To My Social Media Peeps,
I was initially inspired to write a blog post about the hardships and struggles social media professionals go through after reading Christina Garrett‘s Medium article called “How Can Social Media Managers Survive 2020? because it hit home, but then I took some time and decided to do the opposite. Rather than continuing the trend of trying to explain our worth to other roles or departments, I think it’s more impactful and generous to celebrate what makes us special.
As social media professionals, we live in an ever-evolving world of trends, news, and updates that encourages us to change the way we think, engage, and write on a daily basis. We are highly adaptable individuals that push each other to be better and do better, not just as the brands we support, but also as our own personal brands. We think in reactions, GIFs, videos, boomerangs, filters and more. We have the courage to tell and share the stories of others, while also wearing armor and being the first line of defense when a customer is having a negative experience. We are expert communicators and people researchers that thrive off of building deep connections with our audiences. We are amazing!
The idea that we still need to prove our worth, shows me that we (or you) aren’t at the right companies. If you’re struggling to prove your role’s value and show the impact that social media has, then consider changing where you are. Find an organization that celebrates your role, believes in it, and wants to invest in it. Don’t be in a place that brings you down or makes you fight every moment of every day. We get enough stress from living and breathing social media. And if we take a break from social, we risk not being first or missing conversations and trends. We could even lose out on beating the competition. We envy those that can unplug, but we also love where we are. We have power — we have the ability to make a positive impact in a place that needs it most.
A lot of people (especially those that don’t work in social media) have this romanticized idea of what they think our job is. It’s not just posting something and moving on. It’s not just liking and RTing. It’s not just scrolling through social feeds all day. IT’S NOT EASY!!!
- It’s a hub of storytelling.
- It’s customer service and sometimes the first touch point of the customer experience.
- It’s helping bring people together around a common purpose and/or mission.
- It’s a community that we’re in charge of.
- It’s our home of creativity.
- It’s having to endure (and try to ignore) the toxicity and negativity that thrives here.
- It’s building and igniting relationships to strengthen your brand.
- It’s a culture hub for your company.
- It’s even sometimes the first impression of your brand.
It’s so much more than posting, and all of us that work here are still learning how to get it right. It takes grit!
2020 has been HEAVY AF, but it’s shown the world how impactful and necessary social media is and how crucial our role has become within an organization. We don’t just deserve a seat at the table — we’ve earned it. I love that this Forbes article talks about how social media professionals are “reputable marketers, creative content strategists and thought leaders” and should be treated as such. We know how people really feel about companies because we see the 280 character posts, and we know how to turn haters into brand ambassadors because we get it — “the biggest skill set of social media is that you need to understand people and what they’re looking for.” So use these skills to your advantage!
Something to remember — you’re not alone. There’s a community of social media professionals on every channel for you to connect with — and I’m offering a hand. I know you get exhausted and your brain gets foggy at the end of the day because of what we see and hear. I know you have good days and bad days because it’s hard to pull yourself out of what’s going on in the world. Everyone is struggling right now and working in social means you’re thrown into the wild more than others. If your leadership and team isn’t practicing empathy with you, then start looking somewhere else and lean on the people that will.
I love social media. I’ve had a variety of roles in this world and my hardest role will probably always be getting sales professionals to participate and win through social media. If I can do that, then I believe in you because you have skills people envy and skills a lot of people won’t understand — those that do, are here for you with open arms and want to work with you. I love the community that I’ve built on Twitter and how fast we all come together, share ideas, and help each other out. We share our truths and experiences because it brings to light what our day-to-day is like — whether that be positive or negative. I’m just in awe.
I hope whoever reads this feels seen and heard — maybe even feels a little bit of relief that they’re not alone and they have people rooting for them ❤