June 6, 2014

I was joking around with a friend the other day (we both work in social media) and we started exchanging stories that only other social media professionals would understand. We were laughing at things that average social media users will never have the torture of understanding. We giggled at the funny names people come up with for job titles.

But, not only was it fun, it got me thinking. And here you have today’s blog post: 25 signs you work in social media!

1.   When people refer to you as an expert, guru, or ninja, you politely thank them and then correct them. If you’re a real social media professional, you do not claim to be any of these titles even though you’re secretly pleased that they called you that.

2.   It’s totally acceptable to you that you’ve never met most of your friends IRL. And yet they know you better than a lot of your real life friends.

3.   When someone says the word “algorithm” you instantly cringe. Thank you for that one Facebook.

4.   You follow more brands on Facebook than you have friends. But you never see any of their posts…

5.   You secretly judge anyone who follows less than a 100 people on any social media site. How is that possible?

6.   It’s not about the numbers… But we check all of our numbers daily. Klout ranking, follower counts, site visits, post likes…

7.   The notification alert has become a Pavolovian reaction. Must check it NOW. Clear the notifications!

8.   You’ve downloaded more apps on your smartphone than your daily caloric intake amount. But you’ve also deleted 90% of those apps – who comes up with these things? 

9.   You legitimately have fears of posting to the wrong account. And at some point, you have.

10. You don’t even check your Twitter DMs anymore. They’re all auto-generated crap anyways.

11.  Your primary news source is Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. If it’s not there, it must not be important.

12.  You know when it’s National Love Your Pet Day, National Ice Cream Day, and Bike to Work Day. And about 362 other weird holidays.

13.  You stop all work when software and social media platform announcements are made. I mean, obviously, this could be the next BIG thing… until tomorrow at least.

14.  You get excited about new platform layouts. And spend hours reformatting everything to fit.

15.  You have a contingency plan for every “bad” thing that could happen. Even grammatical mistakes.

16.  You are totally justified in complaining about other companies when they disappoint you on ALL of your social media sites. But hopefully you give praise too 

17.  You consciously evaluate how every other company uses social media and how they promote it. And if it’s a good idea, you’ll totally find a way to implement it on your accounts.

18.  Unlike the rest of the world, you realize it’s nearly impossible to make something go “viral”. Or you convince your boss/client that 1000 views is viral just to get them to stop asking.

19,  You actually talk with hashtags. Even though it drives you crazy.

20. You have a power cord for your smartphone in every possible location. Including the bathroom and the car.

21. The word “engagement” in your vocabulary has nothing to do with weddings. Oh, your friend really is getting married?

22.  You start dropping the vowels (or at least the “e”) from all names. Thank you Tumblr, Gramblr, Pixlr, Flickr…

23.  Your spell check just doesn’t get you. How many times do you have to remind it to ignore “Instagram” or “sharability”?

24.  People’s eyes glaze over when you try to explain what you really do. We tend to forget they don’t speak our “language” of acronyms and weird names.

25.  Yes, of course I get paid to play on Facebook all day! Need I say anything else? 

But even with all the headaches and craziness, we wouldn’t trade it in! We live in our own little universe, speak our own language, and totally get each other!

But what say you? What other signs can you think of that prove we work in social media?

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Fun post Jenn! Number 9 scares the crap out of me on a consistent basis, I am terrified of posting something to the wrong page or account and double and triple check sometimes just to alleviate that fear.
    I cringe at the work Algorithm as well but not because of Facebook. Instead I worry Google has adjusted part of their ranking algorithm and is going to wipe out all traffic to a site I have been working on.

    For my list I would have to add I Already Seen It because I don’t know how many times I’ve been talking to friends or my wife in particular and they/she asks me have you seen this video? Or gif? Or story? and I usually reply with a “Yeah, that was trending a few days ago : )”

    1. lol Chad – that is such a great point to add to the list! “That was sooo 2 days ago!” 😉
      The Google algorithm is a frequent concern for many too and is a definitely worth mentioning. I guess the reason I don’t worry about that one so much is that I don’t put nearly as much effort into my SEO as I do my social media posts – I know that probably seems weird to some. I feel like it takes me a little longer to grow SEO/Google credibility but I currently get a large majority of my traffic from search results so I’m happy with that outcome.

