5 Tips For The Care and Feeding of Social Media Professionals

by Kristy Bolsinger on Aug 04, 2010

Caring for the Social Media ProfessionalThere is a mythical creature that lives in the deep dark caverns of the internet. It’s the ‘actual’ social media professional. This creature works all hours of the day responding to tweets, writing blog posts, researching new opportunities and moderating forums.

Social Media Professionals are easy to identify

  • Social Media Professionals have their heads down most of the day creating excellent and shareable content.
  • They are conversing with their customer base helping to solve problems, answer questions or just generally be a part of the conversation.
  • They are working to push initiatives up through organizations with executive leadership.
  • They are building bridges between marketing, customer service, public relations, ad-sales, development and design.
  • They are keeping up to date on the latest news and trends in the SEM (I’m talking SEO AND PPC here people!) space.
  • They are keeping up to date on the latest news and trends in social networking.
  • They are keeping up to date on the latest news and trends in their areas of business.
  • They are working across their organization to build a team of players with no jerseys.
  • They are reporting on revenue, traffic, conversion and performance. These folks are doing business.

The real social media professional is constantly connected to the online world and pulled in many different directions. The effects of being constantly connected to your work and pulled in that many directions is taxing. No one can perform  at their peak when worn down and nearing burn out. In a line of work where you rarely if ever truly get time “off” it is imperative to take measures to keep yourself fresh. Sofresh if you will. [insert cheesy knee slap here]

5 ways I keep myself sane

1) Unplug

That’s right. Unplug. All the way. On a regular basis. Have someone cover the ‘always on’ operations for a whole day at least once a month. More often of course if you can manage but let’s be real. It’s important to truly unplug and focus on things offline without the constant interruptions of pings and bings and updates and alerts.

2) Vent

When it gets to be too much, let it out. Catharsis can be very healing. It’s true. Vent it out. Have a true bitch session with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. When you’re done, take a deep breath, pull your big kid pants back on and get back to work. This is just a ‘get it out of your system’ moment. Not a “wallow-in-your-own-whinyness” festival.

3) Explore

Get out. Explore. For some that means climbing a mountain. For others that might mean diving into a good book. And please for all that is sacred, make it a non-business book. Remember fiction? Explore something that is different  and unrelated to your work or industry. You’d be surprised at how refreshing and inspiring this can be.

4) Focus

Step away from Twitter. Log out of Facebook. Yes. Do it. Just for a bit. Your job is about improving the business. You can opt-out of the “space” and all of its associated drama for just a bit. Take a fresh look at your KPI’s and really set out to renew your focus. This renewed sense of focus will bring about clarity. Clarity is energizing and refreshing. Ask yourself what you would do differently if these go-to sites didn’t exist. You never know what you’ll find out there.

5) Reconnect

Call your mom. Call your non-internet friends. Talk about something else. Reconnect with the people that are important to you cause let’s face it – it’s hard to have a real sense of work/life balance in this line of work. Also, they probably miss you.

There’s a common thread here. You’re full of smarts so you clearly picked up on it. The bottom line is you need to step back. Caring for the Social Media Professional means getting away from social media at times. No matter what your profession really,  it’s important to maintain a life outside of work. This will keep you fresh, engaged and creative. Social creatures may have to take special care in this endeavor as the line between work and play is often blurred. Your company’s Twitter is right next to your own. Your business Facebook page is only a click away from your personal news feed. There’s a new “must-attend” social media event every day. I get it. But it will be worth it. I promise. Paying attention to your sanity is just as important as all the KPI’s and engagement metrics.

Post Author

Kristy Bolsinger is currently employed as a Social Business Consultant with Ant's Eye View in Seattle, WA. Previously she was with RealNetworks. Prior to her time at RealNetworks Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing...

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  • Hey Kristy,

    I like it! Where does life begin and work end? In this real-time ever turned on world, the life of a Social Media Professional can be daunting. Most of my off-line friends are confused as to why I would put in so much time on weekends and in the evening to stay engaged. Work vs life has really blurred. The other thing that has really blurred for me is my offline friend vs. online friend. Once you start meeting other social media professionals face-to-face at conferences, tweetups, or even on a cruise many of your online friends become just friends.

    I'm a big believer in getting away. I think that there is huge value in coming back refreshed with new ideas. We created the Social Fresh Cruise for this purpose. It proved to be great way to get-a-way, relax, unplug, and focus on strengthening key relationships with other social media professionals.

  • Hey Kristi, thanks for offering some great reminders for social media practitioners! Love the quote about “working across their organization to build a team of players with no jerseys.” Game on.

  • Great Article write up Kristy- especially love your tips on how to “un-plug” which can be difficult on the iPad, laptop, desktop, mobile Android, etc. That is one of the best write-ups on us social media professionals ive seen as well. Enjoy your weekend

  • Hi Rich – thanks for your thoughts!! It is a very interesting world we work in. Everything is blurry. But honestly that's one of my favorite parts. Networking has started to feel a lot less daunting and a lot more fun. Especially if you're going to start throwing events like the Social Fresh Cruise. That's GREAT!!

  • THANK YOU!!! :) Unplugging is incredibly difficult – but it's so incredibly important. Glad you found some value here!

  • At this point if your not having fun, you're doing it wrong!

  • Game on indeed! :) Thanks John!! Glad you enjoyed the piece!

  • Game on indeed! :) Thanks John!! Glad you enjoyed the piece!

  • The main problem I see with this article is the suggestion to reconnect with non-internet friends. I wasn't aware people still had those.

    Maybe I REALLY need to unplug :)

    (just kidding of course, I enjoyed this a lot)

  • Exactly!!

  • The imaginary friends I had as a child don't seem so silly now ;)