Confessions of a Social Media Manager

It’s 2AM in February and I’m sweating. No, I don’t have a fever, I’m ironing a logo on to t-shirts for a client to wear in 6 hours. I would’ve gotten home sooner, but I missed my connecting bus, because I missed my train, because I was creating labels, centerpieces and t-shirt designs for “The Client”.

“I’ll pay you for the extra time you put in next month.”

I snapped.

Confessions of a Social Media Manager -- The Palmetto Peaches

How did I get here? Nobody’s ‘posed to be here!

On top of of managing 6 social media accounts, updating the website, and ordering marketing materials, I was now wearing another hat that did not match my outfit: event coordinator. Don’t get me wrong, lending a helping hand wasn’t a problem. I was already overworked and underpaid…and hungry…so getting ready for this expo was TOO much.

Confessions of a Social Media Manager -- The Palmetto Peaches

Less than a month later, our business relationship ended. FREEDOM! I later understood that my boundaries should’ve been more clear from the beginning to avoid this breakdown. Note: “The Client” seemed to tune out my opinions when I voiced them, but I did try to explain! Hopefully, social media managers can use these 5 confessions to avoid being featured on an episode of Snapped.

Confessions of a Social Media Manager

  1. Posting isn’t rocket science. Not everyone can create and execute a successful social media campaign, or craft clever captions–but everyone can help. Clients shouldn’t be afraid to post on their own. “The Client” used to send me 10 text messages back to back of pictures and statuses to post. The amount of time it took to do that, she could’ve posted AT LEAST one. Note: Please don’t confuse this with micro managing. Please. 
  2. Social media is only part of your marketing battle. Does the business have a written business plan? Will the organization use other marketing tactics? The bark has to match the bite. “Fans” can like every picture on a business page, but that doesn’t mean they’re purchasing too. Remember: your product or service is more than your follower count on social media. 

  3. This is your story to tell and product to sell. If clients don’t know their vision and/or purpose, social media managers won’t know how to share it with the right target audience. This ties in to Confession #2. Clearly stating goals and objectives goes hand-in-hand with storytelling.
  4. Despite how much you love us, sometimes we have to be shared with other businesses and organizations. I can’t speak for every freelance social media manager, but calling me at 11pm for a non-emergency is a hell no. Freelancers typically use their own cell phones, electricity, wifi, office space etc. Don’t freak out when we don’t respond to your email or call immediately. Things work a little differently when the entire work squad isn’t in the same building. Social media managers maybe able to work magic on social media profiles, but we are human. That “I can sleep when I die” mentality ain’t for everyone. (ESPECIALLY ME!)
  5. We can learn from each other. If social media managers and their clients could do it all alone, this post wouldn’t exist. Help us understand your method of handling business and ways of thinking, and we will do the same. It takes a village…or nah?

Are you a social media manager or does your business/blog have a social media manager? What are your confessions?

FYI: I never got the money for my extra time from “The Client”. 

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

35 Replies to “Confessions of a Social Media Manager”

  1. I wish you had gotten paid for the extra time you had to put in. It sounds like it was a good learning experience for you in terms of learning how to set boundaries in the future. Hopefully, the client learned a little bit as well. I know a woman with a small business and I’m going to share this with her.
    Beth Patterson recently posted…Lost Pet Prevention Month + A Giveaway from PetHubMy Profile

    1. I think we both learned a few things, but I definitely took a few notes on setting boundaries. Thank you for reading and sharing!
      -Ace

  2. Smart post! Shared to Twitter 🙂

    Keep smiling!
    Molly | http://www.stylemissmolly.com
    Molly recently posted…Four Essentials Your Wardrobe Needs This SummerMy Profile

  3. OMG! Wow this story speaks volumes! I agree that the relationship’s boundaries should have been laid out beforehand, BUT, a client KNOWS when he or she is taking advantage! Then to not pay for the “extra time!” I would have snapped, too.

    1. She definitely tried it, and I was definitely over it! Thank you for reading!
      -Ace

  4. Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear about your experience with the “client!”. This brings back memories to just two years ago, I was working as a marketing assistant for a clothing store. The lady promised $12 an hour (which was great for a college student at the time) so, I took it and worked… but I spent 40 hours folding clothes, steaming them and IRONING THEM on top of design work.

