Social Media Marketing is among the hottest jobs of the 21st century, mainly because of the proliferation and adoption of social media as a whole by both consumers and corporations.
To manage their business accounts, companies hire dedicated resources, commonly referred to as Social Media Marketers. Their primary responsibility is to use social media accounts every day and keep the community engaged. Sounds pretty easy, right?
But don’t judge so fast.
The job has its own intrinsic complexity associated with it. In this article, we’ll walk you through the difficult side of social media marketers that you don’t hear on job boards or from digital marketing agencies.
Social Media Managers are Jack of All Trades
Social Media management might not look like a complex task to carry out. After all, how much will a job demand when all you have to do is browse the web, post regularly, and reply to people? But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you go behind the scenes, you’ll come across the glitches and hardships. Social media managers work for businesses, and each business has a strategy, an agenda, a target.
When creating posts for posting on social media, all these things are taken into account. To meet those criteria, you need to have business and managerial skills. To write the headlines and the image text, you need to be an expert copywriter. To design and style the images, you need to have designing skills. To analyze the data, you need to be equipped with some level of data analysis skills. The list can go on and on.
Furthermore, depending on the company, your job responsibilities as a social media manager may increase or decrease. But the bottom line is you need to have multiple skills up your sleeves.
Change Is The Only Constant
One of the biggest challenges faces by social media marketers and managers is keeping pace with the ever-changing world of social media. Every day seems like a new day at work.
Facebook, Google, Instagram – all platforms constantly keep changing their algorithms under the hood which outsiders don’t have any knowledge of. Google makes almost 9 changes per day. Facebook follows similarly.
So what is successful today might be irrelevant tomorrow. So marketers have to always notice these changes, keep pace, adjust, and pivot.
One of the reasons behind is the ever-changing people’s taste. Think of it how users migrated from Tumblr and Myspace to Facebook. Now users have started migrating from Facebook to newly-created social media channels like Instagram (which is owned by Facebook, by the way) and TikTok.
It is reported that one-third of millennials have already ditched Facebook and Twitter. What this means is that marketers have to create a new strategy for an entirely new social media ecosystem. So change is the only constant in social media marketing.
Measuring ROI is Not Straightforward
ROI or Return on Investment is the main metric that every business tracks. It is simply the profits minus the associated cost. While it’s easy to measure ROI in other domains like manufacturing, car sales, retail, it’s relatively complex in social media marketing.
Figuring out the ROI of a particular post or a graphic design is vague, to say the least. If marketers fail to convince positive ROI to higher management, then often their budget is curbed. And in worst cases, marketers lose their job. What most successful social media marketers do is define goals, set budgets, create a blueprint, and align them with overall business goals.
Time is More than Money
When working as a social media marketer, you’re literally racing against time. One of the tasks involved in social media marketing is posting engaging and trending content which can be in the form of pictures, videos, articles, or simply a status update. This is referred to as Newsjacking.
But content comes and goes at a rapid pace. Marketers always need to keep their eyes open to everything happening online and then cherry-pick them to include in their social media marketing strategy. So unless you are super-fast at scooping information from the web, you’re probably not a good fit for social media marketing.
You Can Get Sued For Copyright Infringement
Working on social media platforms, especially for businesses, is no walk in the park. When posting on social media, you have to mandatorily follow all the terms and conditions of each platform. But that doesn’t completely shield you from violations. You can get into bigger problems when you post something where the content belongs to someone else and you haven’t explicitly asked for permission.
Take the case of Splash News vs. Jennifer Lopez. As per the case proceedings, Jennifer Lopez was sued for posting a picture of herself that was allegedly taken and owned by Splash News and Picture Agency. The demand was $150,000 for settlement. While you might think that these are high profile cases, but anyone can sue you anytime under copyright infringement laws if they want to.
Working Under Lack of Details and Clarity
One of the notoriously difficult challenges involved in social media marketing is the vagueness surrounding the operation. Sometimes companies and clients have unrealistic expectations, while at other times there is not enough information to work on. In such cases, results often are average.
This is primarily prevalent in outsourced agencies where the client and service provider have limited interaction and sit together for only a couple of hours per week. The better the clarity and details, the better the results.
While there are many more downsides to working as a social media marketer and manager, the job is a thrilling one in itself. You get to work on new things and come across unique stuff almost every day. Given the required attention, dedication, and love, you’ll want to work as a social media marketer for the rest of your life.