February 27, 2011

Rachel Strella

I'm Not Perfect: My Struggles as a Social Media Professional

I have to give honest feedback about my fears as a social media professional. Whether I am just taking the pressure off, admitting I am human, or simply fearful that “all-eyes-are-on-me,” I gotta admit, it’s a scary world out there!  Here are my top 5 fears:

  1. Telling you what I had for breakfast. The other morning, when I checked into Foursquare, I was about to commit social media sin by telling you what I ate at the diner that morning. Gasp! Could I have broken the biggest law in social media?
  2. Being sized by the competition!  Granted, I don’t have too many competitors who do exactly what I do, I still worry they are watching me and looking for a way to bust my chops and/or take what I do and replicate it. Paranoid much? Yup… sometimes!
  3. Saying the wrong thing. Funny how a tweet or blog comes so easy to me when it’s for a client, but for my business? Heck no…I agonize. I know that as social media professional, I am being watched so it’s tougher for me to create content.  I usually defer to my golden rule of everything I post…”is this of value to my readers?”
  4. Posting a message for a client that could receive negative feedback. Ok, so we agree that every once in a while, to generate interactivity, we have to push the envelope? What if I did that for a client and it ended negatively? Consider my job as a social media manager to be the “PR/Marketing department” for my client and having that blow up in my face?
  5. Missing something. There are a zillion changes to social media every day – new Facebook changes, Google ranking systems, “rules” of engagement, and ever-changing software. Despite reading dozens of publications a day, having a gal who researches even more publications, and amazing colleagues who keep me abreast of issues in the business, I still worry I am going to miss something.  I constantly fear I will skip over an important detail, despite the fact that I know I am doing the best “humanly” possible.

And maybe number 5 is what is comes down to. I am human and being social is “human.” So what I am so worried about? Maybe you can relate?  Do you find yourself “double-checking” yourself each time to try to engage your audience?

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6 comments on “I'm Not Perfect: My Struggles as a Social Media Professional”

  1. Your posts are amusing the daylights out of me. 🙂 Yes, I can absolutely relate. And I find myself posting a lot of "fluff" sometimes, which ends up making me crazy, but I guess I'm more of a private person than some who air themselves on Twitter, etc.

  2. I feel that! Try going to the grocery store as a pilates insturctor...next thing you know that client is not talking to you but taking stock of grocery cart 😉

  3. Rach -
    I'm so happy to read the human-ness in your blogs! It's refreshing! Coming from 20+ years of working in Corporate America where no one really cares for the human aspect of our lives, you've definitely impacted this gal to bring back the human-ness in my life! My core nature is relationship-building. I "thought" I could be myself in my past career lives - but nope! This gal was a fish out of water and didn't know it! Corporate America "preaches" that they are family-friendly, but ummmmm when it's Quarter-End and the Stockholders aren't happy...do ya think I was able to drop everything to make my nieces play, nope! I was slaving away in my gray, cookie-cutter cubilcle till the numbers were PERFECT! Nowadays in my life, I'll close up shop in a heartbeat to make that all important date! I say this to say...go ahead and tell me what you ate at the diner for breakfast; it's good to know what the competition is doing; I call myself a 'dork' everyday for the silly things I say; posting something in error for a client - well, ask for forgiveness is a great start - we all make mistakes; and lastly...I couldn't imagine having to read up on all the SM changes that you do! You've got that aspect covered in spades as far as I'm concerned:-)
    Give yourself an atta-gal - you've impressed the heck out of me!

    Thanks for being my friend,

    1. Hey Beverly,

      I am SO glad I've inspired you. I used to get down on myself because I didn't think I was professional 'enough' than I realized that the world itself is not perfect. What's great about the world we live in now, is that it's OK to be human. In fact, that's what makes social media so great. We can be who we are.

      I think many people feel the way we do in the corporate world, but it takes a huge leap of faith to strike it out on your own. I am so glad I did, though. I can't imagine trying to fit the mold of the corporate image.

      Thank you for this feedback. It made me smile.


  4. By far your best post! I have the same fears. Frankly, whether your client understands this or not is major in social media management: I am not perfect! I will make mistakes. My job is to minimize those mistakes and be as close to perfect as possible. My professionalism, knowledge, attitude and drive (not perfection) is what I offer.

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