Social Media Careers: The Challenges and Rewards

Examining the diverse skill set of a Social Media Marketer

Social Media Marketing Careers: What to Expect

We dive into the ever-spinning world of social media marketing—where timing is everything, and evergreen is king. We discussed how repurposing content not only keeps your feed fresh but educates and engages your audience.

  • Repurpose with Purpose: Jennifer and Matt dissect the art of breathing new life into evergreen content. Discover ways to serve your audience effectively with timeless treasures in your content vault.
  • Community & Collaboration: We highlight the invaluable benefits of joining a network like NISM, where social media marketers unite for support, learning, and professional growth.
  • Education, Empathy, and Evolution: This episode serves up a blend of insights on the importance of digital literacy, addressing mental health in the industry, and embracing the ceaseless tide of change inherent to social media.

Stay creative, stay informed, and always be ready for change. If you found value in our chat, share the love, rate us, and tune in next time for your refill on the Endless Coffee Cup.

Content in this episode:

  • 00:00 Discussing certifications, professional development, and social media.
  • 05:20 Social media challenges: 24/7 response, negativity, stress.
  • 09:58 In 2024 job study highlights job positives.
  • 12:34 Constant education essential for success in digital professions.
  • 16:26 AI and digital literacy training are essential.
  • 20:36 Leaders need to understand job expectations fully.
  • 22:13 Clarify roles to improve team efficiency and productivity.
  • 27:10 Brand controversies blow over quickly in social media.
  • 31:07 Diverse requirements for high-quality video distribution.
  • 32:33 Using smartphones for video has limitations.
  • 37:59 Design for diverse audiences, don’t forget it.
  • 41:11 Content may not meet current consumer needs.
  • 44:44 Planning content calendar is crucial for success.
  • 48:39 Avoid repetitive content, build on existing material.
  • 51:10 Growing community of certified social media strategists.
  • 53:20 NISM community for social media marketers recommended.

Show Transcript: 139 – Social Media Careers

[00:00:00] Jennifer Radke: They’re confused. They’re like, this should be easier. Why is this so difficult? There can’t be that much time, effort, or money required to do these things. And so it’s very misunderstood.

[00:00:12] Matt Bailey: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle.

[00:00:20] Matt Bailey: Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat, and thank you for joining. Well, hello and welcome dear listener to another episode Episode of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast.

[00:00:38] Matt Bailey: As always, I’m your host, Matt Bailey, and continuing our discussions about digital marketing, education, and the surrounding world of digital marketing. We’ll be here to continue that conversation. We’ve had her on before Jennifer Radke from the National Institute of Social Media. Jennifer, how are you doing today?

[00:00:58] Matt Bailey: I

[00:00:58] Jennifer Radke: am doing [00:01:00] great, Matt. Thank you so much for having me back. I look forward to chatting today.

[00:01:04] Matt Bailey: Oh. I, you know, in our conversation earlier, we focused on certifications and certificates and defining that. And really, I think that went over well because it helps people understand exactly what they’re doing.

[00:01:18] Matt Bailey: And. But also I think it has helped with a larger conversation of professional development, especially in the digital realm. And you are, you know, right in the center of that with certification of social media. And I want to dive much more today into social media as a career path. You know, this is right where you’re at.

[00:01:44] Matt Bailey: And also from the education side, I see a lot of this and. You know, speaking at a conference where I think we probably had 30 social media managers from major brands and being able to hear from [00:02:00] them, what they deal with, what they, you know, what they’re not able to access, you know, there’s, it’s, I mean, here’s my perception.

[00:02:09] Matt Bailey: Jennifer is this unique little subset of digital marketing, and it’s completely misunderstood. It amazes me just how different someone working full time in social media, their experience, as opposed to other people in other digital marketing disciplines. Is this what? And so that’s my question. Is this what you see?