    After the two weeks was over, I waited patiently for my paycheck but then the day before I was supposed to go into work, she sent me an email stating that she felt that since I was still in school and could not commit to many hours, I should be her intern. I sent her a reply saying that I could do more hours… and to this day still have not heard back!

    Now, I make sure to speak up if I feel that I am being taken advantage of, but if only I had known earlier to reply back and follow up with her!

  5. Man that can be tough! I’m going through something a little similar working as a personal assistant to a realtor. They don’t ever “close” my boss will take calls at 10pm and expect me to write emails, make appointment, ect. A little frustrating sometimes. But good experience nonetheless!

    Xoxo takingonthekitchen.weebly.com

  6. I’m sorry you had a bad experience with this client but it sounds like you learned a lot about yourself and the boundaries you need to set with your future clients!
    xo, Laura
    Have Need Want | http://www.have-need-want.com
    Laura recently posted…Summer Beauty Favorites of the MomentMy Profile

    1. I’m still working on setting boundaries, but yes… I learned a few good lessons!
      -Ace

  7. That’s a bummer of a client, for sure. I was once an “administrative assistant” for someone who then had me wrapping her Christmas presents and running her personal errands. Um, no. I’m glad you dropped that bad client!

    1. Like I said, I don’t mind lending a helping hand, but it was waaaay too much! Ghosts of Bad Employers Past. ?
      -Ace

  8. Oh man, I hear you on all of these! “I need a Facebook page but have no idea what things to post, isn’t that your job?” Sigh. Got to have a plan otherwise it is tough to manage.

    1. Right? Like give me something to work with!
      -Ace

  9. Gah! This sounds like it was a tough working relationship – glad you’ve moved on!

    1. It was le struggle. Thanks for the support. Haha
      -Ace

  10. Sometimes clients completely take the you know what!!

    They expect way too much !

    1. TOO. MUCH. Thanks for reading!
      -Ace

  11. Oh man…don’t let people take advantage of you! Love the Beyonce gif, lol. Made me chuckle.

    1. LOL! It perfectly describes how I felt though! Thanks for reading! -Ace

  12. Working online – providing online services to someone is difficult. You will have non-payment and rise above but not get paid for it. The key is to move forward from it as soon as possible because the right mix will come along. We all are not good matches together and it’s okay to just know that and not accept the business, even if you need the cash.

    1. Yes! A lot of times I accepted clients I knew were a bad match because I needed extra cash. Mistake. -Ace

  13. Great post! I pinned it on Pinterest.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing! -Ace

  14. I totally, totally relate! Recently, I’ve had a couple of my clients be REALLY needy and want to spend hours in person or on the phone ironing out their edits and ambitious ideas. That’s great, but I really need to do my other jobs for my other clients, and if you’re not paying me for it, I simply can’t do it.

    I try to be accommodating, but I’m learning that “put your foot down” mantra for business operating, but it’s hard when you’re such a nice person!

    Oh, and I love your comment about “your product or service is more than your follower count on social media.” SO true! Too bad many sponsor corporations and brands don’t feel the same way when looking to help smaller bizs out. If only everyone believed quality content marketing was the way to go (as opposed to quantity).

    x Kathryn
    http://www.fashionablyfrank.com

    1. Exactly! If they want to pay to be my only source of income–be my guest! Haha Thank you for reading. -Ace

  15. Wow! I didn’t realize how clients could be this demanding. I’m looking to freelance social media, so this is definitely something to consider. Thank you!

    1. Sadly, the client I’m referring to is nothing compared to other stories I’ve heard! Let me know if you have any more freelance questions. -Ace

  16. Sounds good! This is truly innovative and insightful information- thanks a lot for the post. Bookmarked and sharing for friends.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing! Let me know if you have any questions. -Ace

  17. This is interesting as I am just starting out my Virtual Assistant business.

    1. Best of luck to you and your business adventure! -Ace

  18. Good stuff! I would love to hire out this stuff but until I start bringing in a little money that is not going to happen. I am glad you all are out there when I need you! Thanks for posting this.

    1. I’m definitely here when you’re ready! It’s awesome that you’re considering your budget before taking the next step too! Thank you for reading! -Ace

  19. […] Why? Because I’m not passionate about social media. Story-telling? Yes. Social media? Nah. My freelance social media marketing career started as a hobby–one I thought would allow me to make money in while staying in my pajamas […]

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