Oh you work in Social Media?
Here I am again. Year two done and dusted. It's amazing to think that two years ago I plucked up the courage to apply for a job in an industry that I wanted to build a career in, and it seems I'm definitely on my way.
Social Media is something we spend every day on, whether it be a quick aimless scroll as soon as we wake up, or a good old selfie splurge on the weekend; we just can't help but share our day-to-day trials and tribulations with our Facebook 'friends'. Yet it seems that many people are under the impression that working with these platforms means simply posting one or two updates a day (whilst online shopping and hitting the follow button). Wrong. As you are all probably aware, building a brand is difficult, it takes time, a hell lot of flair and even more dedication. For plenty, it's hard enough getting attention on your personal posts, nevermind a business. People moan and groan about you uploading a few foodie photos whilst you are enjoying a little bit of down time, so imagine how tough it is to get individuals to relate to a new job, or some sort of educational shpiel that just isn't quite as fun as watching a dog slide down the stairs.
Believe me when I say that what you see and enjoy whilst you procrastinate every day does not appear by magic. Take the time (and sympathise) with the individuals that sit behind computers racking their brains to post something worth sharing, yes, I too am one of them. When I first began my journey, I myself waltzed in thinking that it would all be fun and games. I got both parts right, but most probably for all the wrong reasons. The company I work for is the enjoyable part, it pays to wake up every day and look forward to going to work, especially when you are under so much pressure to please both your bosses and an audience of 2000 on Twitter. The games part, yeah that's when it gets interesting. It's not so much me playing them, but the people I'm constantly trying to please. It's a little bit like being a child in school again. One minute you say something that everybody finds funny, you're the cool one that strides down the corridor with a friend on each arm and then suddenly, someone else takes your place, and you're back to basics with your boring loom bands and an out of date 'hot or not' video on Facebook.
What people tend to forget in this line of business is that we always have to be one step ahead of the game. We have to be funny, likeable, every so serious (when needs be) and a sales person ALL at the same time, and let's be honest, you don't normally associate the word 'like' with 'sales', so it's always a toughy. It's hard enough for many of us to post on any sort of platform at least once a day, nevermind covering every single one of them with different posts on a daily basis. I mean don't get me wrong, I love it, I love the buzz of people enjoying the content that I create, but there's always that one party pooper that comes along and questions whether creating boards on Pinterest is meant to be part of the job description.
It's easy to forget that everything you see on these networks has been created by someone, somewhere, with a desired audience and a goal. Every blog you read, quote you share, video you watch, photo you like, poll you take and input you make has plenty of brain power behind it, and we spend hours of our life putting these together purely for your enjoyment (and obviously for you to love us a brand). There’s no such thing as 9 to 5, or even 8 to 8, in social media. When you’re catching some shut-eye, your last Facebook post is gathering comments from fans and followers all over the world, so it quite literally pays to be constantly attentive.
Basically what I'm trying to say without sounding like I'm bigging my job up too much is that everyone behind these scenes deserves a pat on the back. Each social media channel has its own sweet spot, their audience demographics are different, they serve different purposes, they have different language conventions, and they function with different expectations, which means never, ever switching off. It's one thing to say that 'sharing a picture of your coffee and tweeting your life away' is not a career choice, that could most certainly be seen as true, but it's another to say that you can't make use of the 1.73 billion social media users this year (an 18% increase from the last may I add). Just like any tools that exist, there are people out there that have a thorough understanding of how to use them, and those that simply don’t. So to everyone that gets up every day and makes a living out of something they enjoy, high five, you’re in for a great future.