[00:02:32] Matt Bailey: And what are some of those factors that add to

[00:02:34] Jennifer Radke: that? Yeah. A hundred percent. That is what we’re seeing. And we’re seeing it as a trend as well. So we do a job study every two years. And we pull people in social media marketing and we find out that this is very different than what we’re seeing in other areas of digital marketing.

[00:02:55] Jennifer Radke: And there’s a couple of reasons we believe filter to the top, right? [00:03:00] One is it’s changing so quickly and the platforms or the tools that we’re using are changing so quickly. Where. Okay. Digital marketing as a whole, we’ve used things like email, online advertising, you know, the big players, Google and Bing for your search engine stuff, but social, it’s 3000 plus social media platforms, depending on, you know, what niche you want to jump on at this very second, and people are saying you need to be here and do this and each of them function a little bit differently.

[00:03:34] Jennifer Radke: That is one. I think the second piece is that A lot of folks in business leadership have figured out what digital marketing is as a bigger-picture brand. They can kind of wrap their head around the tactics. Skills are required, but for social, because we use them for both personal and professional, they’re confused.

[00:03:58] Jennifer Radke: They’re like, this should be easier. [00:04:00] Why is this so difficult? There can’t be that much time, effort, or money required to do these things. And so it’s very misunderstood.

[00:04:08] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. I am. I was trying to think of, you know, almost a metaphor for what social media marketers go through because, and, the only thing I could come up with is fantasy football, that football was a game, but now you have fantasy football.

[00:04:22] Matt Bailey: And if a player has a bad game, Twitter just erupts about this player who’s expected. And so now they’re not just being judged according to a team and how the team did the team could win. And yet this player is getting hounded on social media and a weak metaphor, but spare me, you know, but it’s

[00:04:44] Jennifer Radke: good, but there’s,

[00:04:45] Matt Bailey: it’s interesting that you know, for someone who specializes in this, you get measurement feedback, but you’re also getting opinions.

[00:04:54] Matt Bailey: You’re getting people who just troll the comments. I’m trying to think you, you don’t get that [00:05:00] type or that level of feedback or trolling or, and just trying to think of words that cover this, because that’s one of the things that I think from a, a mental health standpoint, you’re working, you’re doing your job, but this feedback is not always the healthiest or the easiest to deal with.

[00:05:20] Jennifer Radke: Oh, I 100 percent agree with you there, Matt. One of the other challenges, I guess, is it’s a 24/7 thing. So a lot of organizations haven’t yet figured out how to stagger their staff in social media to handle the online conversations. Regardless of the hour of the day, they’re coming in, which means that those working in social media strategy or those in community management feel the need to respond quickly because we are in an immediate response culture, right?

[00:05:53] Jennifer Radke: And so they are having all their notifications on and answering. Work things [00:06:00] well, outside of what people would consider a traditional working hour that can’t be good for the mental health, let alone what you’re talking about, which is the negative stuff that they are bombarded with every single day. It is crazy how benign of a post, you know, an unharmful post can go out, and yet people will just block it with negativity, depending on the brand.

[00:06:28] Jennifer Radke: And it doesn’t. Happened to anyone, everyone. If you go and look at a cable company, for example. And see what they’re putting out there. I guarantee you that whatever post a large cable company has put out, even if it’s highlighting an employee or some great nonprofit work they’ve done in their community, there are people there who just want to hate on that brand.

[00:06:52] Jennifer Radke: And there’s a human behind it who has to figure out, do we respond? How do we respond? [00:07:00] Should I respond or should someone else? There’s just so many pieces to that.

[00:07:05] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. And it speaks to the heart of your vocation. This is what I do. And when there is a, and it doesn’t even have to be constant.

[00:07:14] Matt Bailey: It just has to be frequent detractors or trolls or negativity around that, you know, it speaks to your value as to a human or as a worker that. I’m, this is my job and I keep getting this negative negativity focused on me. You know, that doesn’t happen in many, if, if any other industry or job where you are constant, you know, maybe fast food workers are the only other ones that deal with that amount of negativity on, you know, constantly and.