    2. Chad, you’re cracking me up! Your addition to the list is a MUST! And Jenn, thank you for this. It’s such a balm on the soul to be “understood.” Long live social media!

      -Social Media Mixologist & Moonshine Marketeer

      1. Thank you Laura! I’m so glad we understand each other 🙂
        BTW, I’ve said it before, but I love your title, Social Media Mixologist!

    3. Chad – I was going to add the same one! I see everything and then when a friend sends me something that’s “soooo funny” I hate to say “yeah I saw that last week” so I don’t…I just do the online equivalent of nodding and smiling 🙂

  2. Jenn,

    This post had me first smiling then laughing out loud! From one person to another who gets it – thank you!

  3. Lol… this is great! As I first started reading I thought, oh yes, #1 for sure, oh and #2, and as I went through each one I can say that they all fit me exactly! I love all my online friends… and this is why! We get each other… none of my IRL peeps understand anything that I do. They just give me this look like what are you talking about?! Lol… Thanks for this one! Love it! 🙂

    1. Thanks Amy 🙂 So glad you liked it. We definitely get each other and so many others (not in this biz) will just never understand the world we live in. I’m glad to call you a friend!

    1. lol Kim! You do enough with social media that you can likely relate to most of this. And maybe you’ve got too many social media professional friends 😉

  4. this is great! I frighteningly understand each and every one of them 🙂

  5. OMG I LOVE THIS!!!! Every single one of them is right – especially #2 & #3! I’m so glad we all have people like you that can actually understand what I’m talking about when I say “organic reach”!

    1. 🙂 Thanks Mandy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And I also love that we can talk organic reach and all of the other terms and totally get each other.

    1. You’re right, Paolo. No matter where we work, we all experience the same things in this industry.

  6. 24. People’s eyes glaze over when you try to explain what you really do. We tend to forget they don’t speak our “language” of acronyms and weird names.

    Soooo true. LOL! it happens to me most of the time when they ask questions about my job and then ask for another topic hahahhaha

    1. Isn’t that the worst?! I try to “simplify” what I do but then I feel like it diminishes what I really do. It’s an awkward situation for sure!

  7. Number 9 is so funny, buy actually this is how I behave with every device, the sad side is that every I fell a little scare about the issue ¿Is something wrong? ¿A complaint? And number 4 is so real jajaja. Great personal article!

    1. Thanks Ashton! So glad you enjoyed it and found some points accurate (even if annoyingly so 😉 ).

    1. Thanks so much! Sometimes we have to “justify” what we do by telling a white lie 😉

  8. Jenn, I can’t thank you enough! I needed this. Of course, everyone else had no clue why I was laughing to the point of tears but, fear not, I shared and they now get it! #7 had me laughing and #9 about made me spit my coffee out! 🙂 You summed up my days to a tee!

    1. lol – Thank you Amy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂 Sorry about the coffee incident though – there’s no need to waste valuable coffee!

  9. Another great post, Jenn! The Pavlovian response – priceless! The sad part is that it is so true and it drives me crazy when other people have the same notification sound when I’m in a coffee shop. Hard to get any work done :-/

    1. lol Debbie! That is the worst for sure! That’s why I tried to change as many of my notification sounds as possible 😉

  10. Yep, have climbed out if bed to make sure. Referencing #9 (posting to wrong account) Also, working to be more conscious of word usage with clients. Over the phone it’s hard to see the eyes glazed over but the sudden silence tells a lot. Thinking of adding a social media term sheet to my on boarding packet. Great post Jenn! Spot on!! 🙂

    1. Thanks Carla! So glad you liked it 🙂
      Isn’t it the worst when you panic attack wondering if it was the right account? I would totally get out of bed for that too!
      And I think that’s a great idea to add a terms sheet or some additional information to help clients understand what we refer to in all of our conversations.

