I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, and seeing as I am now branching out and braving working entirely for myself, I thought it would be a good time to talk about what it is that I do – what I really do.
You all know that I am a make-up artist (still am by the way) but my other job is working as a Social Media Manager. I see myself as more of a consultant, now that I am working entirely freelance, but for the last five years, I have worked for brands as a part of their Social Media & Marketing team. I have learnt a lot over these past 5 years and seen that this job is fast becoming more and more popular. Years ago people had no idea what social media was, never mind give it a job of it’s own. Now, more and more companies are wising up to the importance of having someone specialise in this area, and there are lots of jobs popping up in this industry.
Whether you already work in this industry, or are considering venturing down this career path, here is an insight to what is really involved:
It’s not your standard 9-5 job.
Don’t expect to work the “normal” hours. Social Media never sleeps. Depending on your audience and your genre, you could be working at very early hours in the morning, right through until midnight. You can schedule a lot of content now thanks to programmes such as Hootsuite, but responding to messages, comments and tweets is ideally instant engagement.
People think you get paid to “sit on Facebook” all day.
As mind numbing as this gets, I still have friends and family, not just work colleagues, that believe I get paid to sit on Facebook all day long. Well, yes I do, but I am not sitting there watching cat videos or reading BuzzFeed articles 24/7, okay. You have to read analytics, understand trends, research creative content and watch competitors. There is a lot to “just sitting on Facebook.”
You feel guilty for being on your phone more than your work colleagues.
On the other side of this, you do naturally feel guilty for being on your phone a lot more than your team or your friends. Having apps on your phone just makes it so much easier to manage rather than sitting at your desk all day long. It does become unhealthy, refreshing your screen and scrolling your feed all day long, so it is highly important to finding a balance, but do not feel guilty, this is your job.
There is more to Social Media than taking a photograph and writing a caption.
A lot of people, my friends included, simply think you can just upload a photo to a social media channel and write a few words. Of course, you could actually do that, but in terms of growing a following and getting your customers to engage with you, there is a LOT more to it than that. High quality, consistent content that is interesting and adds value is what you need to upload. Captions need to catch the readers attention and include relevant hash tags. There is a lot to consider.
Don’t be Camera shy.
You may have access to a team of photographers and videographers, and a big budget to go with this – but if you don’t, it is not a bad idea to learn a few of these skill sets yourself. Don’t be scared to pick up a camera. You can learn everything you need to know about cameras online. Having an eye for detail and interesting shots are elements that will help your content to stand out. And if it means you have to get in front of the camera, don’t be shy of this either, personality is so important.
Growing a following is actually really hard.
Across almost all platforms it is actually quite difficult to grow an organic following, and in some cases without an advertising budget, it is deemed impossible – unless you know of some magic formula or have unique exciting news to share with the world. Algorithms change all the time, meaning you need to understand how your audience is actually viewing your content, and without a budget, will it even reach all of your target audience?
Creativity is key.
A big part of the job is research. You will need to look at your competitors and similar brands to see what they are doing, and then ensure you go the extra mile. Always look around you for inspiration, whether that is just stepping outside your door, or scrolling through Pinterest and YouTube. I find it is great to get together with likeminded individuals and have brain storming sessions – triggers off boundless ideas.
You need to be constantly updated with the latest apps, technologies and trends.
Keeping up to date with all the latest social media tools is vital to being a strong and savvy social media manager. There are apps for absolutely everything these days, but you need to know which ones are reliable and do the job.
Brand awareness is essential.
This one should be pretty obvious. Whether you are working for a company or building a brand around yourself, you need to be clear what your brand guidelines are. Your audience will become accustomed to the style of content you put out – it is fine to be creative, but don’t stray too far off the beaten track. You will need to create a tone, a voice, that represents yourself, your business or your client. Brands such as Innocent, Missguided and the Kardashians do this extremely well.
It is hard to be disconnected.
Remember, there is more to life than social media, even within your job role. It is important to give yourself regular breaks away and exercise your mind to living in the present moment. You will find you become far more stimulated, motivated and creative when you step away and outside of the box for moments during your work day. It is important to switch off within any industry and take some time for you.