[00:07:50] Matt Bailey: That has got to be another aspect of it that this is such a public-facing type of job and [00:08:00] to get to your point, you know, the social media career report that was put out by Hootsuite showing that social media marketers, yeah, they don’t take the vacation time. The average worker takes, they’re on their phone at night.

[00:08:13] Matt Bailey: They don’t, it’s hard for them to unplug. And so they’re much more involved, much more in-depth. They’re answering these things. And that is a struggle. I can’t imagine looking at a job description if it were honest and being attracted to that kind of job. A

[00:08:29] Jennifer Radke: One hundred percent agree with that as well. I don’t even know how to respond to that.

[00:08:33] Jennifer Radke: I’m like, yes, I do. I read some of these posts and I think. First of all, you’re blowing smoke, right? Because there’s no way that the job is that great. But two, all the things by one person is hard. And so, yeah, we’re seeing the same trends. Our strategists, they’re not taking enough of their vacation time.

[00:08:51] Jennifer Radke: They’re not able to unplug. It’s affected our community enough. We have started to highlight that in our [00:09:00] continuing education. So we’re fairly consistently posting blogs. Our society reminds people of what to do. Shoot the newsletter that’s coming out this month. The note for me is all about that, reminding them of the value of their worth and how their contributions make a difference.

[00:09:20] Jennifer Radke: We’ve got a webinar that we’ve done on how to help people who are managing social media teams. Protect their team’s mental health. What are some of the processes and procedures organizations can put in place to try to give this group the ability to step away to take a breath and to

[00:09:42] Matt Bailey: recharge.

[00:09:43] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow. That’s amazing. How would you? Describe the industry to someone who, you know, 2021 years old, they’re coming to you and they’re saying, Jennifer, I want to go into social media as a career. What can I expect?

[00:09:58] Jennifer Radke: It’s hard because [00:10:00] even with the data that we’re pulling together in our 2024 job study, we highlight the need for a break to focus on self-care.

[00:10:11] Jennifer Radke: For continued education, but there are still a lot of positives that outweigh those negatives, you know, the ability to make a difference in a brand or a community, especially if you’re doing something with social responsibility or corporate change, community involvement, right? Some great things happen in this space.

[00:10:35] Jennifer Radke: So what I like to typically do when I talk to somebody new is I’ll ask them questions first about what their perception is. Around social, what do they like about the idea of it for some people? It’s very clear. They might say, well, I want to design those amazing memes that everyone shares. Okay.

[00:10:55] Jennifer Radke: Well, that’s a graphic designer-type role. That’s a little different. [00:11:00] Most social media roles. Are going to focus on that, right? Yeah, it might be a part of what you do, but it’s not a focus. So I’m going to ask him a lot of questions, but then I’m going to be very blunt. Probably in the response is the best way to put it and say, you know, depending on where you work, this can be a very thankless job.

[00:11:21] Jennifer Radke: You have to have some self. Motivation to get up and do what you’re doing. You also have to have the confidence and courage to stand up for yourself in this role, whether that be to a community of people where you need to put on a thick skin, deal with negative comments, or say to your management team, this is not inside my scope of response, right?

[00:11:44] Jennifer Radke: Yes. You know, an example that I think about is crisis management, your end user, community manager, or social media manager should not be the person responding to a large corporate crisis, right? There should be a team and a [00:12:00] process. Perhaps even legal is involved in what that response looks like, right?

[00:12:06] Jennifer Radke: And so you as a social media professional have to be willing to stand up for yourself and know when it is important to step away, as well as continued education. You cannot go today and think that you know everything and it will just stay that way for the next 20 years because it is not true. So you have to fight for your ability to learn, grow, connect with other people, and share best practices.

