Wired’s Jessi Hempel says what no one wants to admit: Women are preferred over men for social media management roles.
Social media managers usually command less respect than PR managers, while taking on responsibility for an increasingly important distribution channel. The career has been referred to as the Pink Ghetto.
Between 70 and 80 percent of social media workers self-identify as women on the salary compilation site Payscale. The average pay for a social media specialist is just $41,000.
Setting aside the basic unfairness, I’ve puzzled for years at the idea that social media is the right place for juniors, male or female. Social is a real-time, always-on media channel with your brand’s name on it. It’s as complex as any media in existence, doubly so for brands, because social media users want access to decisions makers at brands, particularly when things go wrong. A junior person will elevate an important customer service issue to a manager, but time on Twitter is scored in seconds not hours, so whatever the issue is, it can’t get stuck in committee.
Tweeting Well Is Not The Same As Typing Well
The composition of effective social media posts for brands is also a bit harder than it may appear at first glance. Let’s take a look at well-made Tweet from a fast food brand:
Start the week with a taco.
End the week with a taco.
Spend the middle of the week eating tacos.
Realize the idea of "weeks" is a human construct and should never inform your taco-eating decisions.
Have a taco in celebration of how you've outsmarted the calendar.
— Taco Time (@TacoTimeNW) May 21, 2018
A copywriter wrote that update.
Here’s another solid update (for a different reason):
— Progressive (@Progressive) May 15, 2018
Social media is the place where brands live their values on its digital sleeves. All day, every day. In other words, it’s hard to do and even harder to get right.
Featherweight Content, Heavyweight Budgets
Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past two years—going from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. But despite this growing investment, 46 percent of B2B marketers say they’re unsure whether their channels have generated any revenue for their business.
For those B2B marketers who are not in doubt, we salute you.
It's here: our brand new built-from-scratch platform that streamlines your whole restaurant operation.
— Square (@Square) May 8, 2018
Copywriters By Another Name?
Like the ad business itself, social media is a fast-moving river with hundreds of channels, tributaries, and back eddies. The question to ask when looking for someone to manage social for your brand is how intelligent is the person? And how well do they “think on their feet?”
Like a traditional copywriter, the social media manager works from a strategy. Unlike the traditional copywriter, he or she executes the company’s content plan every day. Another major difference is the social media manager does not rely on huge media buys for exposure. Social media managers cultivate an audience Tweet by Tweet and day by day.
One job isn’t more important or more skilled than the other. The jobs are different but equal in their importance.