  11. I can so relate to every point, except the iPhone cable in the bathroom… water and my technology doesn’t mix. I do have my #showerboard for #showerstorming though 🙂
    I’m often called some fancy name, which is a huge compliment, but self-proclaimed titles may me twitch. One of my colleagues still calls me a ‘guru’ but adds ‘but she doesn’t like that word, but she is so is’… While I don’t like trumped up words like that, when used by others about you, they are purely said with the best of intentions. I would however never brand myself based on what someone else calls me. Some do, but for me its about perception, being seen as someone making claims rather than celebrating what they are known as. Fine line.

    People often hate change, but in our space it is total excitement. Last weekend I was in my element as not one, but two LinkedIn updates were being rolled out. One I had contacted LinkedIn about and many of us wanted the feature back…. the other was a visual branding update, which always excites me (as a designer). I’m generally not competitive, but when it comes to ‘discovering’ an update to LinkedIn, the race is on for first to blog! Done it a few times now 🙂

    Awesome list Jenn 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this Jo! And btw, I’m loving our FB chat going on right now too!
      I agree with you that I appreciate when others refer to me as a rockstar or expert – it is flattering and meant as compliment to our skill. However, as you said, I would never introduce myself that way and actually stray away from others who do refer to themselves that way.
      And I love that you were ahead of everyone else on the new LinkedIn updates. Your info showed up first in my feeds and I jumped all over that info from you. You are definitely one of my go-to resources for all things LinkedIn!

  12. Excellent capture. I admit to all of the above. My sliding scale of social media-itis is based on the first thing you do in the morning. You get 1 point if you check SM while waiting for the coffee to brew; 5 points if you check your accounts before you even get the coffee going; and 10 points for those who are checking in before they’ve even hit the washroom.

    1. Thanks Susan! Based on your scale – 5 points for me! 🙂
      The dogs potty needs come first, then mine. But then I’m all over the updates and checking accounts before I even get dressed or anything else.

  13. Guilty as charged

    I’m thinking we should start a new FB group


    Social Media Anonymous

    Thanks for another great post

  14. Loved the article! especially 3,6,7,9,10,14,20,21 …totally found myself:-)

    1. Thanks Robert! I don’t know about reading ALL comments on a George Takei post, but if it works for you, why not? I think it’s great that people take the time to read others’ posts and comments.

  15. Great article! I can defiantly relate to a lot of theses but #12! I would be worried if I didn’t know what weird holiday it was! Happy Best Friends Day!

    1. lol Sam! Happy best friends day to you too 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by – glad you enjoyed the article.

  16. Thanks for the validation with my coffee this morning! I’ll add one – you find yourself writing email replies without nouns and pronouns and Twitterese: “Sorry, missed ur msg” and catch yourself to rewrite in normal language, “I’m sorry I missed your message.” 🙂

  17. Plus #26: You’re on vacation in Bermuda and instead of being outside you’re reading and tweeting a blog post about social media (me, currently). Okay going to the beach now 🙂

    1. Girl, get to the beach! But, yes, how true is that, Tia? I think we’ve all been in that position – whether on the weekend, vacation, wedding, family reunion, etc.

  18. Oh wow. Someone taged me in this link on Facebook. It’s greatness, I teach #SocialMedia for #business and have folks think they can take one class and be kings…I’m always telling people if someone ever calls themselves a social media expert, run!! It changes every day, WE just know how to stay ahead of that #curve.
    LOLAMAOSR3 (unnecessarily long and obscure acronyms that no one else knows drive us crazy!

    1. All so true, Randall! I’m glad you got tagged and can appreciate the post though 🙂
      I completely agree, there are no experts – the industry is too young and evolves too quickly. However, there are a lot of really educated, smart, talented, and resourceful people who I highly respect. But it definitely takes time, experience, and a lot of learning to reach that level.
      And, yes, for sure, the crazy long hashtags and acronyms that no one understands! Thanks for chiming in!