[00:12:32] Jennifer Radke: Because it isn’t always

[00:12:33] Matt Bailey: evolving. Absolutely. Absolutely. That is a key factor. I think in any of these digital professions it’s just keeping up with what’s changing. And I think we’ve seen just in the past two years, Jennifer, I think just, you know, I’m thinking of all the things across the board digitally, you know, the rise of AI, which is being implemented into Google ads.

[00:12:56] Matt Bailey: And, you know, now we’re having cookie depreciation [00:13:00] and, you know, Social media is turning into the, you know, more and more of a legitimate profession. And, you know, just in the past two years, the main technological change, but as you said, also the platform change, it is so significant as what’s going on.

[00:13:16] Matt Bailey: And so that constant education is a really, it’s not just a feature. It needs to be built in. It really

[00:13:25] Jennifer Radke: does. And we have to remind ourselves that we can’t know everything. We just need to know where to get our answers. Right. And that is kind of one of the problem-solving things for this industry too. If I’m talking to a young person and they just want to sit down and do the job they were told to do, you know, follow the outline.

[00:13:45] Jennifer Radke: This is not the space for that.

[00:13:46] Matt Bailey: You know, and that I think is a great key factor here because, I mean, let’s look at some of the personality traits or the necessary skills. For social media marketing [00:14:00] and creativity, innovation is going to be a key factor. It’s critical. This is not a profession where you sit and just hit a checklist.

[00:14:10] Matt Bailey: This is, there is a heavy amount of creative lifting that has to go into it. Needs to know

[00:14:17] Jennifer Radke: how to use the tool. But anyone working in digital and social specifically probably needs to understand how to identify fake images, fake videos, and fake news, so that they’re not amplifying something negatively.

[00:14:33] Matt Bailey: Yeah, and what you’re getting to there. You know, and now we’re getting, you know, into a little deeper here of when we talk about training when we talk about certificates or anything like that, it’s not necessarily what’s the latest algorithm shift or what’s the newest feature in paid social to get to something you said earlier.

[00:14:54] Matt Bailey: Crisis communication. That is necessary for [00:15:00] further education and furthering your knowledge that, you know, if you’re the leader of a social media team, or if you’re a lone social media person, you are not responsible for crisis comms. That is a leadership issue. Where the company needs to be trained.

[00:15:15] Matt Bailey: The company needs to be brought up to speed on. If something happens, this is how we respond. And if you are a social media leader or alone, there should be a plan already established for you to follow. And so I think that’s where a lot of organizations dropped the ball. That is just expecting that because you’re in social media, you know how to deal with this.

[00:15:39] Jennifer Radke: Yeah. And I love that. You said you should already have that plan because that’s true. Too many brands are responding to a crisis in real-time in the sense of, wait, let’s build the plane while we fly it. Yes, this is probably not the time to do that. Right? So we’ve got a plan for the potential [00:16:00] earthquake or whatever might be coming to our brand with the thing that’s going to shake us to the core.

[00:16:05] Jennifer Radke: So that we can respond more quickly in this immediate response culture of a world and that our teams, everyone from the social media person who might first see an indication that something has gone wrong to the C suite that they know what their role is, how they respond. When they respond and what’s happening around them for the organization to protect it.

[00:16:26] Jennifer Radke: Right.

[00:16:27] Matt Bailey: Right. And to your point, something else that you said about distinguishing, you know, with AI, you know, that gets to just digital literacy, media literacy. And so if we’re looking at holistic training. For not just our social media team, you know, we could throw digital literacy at our entire staff, you know, you know, and that’s just smart from a cyber security perspective as well that, you know, when we talk about training, it’s not just that latest.

[00:16:56] Matt Bailey: Shiny thing that we need to train. There are [00:17:00] fundamental things that help the entire business that help the entire person if we are training in these things. And so it’s a more expansive view, I think of training of preparation rather than just, you know, I think when some people think about social media training, they’re thinking about, you know, what’s the latest change from meta on the ad system, whereas it’s a bit more expansive

[00:17:24] Jennifer Radke: than that.

