What is a Social Media Community Manager? Oh sorry, I didn’t hear you over the sound of how hip my job is. I’m responsible for engaging current and prospective customers via social media channels, building a strong community around our brand, analyzing relevant metrics, SEO management—you name it, I do it.
I spend all day on Facebook, writing blogs, chatting up customers, whatever I need to do to ensure maximum ROI for our company; basically playing around on the internet. It’s pretty much every college kid’s dream job so I—oh god, I can’t do this anymore.
I’m a real person with real feelings, not a profile picture to analyze for your own amusement. My status updates say, “Check out our newest eBook!” but read between the lines; what I really mean is, “Check out me, please. I need validation!”
Don’t read the rest of the article too closely. It ends on a dark note, matched only by the level of sarcasm and hyperbole that is left up to the reader to understand.
What’s the point of sharing that?
Nobody really trained any of us who are now in our 20s for this job many of us have, running digital media. I’m fortunate to have created an opportunity to handle branding and messaging at a startup company I love, as well as work closely with the product team on new features, but I digress. The point is, we didn’t plan for these jobs where our identities on social media would become closely intwined with the companies we work for, and our actions out there in the public sphere would thereby have such a powerful affect on our professional lives as well.
Where many of my friends have the luxury of venting on Facebook or Twitter, I have to bite my tongue. Or go low-tech and see if I actually have paper in my house I can write on. (More sarcasm).
The reality that you have to be more and more conscious about your communications the greater your social reach is makes it all the more important to appreciate the work you do, to respect the people you work with, and to love the work your company actually does. That’s really the only way you can talk about it on and offline all day long and still be congruent with your own values. Otherwise, you cultivate all that social influence to share something with the world only to feel empty because you’re not saying anything that matters to you on a personal level.
Without that personal meaning in your job, being on Twitter all day would be enough to drive anyone to write hilarious McSweeney’s pieces.
As a writer, the fact that I can get paid to do all those “community managery” things is living the dream. I get to write all day long, AND I can still feed myself. Hell, I could probably afford to get married and support a family in the next couple of years. Point is, those of us that are doing this often came straight out of writing programs, and we’re doing pretty good for ourselves.
Especially when we get a million RTs and Facebook shares for the things we pour ourselves into writing.
While I’m on the subject, have you followed me on Twitter yet?
Hope this helps.
Austin W. Gunter