Stop Talking Bad About Social Media Managers

Stop Talking Bad About Social Media Managers

I have had this happen time and time again in different variations. The social media managers are constantly on the wrong end of some really terrible words.

I’ll come into a new client and have them fill out my trusty questionnaire. Somehow talk about how bad the previous social media manager happens. I used to think that I could do so much better, but now I realize, it’s a huge red flag about the client. Very rarely was there an actual problem with the capabilities of these previous social media managers. It does happen sometimes, but… not often.

Or people will look at a brand’s social media presence and say it’s absolute garbage. They could do better. These messages from supposed social media superstars sometimes slip into DMs. I don’t know how they don’t realize it is going directly to the social media manager you are bad mouthing. But if you haven’t realized that yet, here’s my very big clue that these messages are not effective.

And then sometimes within the organization when a higher up says their sixteen year old niece could do better. This is said so often now that it doesn’t even surprise me anymore.

This is basically my plea to be better than all of this.

Talking bad as a red flag

The fact is that I probably will not take on a client who is saying bad things about their previous social media manager. I used to and I regretted it most of the time.

Social media managers can have the best plan in the world and all of the capabilities to execute it. But what the client does is what determines whether it can actually be pulled off.

Timely content could consistently be given to the client with plenty of time to approve, but if the approval system is consistently breaking down, then it doesn’t matter. Content could be produced that is constantly on-brand and attacking the goals discussed beforehand, but if the client is focused on shiny objects, then it doesn’t matter.

Yes, some of these things could be handled with better client management, but the client needs to take some responsibility for their actions (or lack of actions) as well. It’s a two-way street, and if a potential client thinks it’s all about the social media manager, then it’s time for me to look for another potential client for my own mental health.

Not knowing the puzzle

I used to dream about how I could do so much better than a brand’s social media manager. All I needed was a chance. It never went so far as messaging the social media manager about it, but I did dream about the content I could create that would be so much better than the current content.

I don’t do that anymore. The number one reason why? I don’t know the puzzle.

I don’t know what the client is like, what the goals are, why those are the goals, who the audience truly is, etc. Maybe I have inklings of what the puzzle pieces look like, but I don’t know the whole thing. Therefore, I really don’t know if I could do better. I just have shallow dreams about it.

Unless you are fully immersed in the organization’s marketing, you really don’t know the puzzle. You just have guesses at what it is, which is meaningless. Be respectful of the social media manager who does know the puzzle and likely is doing their best with the pieces they have in front of them.

Talking bad as a sign of disrespect

Look, we’ve all heard the things people say about us. Social media isn’t a real job. Anybody can do this. It takes five seconds to post on social media so what do you do with the rest of your time?

I don’t know about you but when I hear those words, I feel about five inches tall. In the end, that’s usually the goal. They are trying to build their ego by tearing you down. It’s kind of deplorable.

I could go on about this, but in the end, you’re probably not going to change these people and it’s better to distance yourself from them. Because they will never understand that social media is not only a viable career, but it also has various different tracks within itself. It creates relationships that lead to buyers. It’s more effective than we can fully measure. And it’s the key to make so much business happen.

A teenager can’t do this job. They could maybe make one piece of successful content on accident, but could they do it consistently on purpose? Can they tell the difference between a successful or unsuccessful piece of content if you took away the engagement numbers? Do they know the ins and outs of the organization’s audience well enough to craft something that can inspire action? And can they create a solid plan? The answer for most teenagers is no. They just don’t have the years of experience and knowledge of marketing to be able to do this. Knowing the latest dance or song trend is not the same as being knowledgeable of social media.

In the end, talking bad about a social media says more about you than it does about them. It’s a red flag in so many ways, and many people will limit working with you if you engage in this kind of talk. Take a step back and figure out where it is exactly coming from. I think if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find the bad talk is just not necessary and that will improve your relationship with your social media manager.


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