[00:17:25] Jennifer Radke: Absolutely. I love that you brought up the cyber security risks. It’s interesting to me to see, you know, large organizations have been putting whole teams together to combat cyber security and protect their infrastructure, that of their customers, that of their employees. And yet when it comes to social media, often people are just completely oblivious to the fact that you still have to keep things secure.

[00:17:54] Jennifer Radke: Like you can’t have one person with all of your online [00:18:00] social platform passwords, right? Like, wait, why did it just go out the window when we hit social? Like, oh, you know, Susie, she’ll handle all of that. She’s got all that. It’s no problem.

[00:18:13] Matt Bailey: She’s young or

[00:18:16] Jennifer Radke: is mad at you, like, you know, Oh, well,

[00:18:20] Matt Bailey: and that’s, we haven’t grown beyond this understanding because, you know, I’m just thinking, you know, I’m going to say back in the day we would set up Google analytics and companies would set them up under their account.

[00:18:31] Matt Bailey: And so if you ever separated from that client, you own their analytics and. It’s like we haven’t grown out of that understanding of ownership of setting up a corporate email for these accounts and you know, I, every few years I keep hearing about someone leaving the company, they deleted the email. Now no one has access to anything and.

[00:18:55] Matt Bailey: You know, yes, it not only hasn’t extended to social media, I think it just hasn’t [00:19:00] extended to the understanding of the account level access at these platforms, and somehow that has to be managed. And that goes beyond the team

[00:19:14] Jennifer Radke: businesses are too quick to say somebody else just does this. And unfortunately, we have to stop and say, why are we doing this?

[00:19:22] Jennifer Radke: What is the purpose, right? Who is it for? What are our goals? It’s back to the whole foundation of a strategy that, yeah, I got off-topic there. But, but mental health comes into play, even the cybersecurity piece, because, you know, think of Susie on the positive side, right? She’s got a lot of pressure. If she’s the only one who has access to all of that information.

[00:19:45] Jennifer Radke: Because then she feels that obligation to be on 24-seven. And that’s where we kind of derail the mental health of our team. What are

[00:19:57] Matt Bailey: some things that, that companies, and, [00:20:00] you know, we can go with this from a leadership perspective, what are some things that companies. Should be implemented or should be?

[00:20:08] Matt Bailey: And I can see maybe other departments, maybe pointing the finger-like, ah, special treatment, but what are some things leadership can do to number one, understand the pressure or the, you know, what they are asking, what is the ask of a social media marketer or team and what can they do to alleviate or make this a more attractive or more rewarding

[00:20:34] Jennifer Radke: career?

[00:20:36] Jennifer Radke: Yeah, I think it all comes down to expectations, and I say it so simply, but it takes time, which is one reason why it hasn’t been done. If I were to sit down with some leadership, and I’ve done this over the years, but if a whole group of leaders wanted to sit down, I would tell them to start. With their job description, do they [00:21:00] understand what each of the things they’re asking that person to do is, first of all, do they know how long it takes to complete that thing?

[00:21:12] Jennifer Radke: Are there other aspects of performing that duty that are in the background that they do not know? Right? So, maybe part of this would be to shadow a team member and have that team member say. Okay. This KPI right on my job description says that I need to create content for our social channels.

[00:21:36] Jennifer Radke: Well, how many channels is that? How many pieces of content does that look like a little sneak peek? According to our 2024 job review, more than half of the social media strategists that we spoke with. Manage four or more social platforms for their brand. That’s one person, seven [00:22:00] platforms. Multiply that by 30 days or 31 days in a month.

[00:22:06] Jennifer Radke: And then if, if Twitter happens to be one of them, for example, on that platform, okay, well. You can’t just post, you know, blog posts all day long from your repertoire of, you know, 4 million that you might have on your website. So what, how many images do they have to create? Are they creating videos to play in that space?

