Working in Social Media: Two Truths and a Lie

What is it like to work in social media? Our social media manager tells two truths and a lie about working in the industry.

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Have you ever wondered what working in social media is like? Well, I, Meg, a seasoned social media manager, have two truths and a lie to share with you about the experience. Try to guess which statement is a truth and which a blatant lie.

MYTH #1 – Social Media Managers are GLUED to their phones.

TRUTH. I’d like to say that at 5 p.m. everyday I put the phone down and stop checking emails, messages, and our client’s social accounts, but that would be a lie. Social media is always on. No holidays or closing times. At YLD, we are focused on providing great customer service, but also on making sure our team members can put family first. Although it is typically not expected of me to work outside of my regular hours, sometimes I cannot help but check messages from team members that are still online, glance over client emails, and see how a post is performing. I do make it a point to turn my phone off for a few hours every week (in addition to being on silent from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Almost never have I ACTUALLY missed something super important during those times.

INSIGHT: If you have trouble setting boundaries between work and home life, turn your phone off for a couple hours each week, and don’t feel guilty about it!

MYTH #2 – Numbers are Important.

TRUTH. Numbers and metrics can seem vain, but they truly are so so so important. We often make the distinction between “vanity metrics” and other metrics. Vanity metrics are things like follower count on Facebook and view count on YouTube. While these metrics can look impressive to someone landing on your page, the real thing to note would be the engagement rate on Facebook, or how active your audience is. Or on YouTube, it would be viewer retention and how much of the video viewers watched. While having 300K followers says something about your Instagram account, if your posts are only getting a handful of likes, it can seem like your followers aren’t interested. Even worse, it can look like you bought your followers.

INSIGHT: If the whole point of getting a lot of followers is to look like you have a lot of followers, it might be time to reevaluate your strategy and focus more on reaching the audience that counts and driving up your engagement rate.

MYTH #3 – Social Media Managers know ALL about the newest hottest trends on EVERY channel.

LIE! Although I do spend a pretty fair amount of time on social media, both during my work day and in my down time, there is no way one individual can keep up with all things new and trendy on every single channel. At YLD, we have a team member who is really well-versed in TikTok and another that does a lot on LinkedIn; I spend a lot of time on Instagram. When we are brainstorming tactics on a channel that one team member is well-versed in, we bring ‘em in, even if they aren’t working on that part of the account. This really helps us all stay sane. I really think it is much more practical to spread out the expertise in that way.

INSIGHT: If your team is struggling to keep up with algorithms, filters, and dance trends, deal out the channels amongst everyone. You might find it much easier to have some expertise spread out than everyone on the team have a shallow understanding of all the platforms.

Working in social media isn’t as glamorous as I imagined it would be, but I absolutely love the work I that get to do. I feel grateful for the opportunity to work at a company like YLD, where I can work with such incredible clients and their purpose-driven organizations!

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