I have now worked in social media for a little over 18 months- and I would say that was plenty of time to be an arrogant sod and say that I’m a practically a seasoned pro now in knowing what the job entails and is about.
Perhaps you’re thinking about working in social, perhaps you’ve always wondered what it is I do… or maybe you don’t really understand how people can possibly make money off this! But here are the things that I think you should know if you decide to head into the media biz:
You get to be creative
I do A LOT of writing on a daily basis. Although I’m an account manager now and a lot of my jobs are admin related or manager stuff, I write social copy, I write facebook campaigns, I create titles- spew ideas and a lot of my job is super interesting in that respect!
I’m lucky that my agency has some pretty snazzy clients, but global conferences, live tweeting, famous people interacting with you (wasssup Bill Gates) and seeing live audience response feels so satisfying. It’s face-paced but it certainly keeps you on your toes.
Strategy can change in days
To you, Twitter going to 280 characters was at best, mildly interesting? To an agency- that’s a whole new scheduling plan, strategy, and approach to potentially the way that we work. It’s the same with algorithms and apps. Things will shift in popularity and your job is to be responsive to that.
You will have to do damage control
Life never will run smoothly. At times, there will be elements of social media out of your control. (Like putting out things about wooden skyscrapers when Grenfell happened)- or anything similar. Damage control, taking action and apologizing are vital. Ya know, unless you’ve got an amazing PR firm on side.
Keyboard warriors, trolls, and just people, in general, are AWFUL
I used to do a fair amount of community management and christ some of the comments that you’ll read, will actually make you despair for humanity. People get brave behind the keyboard- even though their pathetic scum in real life. Sorry, harsh but true.
There’s a lot of number crunching involved
Analytics, engagement, impressions, organic growth, paid campaigns… all of these things require cost management or reporting back the figures to the big boss. I’m not saying you’ve gotta be Einstein, but a basic understanding of the maths and finances of your client or company is essential.