Ten Things Not To Say To Social Media Professionals
"So is this social media thing like a real job now?!?"
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Whether you're seated across the table from a client, a colleague in a different department, or even family and friends, the inevitable perception of having a career in digi is that you're automatically their very own personal Facebook guru. You're also the go-to person in the group for every Instagram/Snapchat related concern.
When corporate talk is being tossed around the table, you're looked at strangely for contributing your opinion because you "sit on Facebook all day and call it a job." So, on behalf of social media professionals everywhere, I'd like to share a few truths. Here are the top 10 things that we hear often (and that you should never say):
1. "So do you get paid to sit on Facebook all day?"
Just no. Why? Do engineers get paid to play arts and crafts? Do surgeons get paid to play Operation? Do not belittle somebody's job.
2. "How do I get more followers on my personal Instagram?"
This may come as a surprise to you, but major global brands don't pay us to get their CEOs more followers on pictures of their kids and cat memes.
3. "So is this social media thing like a real job now?"
Let's see. Line manager-check. Contract- check. Salary- check. Yup, seems like a real job to me.
4. "I could do social media. I spend two hours a night on Facebook and 9gag."
I dare you to try dealing with trolls for a day. Then come up with a response protocol and crisis strategy. Get it approved. Implement it. Go on. I dare you. Heck, let's just take a quick gander at Facebook's Power Editor dashboard.
5. "So you're into social media, right?"
Please don't ask me to do something for you or end this short exchange with, "Could I pick your brain for a few minutes?"
6. "Your job must be so much fun. I actually have to work all day."
I wasn't aware that developing proposals, strategies, client servicing, team-building, and more doesn't qualify as actual work. Enlighten me, corporate Zeus of all universes. What does "working" entail?
7. "How do you not have the new Snapchat [or any other currently trending platform] update? Don't you work in social media?"
Yes. And when you work in auditing, do you have every update and app that functions like Excel? No? That's treachery!
8. "What do you mean you haven't seen [insert YouTube viral video name here]? Don't you sit on the Internet all day for a living?"
Let me do all social media professionals a favor and explain this once and for all: we're usually logged into a Facebook account linked to our company/ client or Facebook Business Manager. Same for Twitter and ditto for Instagram. So when we haven't heard of the new PSY video or what 5/7 ratings mean, it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not scroll through our personal newsfeeds all day long LOL-ing and commenting on statuses and current events. Also, we don't care which way dogs should wear pants.
9. "Could you give me a social media strategy for my business this week?" "I'll buy you lunch, in return."
Okay, cool! And you, Mr. Landscaper, build my entertainment room, set up my garden, dig the pool and in return, I'll buy you a drink. Deal?
10. "How can I make it go viral?"
Unless you're talking about the stomach bug or flu, please don't use that sentence. What makes content go viral is a unique connect with the audience. So make sure your idea is relevant to their interests, is spontaneous and wellcrafted, and even a little bold. If all else fails- put a kitten in it and boom! Viral.