  19. Oh ya and I forgot
    Ending every conversation with
    “Follow me on Twitter @RandallsChase find me on Instagram RandallChase Like me on Facebook…” You get the idea

  20. All so true! Another sign, I think, is the complete inability not to wince and want to offer helpful suggestions when you see someone really, really struggling to do social media well.

    1. I agree Mandy! We want to be helpful and supportive, but sometimes it’s hard to have that come across the right way. But I have found that most people are receptive to suggestions.

    1. Glad to hear you don’t speak in hashtags, Beck 😉 But happy to hear you enjoyed the post!

  21. You hit the nail right on the head. This is awesome! I especially liked #24 & #25…which is the look I receive when speaking to my parent’s friends, and then they ask, “You really get paid to do that?” Um…yeah! 🙂

    1. Thanks Kathy! So glad you can relate. That look is so common!
      They just don’t get it… And they also don’t get how much real work goes into “playing” on Facebook all day, right? 😉

  22. I don’t technically work in social media, although I am a blogger, and I found this to be pretty awesome! Yes, must clear the notifications, spell check needs to catch up for sure and UGH, the constant to update and reformat images for SM accounts….!!

    1. We all feel you, Jennifer! As a blogger, you deal with much the same world, especially the spell check! Glad you enjoyed the article 🙂

  23. These had be laughing but then I got all excited today as we had our first assisted conversion from Pinterest. Need I say more lol

    1. Congrats Natalie! And glad you got some good laughs out of the post 🙂

  24. This is sooooo entertaining and so true! #fun
    I can relate from number 1 to 25!! Also, sharing the same fear on number 9. :))
    Another sign is, we always visit pages like Social Media Examiner, Mashable Social Media and other SMM stuff and read posts like this. 🙂

    Good job, Jenn!

    1. Thanks Aubrey! So glad you enjoyed it so much and can relate so well 🙂
      And, yes, for sure, checking on all the regular sites for updates and fun social media posts is definitely on the list!

    1. Sometimes I wonder about us, Brooke! Too many similarities in our minds 🙂 But so glad you enjoyed it so much!

  25. Very true…and every time I go to a party and tell someone what I do, I have to hear a horror story about how Facebook ruined the life of someone they know and how technology is destroying the world

    1. Ain’t that the truth, Robin?! That is one thing I totally forgot to mention.

  26. Couldn’t help but relate. All of this are true!

    But one thing’s missing:
    … When you’re having a hard time explaining to some people WHAT YOU REALLY DO and why YOU’RE ONLINE ALL DAY.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Kit. And, yes, that is definitely a challenge we face 😉

    1. I don’t think this defines everyone at all, Warren. For those of us who work in social media daily, sure it does. But for those who only use social media recreationally, many of these don’t apply to them. And if they do, then yes, I think it’s safe to say social media has taken over the world.

      1. Oh no! I didn’t think you were serious here. Sorry.

        I don’t see these items as a definition and thought it was poking fun. I do see people who have jobs what they think is social media doing some things and very little of the others. Surprises me every time I talk to an expert who has an account, and even followers, but doesn’t post much because they are too busy working in social media.

        And I have friends who think they know nothing about social media who do some of the good indicators on this list. Maybe they are working as professionals and don’t know it.

        I thought the list was fun and enjoyed the the post… this is just my tendency to be so far outside the box that I’ve never even seen the box. They tell me it’s there. They tell me I work in social media too. (I don’t.. I don’t call anything “work” and prefer to play)

        1. lol – no worries, Warren! I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate your humor in the original comment 😉
          The post was definitely meant to be humorous and tongue-in-cheek while still (mostly) accurately describing the world most of work in.
          I’m glad you enjoyed it and appreciate your out-of-the-box approach to playing in the social media world!

  27. Great post Jenn – can totally relate to every single one of the points 🙂 Now to look for an infographic of this on Pinterest and a presentation on Slideshare 😀

    1. lol – Thanks Clive! I hadn’t thought about a slide share or infographic but now you have my creative juices flowing!

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