Since the rise of social networks, brands have used social media to add a relatable human touch to their products. Suddenly, almond milk wasn’t just a carton of ground almonds – it reinvented itself as liquefied Oprah Winfrey. Potato Chips went on a diet, got baked and started a lifestyle blog. With millions of personalities paired with ordinary products, brands needed someone to maintain this “human touch” on social media full-time – so they introduced “The Community Manager.”
With so much social media stuff to complain about, it only made sense to write an obnoxious listicle. So, if you’re a Community Manager, Content Writer or Social Media Expert, here are a few things you’ll probably relate to:
1. Your job has like 100 different titles
Community Manager. Digital Strategist. Digital Coordinator. Social Media Expert. Social Media Girl. Social Coordinator. Girl Behind the Keyboard. Social Branding Pusher. Engagement Hustler. Click-Baiter Extraordinaire. Online Branding Babe. Communications BAE. Click Fiend. Vice President of Likeage. Engagement Pimp. Content Promoter. Content Producer. Content Slanger. Executive Social Sharer. That Girl Who Does That Thing Online. Troll Spotter. Queen of the Trollsphere. Troll Disposal Woman. The Anti-Troller. Troll Protective Services Unit. Spam Removal Lady. You get the point.
2. You’re OBSESSED with ENGAGEMENT
Engagement (likes, comments, shares etc.) is the crack cocaine of social media. It’s an ego stroke when the Internet thinks your social content is funny and shares something that you produced. You can’t help but take everything personally. Sometimes, late at night, I’ll think to myself, “Why didn’t the mom bloggers like my joke about lemon meringue pie?!” Or, “But that tweet was like, hilarious!” You die a little inside when nobody notices the pun or play-on-words. If it doesn’t pick up the traffic you hoped it would, delete it. Hasta la vista, stupid tweet, I never wrote you!
3. If you run multiple social media accounts, you secretly “like” your own content on other pages because you’re a freak
You run +5 social media accounts and nobody knows that they’re all connected by one Community Manager (YOU). In an act of desperation for one favourite, you lose all control and go on an “engagement blackout.” Your end of month report relies on this, and you NEED all the favourites, retweets and likes you can get. Suddenly, you snap out of it. It’s been thirty minutes and all you can think about is the Italian Herb and Cheese bread that you’re going to order at Subway for lunch.
4. You LOL to yourself when friends talk about how “creepy” Facebook ads are
You know the drill. It starts with location, city and postal code. From there, it gets creepier. You target females, ages 19-45, who LOVE gardening and knitting but HATE the movie Coyote Ugly. Right column ads are a waste of money, so you optimize for the Newsfeed. Your job is to make it look like promoted posts are reading users’ minds, with no connection to the movies, interests and private details they inputted into their Facebook account two years ago. Laughing with pals, I’ll add, “How do they do that!? It’s just the creepiest!” If only they knew…
5. Trolls are the bane of your existence and they make your job 10x harder
There’s nothing that can save you from the complaints of the Internet, and you’re the person responsible for dealing with it. Amanda didn’t get the discount she asked for last week. Jessica thinks her hairspray is too sticky, and now her parents are getting a divorce because of it. Peanut butter is too thick and now someone is crying. The sweetener isn’t sweet enough. No wait, it’s WAY too sweet and that’s a big problem. The juice is too warm.
Whatever you do, remain calm. Some trolls will be determined to bring down an entire corporation with thirty-three tweets in ten minutes. Breathe. Find ways to hint that there’s a REAL LIVING HUMAN BEING behind the brand, and add a smiley face wherever it’s appropriate (but not too many). Just be sincere and give them free shit. Just kidding, don’t give them free shit until your boss tells you to give them free shit or writes, “REQUEST: FREE SHIT APPROVED.” Relax, it’s over now.
