[The following is a guest post from social media professional, marketing manager and copywriter Emily Belden. You can find more of her writings on the hilarious and painfully honest blog, Total E-Bag]
I work in social media.
I know what you’re thinking. How is it possible for this industry to enable someone to pay rent? Trust me, even sometimes I double check that I’m not being paid in Enchanted Castle tickets and gumballs. But as it turns out, this career is real…and it’s spectacular. Let me tell you why.
Yes, you are correct: the basis of my job is to make Hootsuite my bitch. This means I camp out front row in front of a 27-inch Mac monitor and keep my eye on up to 30 clients’ social media streams at a time. I’m watching for people directly mentioning them, casually mention them, checking in at their property, posting photos of their property, and more – way more. Whether it’s a kudos or a complaint, a suicide attempt or a sweet note, nothing gets passed me.
Here’s the downside: I see people complain about everything from ice cream melting too fast to the desert air being too hot. In the real world, you could just ignore folks like this, because, well, they’re dumb, but in this career, I must not only acknowledge people like this exist, but I must also engage with them to correct whatever is on their mind. This, my friend, is not fun and, in most instances, is harder than any standardized critical thinking exercise.
On the flipside, the positive parts of the job are intensely rewarding. I can sum this up by: making it happen. Just the other day, I saw a guest at one of my hotels tweet that he was dreading his check-out due to a devilish hangover. If I were in that position, I know I would have wanted to stay under the covers for the next 48 hours, so I called the property to see if a late check-out was possible. Unfortunately, due to occupancy, it was not. What next, I thought? Bloody Mary. After a few calls to the manager on duty, I tweeted back at the guest and told him that if he could make his way out of bed and down to the check-out on-time, there’d be a big-ass Bloody Mary with his name on it waiting for him. His response, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”
A positive interaction that will live on forever for the world to see on a free online social platform? Now that’s what I’m talking about.
So there you have it: a little background on what it means when you tweet to a brand. Now let me leave you with this: the next time someone says they work in social media, don’t just immediately roll your eyes and wonder what state university they may or may not have graduated from. Instead, throw them a bone for sending you that ice water next time the desert air is too hot for you.