Reality: Social Media is Grunt Work

The “toys” of social media may be shiny and sexy but social media on a day-to-day basis is grunt work.

In the trenches beyond the glamour of the retweet, Like and comment, social media requires a lot of blocking and tackling. It’s done by people who work behind the scenes to make social media happen on a consistent basis, often 24/7 given the real-time digital world in which we live.

For any company considering getting into social media, I make it abundantly clear there is a lot of work involved. It’s not an attempt to scare or intimidate people but an effort to paint a realistic portrait of what’s involved.

To do social media well, it takes a major commitment in time, energy, people and money. While the success stories (e.g. Starbucks, Comcast, Dell, Old Spice) attract a lot of attention, most companies toil away to establish a solid presence and meet their strategic objectives and goals.

It’s not easy to do social media. People work really hard, much of it with little recognition other than when things go terribly wrong. It’s like being an offensive lineman in football; you don’t get as much attention as the quarterback or running back but your jobs is as important and your efforts as necessary and valuable.

  • Hi, I totally agree with this posting.

    I hear and read a lot about social media campaigns and how they are measured and how much they have increased business or sales. But very VERY rarely do you hear about the day to day slog of managing social media sites.

    Rather than thinking about campaigns, the day to day running is much harder, a grind. It can have great results, but takes time, buy in, constant monitoring and optimising (similar to a campaign) without an end.

    Not to mention training and engaging. I love managing it, but I wholeheartly agree. The day to day is grunt work.

  • Amen! It takes a lot of blocking and tackling to score a social media touchdown. Too many are blinded by the success of the major brands you mentioned. Too few fail to develop a plan and set goals that matter to their situation. If you have Starbucks’ reach then you should have 17 million followers. Understanding that it takes both hard work and time to make social media succeed is often lost. There is no quick fix here.

  • I spend over two hours a day on Twitter. It is great for professional development, but I would not want the teachers in my school to do this. Culling the gems from the Twitterverse takes a lot of time. People who want to see my favorite Tweets can find them on my blog (DrDougGreen.Com). Basically, I Tweet for you. In any district I think that the PR person should manage district Tweets so that teachers can teach and administrators can be visible and supportive. Let people like me who have the time to sort the wheat from the chaff.
    Douglas W, Green, EdD – Retired Principal.

  • Thanks…I really needed this today! So many people a) don’t understand what we do, and b) think it’s a cakewalk. There are a lot of long hours…you’re really never off the clock. And while I love what I do, there’s a lot more to it than I ever dreamed. Have a great weekend!

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  • I definitely agree with you Kelly.

    There are some clients who would think that what we do daily is just so easy since our work hours involves lounging on facebook, twitter and youtube and its hard for them to understand how time consuming it could be to establish a rock-star online presence. Great post!

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