Social media managers are ruining the Internet!

Michael Baker Digital Forums Happy Hour Social media managers are ruining the Internet!

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    Advertising revenue, commenting & engagement via link baiting… This is why The Weather Channel is posting articles about daily protein intake and why CNN started a debate about whether or not Disney is ready for gay princesses . There is nothing left.

    There is an overwhelming layer of garbage clogging up our newsfeeds and timelines. It’s the publications, brands and networks that used to be authentic. They felt the need to be part of this whole social media thing so they went and hired a “Social Media Manager” or “Community Manager”. Their sole purpose is engagement using a “whatever it takes” mentality. Engagement is comments on articles, comments in social media, sharing, likes, retweets etc. All of these things ultimately equal more ad revenue.

    They bait you in to their world with misleading images and ridiculous titles and eventually to their website. Each click to a website earns a few cents in ad revenue. Each comment on that page causes a page refresh causing that number to double. It also most likely publishes that comment to your Facebook newsfeed resulting in further promotion.

    E-battles & debates

    You type with passion and continue to come back to see if someone, anyone dares to disagree. That’s engagement. It’s usually with trolls or fake users placed to engage you but a job well done in the eyes of management and the sponsors.

    The gloves are off now too. Anything that can generate severe emotion and false outrage are gameSubjects like race, sexual orientation, fat shaming, fit shaming, photoshopping models, guns, global pandemics, political parties and legalizing weed to name a few. Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber always come in handy in the clutch and when things are completely dried up they resort to cute kids and pets.

    Please note that someone “willing to do whatever it takes” is behind your involvement in a heated debate about why “Pitbulls are the best dogs for families with small children and cats”. You’ve been baited and hooked.

    The problem with this type of engagement is that the reader doesn’t know of the hidden agenda:
    Cause debate to create fake outrage and engagement to stir up emotions to turn their clicks into money.

    Here is a typical social media manager recruitment posting:

    You understand and use social media tools like a champ. Your mind has the unique ability to think both strategically and tactically at the same time. You understand and articulate best practices flawlessly. You can make any client feel like you eat, sleep and breathe digital and social media. You have ideas and you’re not afraid to use them. You can rock a seriously impressive keynote/ppt deck and present it like a champ. If you are passionate about digital marketing and have an enthusiastic, “willing to do whatever it takes” attitude, we would love to talk with you right now! Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or a related field of study REQUIRED.

    The fundamental flaw with this is that they are seeking someone with a degree in Marketing or a related field of study. They all seek someone with a degree in SOMETHING. But that’s ridiculous. The people who are great at social media have a skill-set that was developed prior to it being taught anywhere and many of the best people I have met throughout my career, including myself, are self-taught.

    Be Authentic
    Don’t hire someone based on their degree. Hire them based on their social footprint. If they don’t have one, they aren’t authentic and won’t be authentic for your brand. It will look like fabricated marketing mumbo jumbo that just gets overlooked or needs to be force-fed. Be authentic. Be you. Don’t create garbage just to get something on the screen just because you feel that you need to be there all of the time to compete with the clutter. Your authenticity will rise you naturally.Don’t place someone in charge of your social media just because they are an employee that has free time. Would you give that employee a bucket of paint and a roller and make them paint the office? Post only when you have something creative, useful, inspirational, educational or funny to engage your audience with. Bait people with how authentic you are, not with scammy titles and ridiculous post images. Once a day or once a week is better than 10x a week of useless clutter.

    The tricks will run out and the landscape will change again soon. If you stay true and don’t play this baiting game you’ll still be standing when the next bubble bursts!

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