[00:22:28] Jennifer Radke: If YouTube is one of the platforms that they’re managing, that’s all video, right? Like, so just understanding. How much they’re asking that person to do is going to help understand they, one, aren’t staffed properly or need to better clarify who does what in the team, right? Instead of just saying you all are in charge of these, you know, a hundred items.

[00:22:59] Jennifer Radke: [00:23:00] Helping people say, okay, now this is, you’re the graphic designer, you’re the video editor, you’re the content writer, you’re the social media community manager, you each kind of contribute, right, to the team, but you also have your main focus and understanding that’s what they manage, that’s where I’d start.

[00:23:22] Jennifer Radke: And then from there it is to have them take a look at some of the negativity that they receive if they are doing that community management piece so they have some understanding about how the brand can support them in relationship to what’s going out there in that world, whether it is. Some time off or, um, more staff or setting some expectations that this brand won’t respond to comments after X hour because of our team.

[00:23:52] Jennifer Radke: You know, sometimes we just need to be willing to set that expectation with our customers. Yeah, that was kind of a long answer, but

[00:23:59] Matt Bailey: no, [00:24:00] I love it. And I’m going to break it down into two areas that we’re going to dive into a little more. All right. And you brought up something at the end there about not responding quickly.

[00:24:09] Matt Bailey: And I’m going to make a note because let’s do this one first. We’re going to go, we’re going to go into reverse order, not responding. Jennifer, let me ask you this. And do you feel it is? Essential. You just answered it, but I’m going to ask you this straight out. Is it essential that you have to answer a negative comment at that moment?

[00:24:28] Matt Bailey: Because

[00:24:32] Jennifer Radke: sometimes a negative comment is just meant to. To be negative, right? And to your point about trolls and people who are just doom scrolling and commenting and adding negativity into the space. Sometimes they don’t respond. We don’t need any response, right? If somebody is out there just being negative, being a troll, I’m trying to use good words here.

[00:24:58] Jennifer Radke: Like, if they’re just [00:25:00] trying to be the worst of humanity, we don’t need to respond to them. Right, right. The community online, the people that have, you know, a few brain cells that are thinking critically, they realize that person just is naughty, right? If it’s negative in the sense that your brand has messed up something, your product or service has got a problem.

[00:25:24] Jennifer Radke: I can’t solve it, right? Like it’s a legitimate negative concern. Yeah, we need to be as quick as possible on that because it can fester, right? It can create this feeling that you guys don’t care. You’re not paying attention. And so now, you know, Joe’s got a problem, but now Malcolm has another problem and his problem wasn’t as big as Joe’s, but because Joe’s not getting a response, now Malcolm feels like he needs to help by sharing.

[00:25:56] Jennifer Radke: He also has had this problem, right? So it all comes down to [00:26:00] discerning that comments, putting something up. So especially a small brand. You can put something up on your social channels that say, you know, we only monitor this channel between the hours of, you know, eight to seven or so, whatever. Yeah. And most people will respect that.

[00:26:19] Jennifer Radke: Now, could Nike do that and get away with it? No. Right. Because they’ve got more than one person handling their social media. But if it’s a small mom-and-pop brand, most people will realize that they’ll put their comments or complaints out there and expect to get something in 24 hours. So you don’t have to respond to everything and you don’t have to do it right away.

[00:26:41] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Well, and especially sometimes I think we act like there’s no other channel. There’s no other recourse. There’s no other possible way that somebody could, you know, complain or, you know, we have got customer service lines. We’ve got everyone’s got, you know, chat or something like that. But [00:27:00] sometimes I think we just way overestimate.

[00:27:02] Matt Bailey: I’m going to get into a little bit of my, you know, view of social media conflicts. I feel like they come and go. Your brand may be at the center of a controversy today, and it may feel like the end of the world, but next week it’s going to be somebody else. And, you know, over time of social media, it’s just, it, it’s funny.

