I get it; social media is still pretty new. In relation to other areas of marketing like print, television, and radio, it’s practically a baby, and the people who make a career out of it have varied backgrounds and levels of education.
Like with any career path, social media is one that deserves respect. Most digital marketers, content creators, and other social media professionals are sadly very familiar with the flippant attitudes that many people adopt when they learn about the line of work we’re in.
However, we also know that these minor condescending comments and actions aren’t normally meant to be malicious or undermining, but rather come from a place of naïveté.
“This is [NAME], our social media wizard!”
I don’t care what someone does for a living, you should always introduce them by their official title, especially in professional settings. I’m not a Social Media Wizard or a Social Media Ninja, and I’m definitely not a Social Media Guru (which is demeaning and culturally appropriative). I’m also not cheeky expressions like “the resident Facebook expert” or “the person who actually understands TikTok”.
My title is Social Media Manager. Use it.
“Could you work your social media magic?”
Sorry, I don’t own a wand, so I’m not sure what magic you’re talking about. I deal with algorithms and audiences. I create content, analyze data, and manage full social marketing campaigns. If you want my expert help promoting an initiative, building brand awareness, or advertising an event, you’ll need to verbalize your request like an adult.
“Can you just throw this on social?”
Make vague requests, get vague results. Much like my previous point, your request for social media assistance should be defined.
What’s the objective of your project? Do you have a specific audience in mind? Have you considered other marketing methods to meet your goal? What kind of budget do you have for social? A solid plan with practical expectations is more likely to get favorable end results than a nebulous request to just slap some content online.
“We have this marketing campaign we’ve developed, and now we need you to post it on social media.”
Why am I just finding out about this campaign now? If your campaign or initiative is that important to you, then social media should be part of the planning process from the very beginning, not just an afterthought. That way, effective content can be developed and an appropriate timeline planned out.
“Our event is tomorrow! Can you post another reminder about it?”
I’ve got bad news about social media timelines, feeds, and algorithms: they do not favor time, at least not in the chronological sense.
The feeds for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn don’t display posts chronologically and instead show users content thought to be the most relevant to them or that they possibly missed earlier. And while Twitter users can choose if their timeline shows tweets chronologically or based on relevancy, the platform moves so quickly that a last-minute tweet may just be a drop in the ocean of content.
This is why formulating a plan on how to promote your event or initiative on social media with ample time for implementation is important.
“So you just play around on Facebook all day, right?”
There is so much to unpack in that sentence.
One, why do you feel the compulsive need to undermine another person’s job? That’s just rude. I don’t make assumptions about your job, so don’t make assumptions about mine.
Secondly, the job duties of most social media professionals are normally varied and extensive. We plan, develop, publish, and analyze content. Many people who work in social are multi-talented creatives who wear many hats. I personally act as a copywriter, photographer, editor, videographer, graphic designer, data analyst, and customer service rep. Of course, I don’t take on all of those roles every single day, but each hat gets worn quite frequently and involves a lot more than just playing around on Facebook.
“Make this go viral!”
No, get out of my inbox. Get out of my office. Just get out. We’re done here.