Confessions of a brand social media manager

socialI won’t trade my area of work for anything in the world. (OK, may be owning an ice-cream store, or being a travel and fashion reporter! 😉 ) After years of experimenting and trying different stuff in marketing, countless hours spent in the meetings inside conference rooms wondering why the hell I’m there and having the urge to tell everyone in the room that the business strategy they are discussing is BS (at least, in my brain 😀 ), I stumbled upon social media marketing after doing a few social media projects and have really enjoyed it so far.

Working in social media professionally for a brand or a business comes with its shares of pros and cons, moments of ecstatic joy and sheer frustration. Others outside your field form different and ‘interesting’ (read condescending and demeaning 😦 ) opinions about your job. For some, you are this cool person with access to all the social networking sites even at work and they think you must be a really creative and smart chap blossoming with ideas. They come to you when they want to discuss about something intriguing they came across on Twitter, or that video that went viral, and quite often you feel flattered when they come to you to seek your opinion on new and innovative ideas they have about social and mobile apps.

Then there’s another set of friends and acquaintances (painfully, they are in the majority!! sigh!) who think your job description is so lame. Most of them openly criticize and make fun of your job in social gatherings and after a point you give up on explaining to them that your job is a lot more than pretty pictures and 140 characters! Not that conveying a brand message in 140 characters or through a picture is an easy job. A lot of time and effort has gone behind that picturesque Tweet or Facebook post on your timeline.

What you also can’t explain to people is that what is fun, addictive and a relaxing activity ‘away from work’ for most people, is actually work for you! You don’t scroll through your own timeline during free time anymore to see what your best friend Tweeted, or where is your crush holidaying on Instagram, or how many people liked the Facebook profile picture of your frenemy vis-à-vis yours. Since you work on social media round the clock, it sort of kills all the fun elements for you. Yes, it’s your dream job and you like that your work is so creative and instantly gratifying. But you don’t see these social media platforms in the ‘fun’ way like others do to spend time while not working, and constantly feel the need to find other ways to spend free time online or offline.

What’s empowering and really satisfying part about this job is that you (along with your team) are responsible for creating this brand image online that zillions of people across the world would come to perceive and base their opinions on about the brand  – via a single Tweet, picture, or Facebook post. The fact that you have been given this responsibility to create that brand image and perception online, is really a powerful position to be in.  Again, this is something that you can’t explain to the naysayers and the haters. 🙂

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Image Source: http://jeremywaite.tumblr.com/post/73311947985/17-great-social-media-quotes-from-jay-baer

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Delightful Bliss

Don’t you feel delighted when people would go just out of the way to do something for you. Its a grateful and joyous feeling, ain’t it? Making you feel special. Be it in personal relationships or commercial ones, its always good to know that people care for you and would walk that extra mile to make you smile.

A colleague offering to take your work load off so that you can meet a personal commitment, a friend staying awake whole night to help in finishing your project in time (during the good old MBA days 🙂 ) or a complete stranger coming to your rescue while offering change in a bus or cab when the driver isn’t budging. Its always a genuine humane feeling when incidents like these take place and you feel touched.

Likewise, it gives the same feeling when you are on the receiving end of such gestures as a customer or a client and your service provider is trying to engage in these goodwill initiatives, popularly known in marketing management as “Customer Delight”.

That complementary plate of dessert, one extra scoop of ice-cream, an exciting offer in your regular departmental store offered for being a loyal customer or just some additional discount, things like these kind of make your day and bring on that smile, after a long day’s work.

Who doesn’t like surprises and pleasant surprises like these are most welcome by anyone. Alas, like  marketing we don’t have such terminology for making people delighted in day-to-day lives. You know, something like “Person Delight”!!

Anyways, that doesn’t stop us from practicing and even experiencing such incidents. Howsoever, busy  we become in our daily lives, I think we must always remember and make it a point to give back such delightful moments to others around us and not just take them for granted. It is indeed a heavenly feeling when you make a quite serious or sad person smile. After all, happiness is a cyclical process and a smile is always contagious!!

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