[00:27:22] Matt Bailey: I remember one is years ago, and I can’t even remember the brand that should say something, but it was for like three weeks. It was one of the top stories. And then about a month later, You know, I heard someone saying, well, that was a tempest in a teapot that, you know, that, that blew over fast and it’s, I think that’s the nature of social is that it is constantly changing and you could be in the spotlight for negative reasons, but someone else will be soon enough and, but I think when you’re in it.

[00:27:54] Matt Bailey: That is when the pressure is on. You don’t see the end of it. You don’t see, how’s [00:28:00] this going to resolve and where the attention of the media on us, you know, if you’re a larger brand dealing with that pressure, if you’re not prepared for it, that is what causes mistakes. That’s what causes people to just forget that there, this will end.

[00:28:18] Matt Bailey: It will go, you know, will go on, but again, that kind of gets back to your point about the training, the expectations of this. If this happens, this is how we’re going to deal with it. And if that’s not there, then, you know, you can’t imagine the amount of pressure you’re putting on people if they’re not prepared for it.

[00:28:37] Jennifer Radke: Oh, yeah, it can feel like the end of the world. I get that. And so I, it’s kind of interesting because in my community on social, you know, if I even just think about Twitter or X, call it what you want, but Twitter, it will be for me forever. But on that platform, I’ve got a lot of social media people, right?

[00:28:56] Jennifer Radke: And so the minute some sort of crisis hits the news, [00:29:00] there’s a whole bunch of people who are there. Sending positivity to whoever manages the social channels of that brand. And so, I mean, in some ways it warms my heart. It’s like all these people who don’t know each other can feel that pain and are trying to help support, you know, that individual.

[00:29:17] Jennifer Radke: They may not ever see those comments, you know, but we get it. Each one of us who deals with that pressure understands how end of the world it can feel in that moment. If we’re prepared for it, though, it doesn’t have to be that scary. We can kind of go through the motions until our time passes and the next brand is in the highlight or the hot seat.

[00:29:42] Matt Bailey: That’s amazing that there is that community out there. We’ll talk about that towards the end because I think that’s something that I think needs to be brought forth a lot more that there is a community of people that do this who understand what you’re going through and boy, to have that kind of support in a [00:30:00] crisis or a negative situation.

[00:30:02] Matt Bailey: I can’t imagine how that would help. That is so, so yeah. Cool. I’m glad that you’re involved with that.

[00:30:12] Matt Bailey: Hey everyone. This is Matt and thanks for listening. Just a quick break in the middle of the podcast here to let you know, there are a couple of ways that you can connect with us. The first is to learn. sitelogic. com. That’s the learning site where you can see courses on analytics and courses on digital marketing.

[00:30:32] Matt Bailey: Paid search, SEO, multiple disciplines. And then also you can connect with us on Slack. Go to Slack if you’re there and look for us at endlesscoffeecup. slack. com. Connect with us. I’d love to hear from you. Hear what ails you in the realm of digital marketing. Are there courses you need information that you’d like to hear, or maybe some past guests you’d like to hear more from, [00:31:00] Thanks again for being a listener of the endless coffee cup.

[00:31:03] Matt Bailey: And I look forward to hearing from you. The second thing I wanted to get into it, and you had talked about this as far as the job requirements and, you know, bringing up, I was working on some, you know, a training video and just taking the top four social sites that take video and. The concept that you talked about of like, who does this and what do they do if I’m putting video on the top four social sites, I have a different requirement for each site, different resolution, different format, different aspect.

[00:31:39] Matt Bailey: And so if I’m producing high-quality video across multiple platforms from a leadership standpoint, I think a lot of times it’s just assumed we’re producing video and we’re getting it out there. Getting it out there. I like that. What’s involved with getting it out there? It’s you are recutting the same video, multiple meth, multiple [00:32:00] ways.

