Let’s be clear, I don’t play Farmville, Cafe World or Candy Crush Saga. I don’t want to give you a nail for your farm and I don’t spend all day chatting to my friends on Facebook or “Liking” their posts!
It can be very frustrating for those of us who work as Social Media Managers because we are often stereotyped as people who have fun playing on social media all day and getting paid for it! Successful social media management involves campaign planning, statistical analysis, research and a flair for audience engagement. I lost track of the number of times friends have told me “I could do your job it must be so much fun!”… yes it is fun, yes I love my job but not for the reasons they think!
So What Are the Common Misconceptions?
Social Media Managers Play Games – We don’t have time to play games and if we did then I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be Farmville. I have blocked all game and app requests from my Facebook page and I have no interest in them aside from considering them as a potential social campaign tool. In fact based on friend activity I would say that marketing people are the ones that usually don’t play games!
Social Media Managers Chat All Day – Yes we chat but we chat with our social media audience not with our friends and family! I have an unspoken rule with friends and family that I will not answer their messages during my working day because it detracts from my focus. Being sociable is a big part of social media management but when we are working we are the voice of the brand not ourselves!
Social Media Management is Easy – Successful social media management is a little bit like a swan gliding on the lake…. seamless, slick and beautiful on the surface and paddling like crazy underneath the water! I’m happy that my campaigns look fun and easy but every single one requires hours of research, planning and preparation! I sometimes wish I could place some of my “social media is easy” critics in my role for one day to give them a reality check .. it’s not easy and not everyone can do it!
We Work 9-5 – I don’t know any Social Media Managers who work 9-5 because social media is 24/7! I’m the one at a party on my Smartphone replying to a Facebook page post or lying on the beach on a Sunday updating my Twitter feeds so that my brand doesn’t miss out on the latest trend. My social media audience is located all over the world so differing time zones mean that they are always active and I must be too! Weekends are the time when most of my social users are active so I can’t just stop and pick it up again on Monday morning!
Social Media is Just Facebook – Those who tell you that social media is easy usually reference Facebook but this is just one of the many networks available for leveraging your brand. Start talking to them about how you reach G+ communities, demographically target your Linkedin advertising or how you plan your hashtags and they usually lose interest!
Whilst the corporate world rapidly comprehends the immense ROI value of effective social media management you may just have to accept the fact that your friends, family and social media end users will never fully understand it.
Don’t worry Social Media Managers… you’re awesome! I know what you do and I promise never to send you a game request!