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As it’s careers week I wanted to lift the lid on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Of Working In Social Media Marketing.

Before working in social media, I was a Music Journalist and Events Organiser and loved working in the music industry for 14 years.

Over the past 13 years I’ve built up an impressive training client list for Altrincham HQ including the BBC, Manchester City, NHS, Selfridges, Costa Coffee, United Utilities, University Of Manchester, Manchester Arndale and many more.

I have over 500+ LinkedIn testimonials and am ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex. My business has been voted the Best Social Media Company in Manchester at the Talk Of Manchester Awards.

Whether you’re at school, college or University and thinking about careers options I hope this blog gives you a flavour for working in social media marketing.

1. Every Single Day Is Different
What I love about Social Media is that I’ve worked in the industry for 13 years and I reached the 10 year itch and didn’t get bored.

Literally every day is different.

Just today alone I’ve written a blog on a charity event, trained 25 businesses on Content Creation, sourced photos for future LinkedIn posts, engaged on social media for 10 different businesses, recorded a video for an Instagram Reel and a TikTok, started planning a charity event for next year.

Social Media Marketing a job that involves many skill sets. Very few in the industry are lucky to have a whole team of creatives, so often you’ll find yourself doing a little bit of copywriting, photography, graphic design, social media management … as well as networking, business development, public speaking, admin and numerous other tasks.

Our clients can be pretty varied as well, so I work with Restaurants & Bars, Health Companies, Professional Services, Charities, Education, Councils and many other sectors.

And then there’s the Social Media platforms themselves – as I type this in 2022 the platforms I work on every day include Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and of course blogging which is where you are now.

2. You Genuinely Get To Help People
I mentioned before that I’d worked with the BBC, Manchester City, NHS, Selfridges, Costa Coffee, United Utilities, University Of Manchester, Manchester Arndale and many more.

When you work with big corporations, you’re part of a machine and are but a cog in a big system.

Our day-to-day work is with small businesses and that’s where you truly get to make a difference.

Social Media Marketing can literally make or break a business.

I have a big belief in celebrating the small wins – those sales that are £50-100 that most people don’t celebrate.

But I’ve also won orders worth £8000-15,000 for clients just via social media – that feeling when you know you’ve made someone’s year is amazing!!!

3. You Get To Be Creative Every Day
Remember when you were at Primary School and all you literally had to do was draw, paint things and write stories.

Well, I wish you could say that’s all you do in the world of Social Media Marketing, but it isn’t.

But throughout the day you will get a chance to flex your creative muscles whether it be copywriting, photography, design, video or just something simply like an interesting response to a comment on a social media.

I always say Social Media is being a sexy creative geek – so whilst there will be creativity there will also be analytics, reports, spreadsheets, admin, emails taking up a huge amount of your time.

1. You Never Switch Off
I envy some of my friends that can actually switch off from work.

Social Media is about as far removed from 9-5 as possible.

You literally think about work 24-7 from the moment you pick your phone up in bed to the moment you go to sleep.

Social Media is immersed into everybody’s life, so a customer doesn’t think if they tweet at 11pm at night that a real person, not a robot sees a post. Equally when something in the world happens, we often have to react, so scanning the news / trends 1st thing in the morning is something we have to do for all clients.

When I’m with friends and family I do try and switch off, but the notifications can distract you from spending quality time with the people you love.

2. Everyone Thinks They Can Do Your Job
I used to work in Journalism and Events – not once in 14 years did people in totally different roles think they could do your job.

In social media EVERYBODY thinks they can do your job.

The IT guy, web designer, admin assistant, bar manager, Virtual Assistance …. and that’s before you look at every relative of tbe business owner thinking they can have a go at social.

There seems to be the idea that social media marketing is just “Posting On Social – it’s an easy job”.

What they don’t see is 6 years studying marketing, a decade’s marketing experience before I launched my social media company and reading and educating myself every single day on social media and marketing.

Marketing and Social Media is a real skill, but half the battle in these roles is explaining to people who have never studied marketing or have any experience of marketing that perhaps you know more than they do.

3. One Change Can Put You Out Of A Job
I know businesses that are not in business because of one change on Facebook.

Social Media always evolves, so you need to have one eye on the present and one eye on the future at all times to stay relevant.

This can be a good thing and make it more varied, but literally overnight you can find you’re not as relevant as you used to be and be out of a job.

Even though marketing foundations remain the same – what works in social media in 2022, probably won’t work in 2025.

That’s a lot of pressure if you have a mortgage to pay off or a family to raise.

1. A Lot Of The Industry Aren’t Qualified To Give Advice
So many of the people that work as “Social Media Trainers” aren’t qualified to give advice.

If you want to be a doctor or solicitor or accountant you have to be qualified.

If you want to work in social media you could turn up to a networking meeting tomorrow and claim you’re a social media expert (and as long as you have 20% more knowledge than the average person, you could probably blag your way through it and earn some £££s)

The standards need to raise in social media marketing in a big way to stop innocent business owners being ripped off by charlatans.

2. Negativity and Trolling
I’ve been trolled on social media to the point where the police had to be involved.

The reason for the trolling – I had a large audience on social media and a few insecure men were jealous.

Working in social media can be a traumatic experience because you see a daily onslaught of the worse elements of humanity.

You also can’t avoid the news.

The last 2 years have been tough for everyone with the Pandemic, but working in social media you get to witness rants and negativity 24/7. You can’t help but feel there’s a weight on your shoulders constantly.

Every day there is the knowledge that by 9am there will be calls for someone in the public eye to be cancelled.

It’s relentless. It’s really tough. You have to smile even though you often feel like crying.

3. You Can Get Dismissed Because Of Other People
One side of what we do is social media management.

It’s where we manage the day-to-day social media for brands.

We have a really good relationship with our clients, but there have been a few times over the past 13 years where we’ve gone our separate ways with a client.

More often not it boils down to the client not provided the content (photos) we need.

After a while of us asking time and time again we have to realise it’s not going to work out. We have to walk away or the client acknowledges it’s not working.

I liken it to having the best chef in the world at your disposal – but literally expecting them to deliver a meal without any ingredients.

In Social Media you can be great at what you do, but other people can let you down and it’s yourself that suffers.


Subjects we can talk about include
– Personal Branding and Social Media
– How to use LinkedIn To Build Your Career
– Careers
– Marketing

Plus platform specific talks including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging, TikTok

I can also deliver social media training to
– Headteachers
– Heads of Department
– Marketing Departments

Email or call 07806774279

More information here

Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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