6. You live and breathe DATA like a super geek and can’t find anyone to talk to about it
You understand patterns, online behaviours and what drives people to action. The high-res photo of the ice cream cake will always perform better than the shitty user-generated soup slosh. Funny tweets will always outperform serious ones. Let me tell you about the hours I’ve spent building Excel reports defining “engagement data” and tracking how many people clicked on a link from Twitter or read something for ten seconds then disappeared into the dark net that Mashable always talks about. Or how Facebook messed up Insights again. Or how data had a malfunction and doesn’t generate ALL the numbers, so people think I’m an idiot because the numbers don’t match up two weeks later. Okay, I’m ranting. Point is, if you like pulling data, you become a bit of a whiz at it.
7. You only fuck up ONCE on social media
You accidentally tweet a half-formed sentence. You tag the wrong person. You use the wrong hashtag. Your photo uploads in the wrong dimensions. The content is posted on the wrong day. You schedule a post at 12am, instead of 12pm. You misspell a name, event, thing or person. You forget to short link a URL and now your post looks like a horrifying piece of spam. Whatever you did, chances are you feel like a really big idiot. Take it from me, if you see a mistake, DO NOT THINK. DELETE. Delete like your life depends on it, because it does, sort of. And if nobody mentions it, it never happened. Okay?
8. A.D.D. is your secret multi-tasking weapon
In the late 1990s, Attention Deficit Disorder was all the rage and everyone wanted to “fix” it. Now it’s one of my many redeeming professional qualities – with over 400 tabs open and no concentration whatsoever, it’s a mild disorder I’ve learned to nurture with caffeine and no sleep. The thing with social media is, the second something happens, you’ve got to drop whatever you’re doing and deal with it. You can’t waste time finishing other projects, because the urgency of the Internet is always a second away from exploding into a full-blown crisis or troll war. Hootsuite becomes your best friend. Therapy is like scheduling a month’s worth of content in advance on TweetDeck. You find emotional serenity while browsing stock photos to match copy. You need A.D.D. to efficiently multi-task, just saying.
9. You use social media differently on your personal accounts
The moment social media paid the majority of my bills, I started using my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook differently. My brain is trained to generate catchy captions, relatable hashtags or emojis that complement inspirational imagery and stock photo women jumping into sunrises. I often tweet absolute nonsense, as a means to express myself differently than the brands I write for. My favourite personal caption is, “Sklndnskdnsdkjnjgk.” I AM THE ANTI-ENGAGEMENT! No hashtags allowed.
10. Your boss and colleagues use the same social media case studies, over and over again
Two brands: Oreo and Red Bull. These brands are the celebrity case studies that every social media person continues to use as “excellent examples of social media.” They’re fun, courageous and customers love them. They’re the all-stars of the social media world because their budgets are twelve trillion dollars and they “think outside of the box.” It’s one thing for Red Bull to launch a dude into space, but is that really feasible for a company selling maxi pads? Probably not.
11. These are all the questions you ask regularly
What’s our budget? Influencer list? What’s their Authority Level? How many followers do they have? What’s our KPI? Did the client approve that? Did legal approve that? Has regulatory seen that? How did it perform? How many RTs did it get? WHAT’S THE VALUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA? Can someone pull a report? DID WE TREND? HAVE YOU SEEN THIS? Did Facebook change the algorithm again? Can someone walk me through Power Editor again? Is anyone having problems with their Facebook? Has anyone written a LinkedIn strategy before? WAIT, what’s a LinkedIn strategy, lol? Is there a tool to schedule Instagram posts? Can someone invent that already?
12. You’re a social media expert for an hour, then everything changes again
Things change FAST & FURIOUS(ly) on social media. In the past when I’ve left for a vacation (without Wi-Fi), I’ll return to a totally different job. If you work in social media, you’re basically an intern, sprinting to catch up every goddamn day. Can the Internet slow down for one second so I can brag about being an “expert” in it? Do yourself a favour and don’t pay for a social media course; everything you learn will be completely irrelevant an hour after. Social media skill sets have a fast approaching expiry date, so get used to it.
13. All “creative” social media brainstorms result in one thing:
Let’s hire mom bloggers!