How Do You Know When You've Made it?

Exploring the more curious side of social media milestones. 

Caroline Henley
July 14, 2015 - 4 min. read

If you’ve successfully started your business’s social presence from the ground up, you’re sure to have come across some unique social media milestones.

There comes a time in your social media growth when you start to pick up on the weird habits, unspoken rules, and downright craziness of the social stratosphere. When these moments pop up, you know your company’s social media presence has truly made it.

Where were you the first time…

Someone writes “FIRST!” in your comments  
Just imagine the sheer anticipation of a young comment board aficionado–a fresh video or blog post has just been uploaded by an account of some authority. No need to read or watch the new content, no sir. The only way to win is to jump into the comments first, with, quite literally typing: “First!”

social media milestones

There’s not much to reply to those saying “first” (besides, maybe, “second”?). But this is an indicator that your comment management is starting to get complicated.

No matter what the message is, be good to yourself, and manage all incoming notifications from one place. Having one hub to funnel all incoming messaging is especially helpful when you have a large volume of interactions. And it’s absolutely necessary to spot the more hidden notifications, like, for example, comments that come through on your Facebook ads.

Your first troll rears his or her head  
There’s nothing like that first experience with a troll, hell-bent on making whoever is behind a corporate account absolutely miserable. Maybe the person experienced poor service and is rightfully holding some sort of grudge. Or maybe the person is just bored and looking to cause trouble. Either way, as the representative of a company, you’re going to have to learn how to keep a poker face and react as professionally as possible.

social media milestones

In this case, the user seems genuinely upset–Nike’s community manager should jump in and help unsubscribe Sebastian’s email.

Not sure if the person is genuine, or if it’s spam? Falcon Social has user cards that report on all previous engagement history, lending some context to the conversation. This way it’s easy to spot the real trolls and and block them from interacting with your channel, if you choose.

social media milestones

Upon quick inspection, it’s pretty clear that this user is not a troll.

A fight breaks out on your feed  
There you are, posting the latest news straight from headquarters. As you monitor the incoming comments, you notice the tone starts to get a little testy–and before you know it, you have a full-blown fight happening on your social channel. It might not even have anything to do with your original post or your business in the least.  

This happens a lot. Once you’ve got a fighting feed, you know you’ve made it.

To find an example, I simply had to click on Facebook’s new “Trending – Politics” filter on my Facebook homepage…


social media milestones

Beyond monitoring all incoming comments, you can get the bird’s-eye view and spot any fires across social. Use sentiment filtering. When you get a spike of negativity, dive into the conversation to address it.


And if you don’t like what they’re talking about, steer the conversation towards what you would like to be talking about. As Mad Men’s Peggy Olson said to win the Heinz account, if you don’t like what they’re saying–change the conversation.

Being proactive on social can squash any flare-ups and work in your favor in the long-run.

You have your first run-in with “Weird Twitter”  
So you’re a brand on social media… be prepared for some healthy cynicism coming your way! You might even come across Twitter users who spend a great deal of time mocking business accounts. Which can be hilarious–except when it’s your work, of course. Enter “Weird Twitter.”

You might feel like you’ve entered the Black Lodge of social media. Don’t be afraid.

social media milestones

If the engagement isn’t malicious, you might have an opportunity to get in on the joke.

social media milestones

Clearly Xbox knows that there was no real danger here–even though Carlos shot a player in Grand Theft Auto, everyone was going to be okay in real life. The support team kept the same cheeky tone and subtly asked for a screenshot. Rather than ignore the extremely popular tweet, which was clearly not a real customer support issue, Xbox’s team suspended belief and took advantage of the run-in with Weird Twitter.

Measuring what really matters 
There will always be an infinite amount of ways to measure your success on social media. The most important question to ask yourself before measuring and benchmarking is: what do you want to get out of your social efforts in the first place? Brand awareness, direct sales, partnership opportunities, improving reputation? You can get a billion comments claiming to be the first commenter, but if you haven’t set your expectations for the social channel in the first place, what’s the point?

Sit down with your marketing team–grab an unsuspecting data analyst on your way–and nail down a plan-of-attack for your social media ROI. And be sure to mind the trolls.

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