To continue reading this post, I'd like you to play Dolly Parton's song “9 to 5” and pay special attention to the following lines:
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living.
Barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving
They just use your mind, and they never give you credit
It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it
Well, that's what it's like to work in social media.
All jokes aside, working freelance, in an agency, or a company as a Community Manager or Social Media Manager comes with an incredible responsibility, and it's just a roller coaster of emotions.
From a very early age I've enjoyed being on the internet; hanging out with people online, talking with strangers in chats (sorry mom!), changing the HTML code to pimp my MySpace, using my first hashtag on Twitter, laughing with Snapchat's doggy filter, and to this day, trying to keep it cool on TikTok. No one told me that all of these things were preparing me for my professional career, and despite having more than five years of experience in the digital community field, I have to accept that this profession is constantly changing every day.
Let’s start with the fact that I am always trying to open accounts in all the social networks that are coming out, plus I love to know about trends before anyone else (that’s gossip, they say). To get to this position you need many skills that are hidden behind the job descriptions that we find as Community Managers. And you may ask, what is a Community Manager?
It is a junior or senior position, with a HUGE responsibility, since it comes into contact with clients and future clients. Being a relatively new profession, the profile of the Community Manager has to be multidisciplinary, and usually, it is developed within a large team, although in Mexico, it should be clear that in most agencies or companies, this role is a "one-man-band" or all-rounder.
A Community Manager is in charge of managing one or several social networks for a company or brand. –or sometimes many brands–. In this position you are expected to make recommendations about the type of content that can be generated, and also to interact with users in the way they expect. A Community Manager starts his working day and the first thing he/she has to do is open the social networks and see what has not responded, read everything that people sent, and address any doubts or problems that may arise in a social network. But what happens when those responsibilities end?
Well, a content creator's day doesn't end there. (Otherwise, we would work very little.) As I mentioned above, in Mexico we community managers become all-rounders, and it is in this part of the text where I ask you to now play the song “All By Myself”, by Céline Dion and pay attention to the following chorus:
All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself
In my current position, I don’t only run my company networks, but I also create, design, publish, schedule, and manage the publications that will go on social media. I develop dynamics to keep the community together. Then I make a weekly and monthly analysis which helps me determine the strategy I will have to follow the next month to grow the numbers in my company, and I make reports and graphs of improvement for the Marketing area. I also perform an extensive weekly Benchmarking in which I observe the social media strategies of our competitors and see what is working for them.
Within my role, I also have other tasks that are not those of a community manager, but that was requested for this position: I create the company's press releases, I get involved in the proofreading of published blog articles, I manage the company's job openings on the website, I have created writing and blogging internal courses together with amazing colleagues, and more recently I have had the opportunity to participate in external projects where I have direct contact with important clients.
And well... As a Community Manager, I have to be careful with what is published on copyright issues, I review the brand guidelines to develop their voice, I ask people when we upload their content to know if they agree to their photos or their name being used. Strong passwords and good professional practices are also things you do to keep your network protected...
With this endless list of responsibilities you may be wondering then, why do I do social media? For entertainment, content sourcing, it's a way to develop a brand's voice, and you're always aware of what's going on.
As you can read above, my tasks are also outside the networks; I think I enjoy my profession because it requires skills that I have developed over time as graphic design, to create from scratch the posts that are published on Facebook, spelling, and writing to develop the copies, blog articles and press releases of the brand, curiosity to research and always be updated, curation to understand that a brand does not have to publish all the memes to win likes, and emotional intelligence to deal with trolls; and then I also have to make graphs and keep KPI's, which translates to MATH and I don't like math... But it is necessary when you want to have this position.
With this text, I hope I have opened the door for you to keep researching, growing, and learning from everything people share on their networks. As with creativity, consuming a lot of different content will give you a good eye and good references to evaluate and come up with unique ideas. It's in your hands to go as far as you can and be the best Community Manager in the world.
I wish I was like Emily in Paris and could find a trendy job in the city of croissants and endless cups of coffee, and all my campaigns would go viral in seconds, but my life was not written by Netflix and after finishing this writing I have to go do my monthly report of results.
From now on you can call me Memely in Paris. Bye.