Rectangular image. Green background. Text reads: Social media managers have feelings too.

Social media managers have feelings too

Twitter reply screenshot, reads: Who is running the account today? The individuals behind these posts will eventually be identified and held accountable, following orders isn’t a good enough excuse these days.
Web comic. Person sat at desk typing on a computer. Conversation reads; Are you coming to bed? I can’t, this is important. What? Someone is wrong on the internet.
Classic and relevant xkcd comic:

It’s ok to get upset

You are human, and it doesn’t make you bad at your job. Just because you’re paid to manage social channels, that doesn’t mean you have a heart of stone or don’t care about people or the world.

Try to separate yourself from your organisation

You may love — or at least have a close affinity to — where you work, but the problems and challenges you read on social are those of who you work for, not you.

Report content

I could write a whole blog post on reporting content and the failings of social platforms. But where you can, report the stuff that is abusive, false or offensive.

An email from Twitter on Christmas Day telling me that an account I reported for racist abuse violated their terms and action was taken to suspend it. Win.

Follow accounts that bring you joy

My Twitter feed is full of stuff relating to news and health, because that’s my job. It’s also full of wonderful people who do bring me joy, but will also talk about the stuff I would do well to avoid sometimes.

Recognise that for social managers, digital detoxing isn’t always possible

I see a lot of this; people taking a break from social, or doing a digital detox. It’s a great idea, and more power to you.

  • when you’re not working, check in less often. Say, first thing and in the evening?
  • SHARE THE BURDEN. There might be others in your team or wider organisation who can do the checking in on socials for you. You are but one person, and you can’t do it all.

Remember; social media is not representative of everyone

The shit you read on social is from a relatively small (but annoyingly vocal) subset of people. They do not really represent the wider population or the most common opinion about a subject. It just seems that way because all these people are finding their way to your social feeds to share their unfunny, terrible takes on a subject that in truth, they probably know very little about.

Document your moderation guidance

What is offensive? What comments should you hide or delete? Write up your processes and policy for managing social channels, and what constitutes abuse that you won’t tolerate.

Call it out

This might be a tricky one, depending on where you work or what you’re allowed to do. And whilst I can’t always do this within my responsibilities for the NHS on social platforms, I 100% advocate calling out abuse and misinformation online.

Walk away

Not, like, forever. But take a break from the channels. Tell someone in your team you need a break for a while and share the load. This is ok. You cannot function if you’re always on, so manage your channels with the resource you have available. Defintely have an out-of-hours rota (note to self; write up formal out-of-hours rota).



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