Do you want a job that involves scrolling through Twitter and Pinterest all day? Don’t become a social media marketer.
The above is just one of the myths of what it’s like to have a career in social media.
Don’t get me wrong – working in social media is great, if you love it. But you’ve got to be prepared to work hard at A, getting the job, and B, when you’re actually in the job.
Every job has its pros and cons, and working in a social media marketing role is no exception. But is it for you?
I’ve been working in social media marketing for over a year now. Today I’m sharing the pros and cons of doing this for a living.
It’s time consuming
We all know how time consuming social media can be when you’re a blogger, but when you’re doing it for a day job? You could spend your whole day on it and wonder where the time went. When it comes to social media, it’s important to spend time doing tasks that are going to benefit you and your business. But you’ve also got to be willing to spend as much time as possible researching new trends, learning them and putting them into practice.
You deal with complaints
Social media is becoming the new way of dealing with customer service. Instead of phoning up or sending an email, people now take to Twitter and Facebook to share their opinions. But this can be a bad thing. Some days you might not have any complaints to deal with. Whereas on other days, it could take all day. Even the top companies like Apple and Topshop are going to deal with customer complaints on a daily basis. Just make sure this is something you can handle.
Social media never stops
No matter what time of the day it is, you’ve got to be active. The online community never sleeps, which is where powerful tools like Buffer come into play – I wrote a whole post about the benefits of using this tool here. Just because it’s outside of your normal 9-5 working hours, doesn’t mean you can cut off from it. You've got to be there, 24/7, 365.
You represent your company
Note – this is only a con if you do a poor job! Representing your company on social media means you are the first impression they get of your company. Act negatively and it reflects your company and your community in a bad way.
We’re all aware of how negative things can get on social media. I won’t lie – being surrounded by that every day can affect you. It’s up to you how you deal with it. This is where your characteristics need to be strong and positive.
It’s not easy
A lot of people want a job in social media because they think they’re going to spend all of their time browsing through Twitter, pinning things on Pinterest and uploading images to Instagram. Let me stop you right there. Yes, a part of the job involves that. But not all of it and nowhere near! It involves so much more. Idea creation, promotion, analysis and evaluation are just some of the other tasks you’ll have to do as a social media manager. I can name at least two people I’m aware of that went for a job in social media, because they thought it would be social media as they know it now. They thought it would be easy. Little did they know what they were getting themselves in for…
It’s social media
Social media is brilliant. You can create powerful communities, interact with your tribe and reach people on a level that you can’t get to anywhere else. The variety of platforms and the variety of possibilities of these platforms makes it highly addictive. Social media makes things a lot more direct, a lot more fun and a lot more interesting.
You get to talk to awesome people every single day
You’ll always get your cheerleaders, those people who truly worship your brand. The people that share every article you publish and favourite every tweet. These people make it worthwhile. You can generate conversations and create real friendships through these channels. The people in your community are there because they believe in you. Your passion has to be just as big.
It’s fast interaction
If you want a question answered ASAP, you can get it answered and vice versa. Social media provides the perfect platform to listen and respond. It’s live and it’s constant. People don’t go to news websites anymore for the latest headlines – they go to social media. Want to know what the weather is like before you look outside? Social media will tell you. People using these channels are in the know.
Opportunities are endless
The amount of different content you can post to social media is endless. Quotes, images, infographics, jokes, articles, facts, videos – the list goes on and on. Take advantage of this!
You can get ahead of the competition
Working on a brand’s social media means you can help them to shine as brightly as possible online. When done right, social media can achieve big results. If you can think of innovative ways to use it, and know how to use each platform to its own advantage, you’ll definitely succeed in a career in social media.
You can learn a lot
Just looking around at what other brands are doing on social media will give you a stream of ideas. Companies are trying out different strategies every day. Some of them work and some of them don’t. But the ones that work you can definitely learn from.
Social media helps us tune in to what it actually is that people want. It allows businesses and brands to connect with their community on a much more real level. Trust can be built, sales can be made and relationships can be created that could possible last a lifetime.
Here’s other pros and cons that you would add to the list:
Cons: Always be super aware of what you say. You never know how people may interpret your tweets. Also, you have to interact no matter what time of the day. Social media doesn’t know 9 – 5
Pros: Fast interaction and engagement, flawless communication and insights into target audiences.
Cons: Occasionally having to explain the value of your work to people who are unfamiliar with/fearful of #socialmedia
Pros: flexibility (work from anywhere) and opportunities for creativity are endless.
What other pros and cons would you add about working in or using social media? Let me know in the comments