For the average person, social media is a great way to connect with people, post photos of your food, and share viral cat videos. It can even be a welcome escape from work throughout the day. For those of us in the business, however, social media is work. It’s still fun, but it’s also an ever-changing, ever-present platform that is full of crucial details. Social media has become more and more common, and working in social media leaves its mark on our personal lives in more than a few ways. Here are the five things we notice about social media that affect our lives outside of work, for better or for worse.
Being impressed (not annoyed) by retargeting
Retargeting is an extremely popular social marketing tactic that shows you ads for sites you’ve already visited. Even a few clicks on BestBuy.com to search for a new TV can flood your News Feed with ads for the latest TV model. Some people get annoyed when this happens, and view it as “big brother” following them. For those of us in the industry, we tip our hat to the marketing team that used this great tactic.
Checking your “stats” on your posts, wishing you had analytics
Social media isn’t supposed to be a popularity contest (even though it kind of is), but when your job requires you to track likes and fans, it’s easy to let that spill over. I don’t do too much of the refresh-every-few-minutes-to-see-if-my-post-is-getting-more-likes thing, but I can say that I wish I sometimes had more accessible personal analytics. “How is my personal engagement compared to 2013?” I’ll never know.
Being especially critical of other people’s posts
The negatives do come with the positives. When you work on crafting delicate on-brand posts every day, it can be frustrating to see other people using social media for evil and not good. No, Facebook is not the place for you to vent about your boyfriend problems, and I don’t need a live-tweet event about your trip to Chipotle. Sometimes you even wish that some people had their own professional social media manager.
Talking ironically (or seriously) using hashtags
We’ve all seen the Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon “hashtag in real life” video, but that really isn’t too far from the truth for some of us. In most situations, it’s tongue-in-cheek, but the use of hashtags in daily life is definitely on the rise, and we’re all guilty of it — even professionals.
Having to answer the “playing on Facebook all day” question
It’s funny to think that my friends’ workplaces have Facebook and Twitter blocked, when social media really is my job. It’s unavoidable, then, to get the question, “So you just play around on Facebook all day?” It’s a fair question, but the answer is no. Like any other kind of marketing, it’s about connecting with customers through a specific channel. It takes a lot of knowledge and effort to use the platform correctly, maintain a consistent brand voice, engage with and help fans and customers, track all of it, and report it to the client.
At EPIC, we have all those abilities, and we do it for a wide range of brands — so you’ve got to know your stuff. It’s a fun platform that’s always evolving, but it’s not like sharing yet another cat video. That’s for after work, I guess.