I know I do anyway. We talk to each other about being on the Twitters, putting that on the Twitters, etc., not about the others. So from here on in, I’ll say Twitter but perhaps I sort of mean ‘social media’.

The technical bit about how we post to these networks is quick enough to get out of the way: we use Buffer. We only use the freebie version and that gives us a bunch of things. Things like the ability to schedule and cross-post our Tweets (/status updates / posts / whatever you want to call them). Also, analytics. Again, personally I’ve never looked at these (OK, I did look at them just now). But I guess if we were doing the whole social media thing right, we probably should.

The bit which I think is interesting is how we share the job of looking after Twitter. We cycle responsibility for the account around, so each of us takes control of the account for a whole week at a time. Taking control of the account means scheduling tweets (or sending them real-time) and keeping an eye out for incoming mentions and taking appropriate action (or not).

This arrangement grew out of a desire to not have one person responsible for Twitter. I think it’s inadvertently turned out nice from an editorial perspective. Although we’ve talked about having a social media policy or guidelines - in fact, I believe I agreed to develop one at some point - we don’t have one and right now I don’t think we need one. If there is a loose common thread to our posts, it’s ‘design’, but if you watch the tweets carefully you’ll definitely spot different themes, topics, styles, and interests across fffunction’s tweeters. We all do different jobs, read different things, enjoy different media, have different sets of friends both IRL and online. And we might deal with social media events in different ways. This week, Russell is at the helm and he was all set to fanfare fffunction’s 4th birthday on Monday before learning the sad news of the death of David Bowie. He felt that it wasn’t appropriate to be celebrating and we all agreed. He went further and sent a simple Bowie tribute tweet from the fffunction account. The fact that he was empowered to deal with that event in a way which felt appropriate to him without having to comply with a set of guidelines or worry too much about our organisational tone / brand voice / whatever is important. I guess actually we do have guidelines, we do have a tone, we do have a style but they’re unwritten, they’re learned, rather than explicit. And we flex them all a bit to apply our own individual editorial angle.

We have discussed whether we should be more explicit about who’s at the helm of the account each week - perhaps individually checking in/out at the beginning and end. But we decided not to do that. So on the whole, our tweets are from ‘fffunction’. Occasionally if we want to peek out from behind the curtain, we’ll do the whole caret, initials thing (that’s “^DG”, for me). That might be because we want to give a shout out to someone we know, because we’re heading for a conference and we want to try to say hi to folks, or maybe because we’re being a bit opinionated or potentially ‘off-brand’.

I think what we’re doing works well. We have a decent (generally slowly growing) following and we get a reasonable (and manageable) amount of engagement on Twitter. It’s hard to measure whether what we do on social media helps us to get lots of billable business, but we’re in a good position in that we don’t have to worry too much about that.

So for now, we’ll keep on keeping on.