[00:32:00] Matt Bailey: And for different platforms. And if it’s not shot correctly, you can’t do it. And you know, it won’t fit what you want to look like, what the, you know, what your brand is typically putting out. And so I think those types of details are overlooked constantly in job descriptions in leadership expectations and just, Hey, could you get this out on social media?

[00:32:26] Matt Bailey: The tactical functions of. Just getting video out across channels is completely overlooked.

[00:32:33] Jennifer Radke: Absolutely. I was going to say some sort of smart-ass comment. Like, you mean I can’t just do it all on my phone? Isn’t that what they’re doing? Yes. We can do much on our phones, but to your point, sometimes if what you’re focusing on is video, you need some hardware, you need some software, you need some things to make all of the processes come [00:33:00] together so you can do the different aspect ratios, you can do the different cuts, you can make sure that they look good in each of those instead of, oh, by the time we’re done and working on something for, uh, You know, YouTube, it’s the most grainy looks like you’ve filmed it on a, you know, I don’t even know VHS recorder from the eighties.

[00:33:19] Jennifer Radke: Like,

[00:33:20] Matt Bailey: yeah, and then, you know, and that’s just the functional part of it. It’s how are you editing it for YouTube as compared to TickTock as compared to Instagram as compared to Linked In, you’re going to edit it differently. And hopefully, because you know what your attention rate is, yeah. On each of these platforms, you know how quickly you’ve got to get to the point and also your call to action or whatever it is you’re putting in there.

[00:33:49] Matt Bailey: And so those videos aren’t going to be the same length. They’re not going to have the same content. I don’t think that level of understanding is accessible to a lot of people who are defining the [00:34:00] performance of the job.

[00:34:02] Jennifer Radke: Well, you just said a very interesting word that sparked a comment on that accessible.

[00:34:07] Jennifer Radke: So we are also championing accessibility and social, which means, okay, those videos that you’re done now let’s caption them. But if you don’t have the right tool, it doesn’t just happen automatically. And a lot of people think we’ll just use the, you know, the YouTube captioning tool. Okay. But did you edit it?

[00:34:30] Jennifer Radke: Did you check it? Our different dialects have different accents. The AI will pick up words that were not said, you know, so there’s more time and energy that comes into that. And then if you’re looking at taking some of that content and you want to put it on reels, or you want to put it on talk, what about that fun text over the top, you know, in blue or yellow or whatever, and the stuff that comes in and [00:35:00] fades out and the fun little buttons that pop up, all of that takes time, right?

[00:35:03] Jennifer Radke: All of that takes energy and a different format.

[00:35:07] Matt Bailey: And what it takes is someone who understands editing video, which is not always your social media person. No,

[00:35:16] Jennifer Radke: I don’t know too many social media people who got into it because they loved video

[00:35:20] Matt Bailey: editing. Absolutely. And that is something, you know, even with my, my social media here, it’s, I, I constantly have to remind myself, I can’t just throw a video project at them.

[00:35:30] Matt Bailey: It’s not. That’s not the skill set that I hired. And so, but it is so easy. I think for managers just to, Hey, you guys work on this. You put videos up all the time. You know what you’re doing.

[00:35:44] Jennifer Radke: You’re a digital, you know, everything digital. Yeah. Scope

[00:35:46] Matt Bailey: creep. Exactly. Oh yeah. Well, it is. My daughter is a photographer and she says the amount of times they just assume I know video editing is just beyond and she [00:36:00] has to explain to them.

[00:36:00] Matt Bailey: This is, I don’t use the same software. I don’t deal in the same world, but because it’s a camera, you know, it’s got to be the same.

[00:36:11] Jennifer Radke: It’s crazy how we make assumptions about what other people do. It’s got to be easy.

[00:36:16] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah. Right. Right. Well, and that’s, so in my training, I asked this question and you may appreciate it because In terms of accessibility, I ask people how many here do tech support for their parents or grandparents, and usually half the room, you know, their hands are up and it’s a great way to open up a session because now, okay, what’s your typical problem?

[00:36:42] Matt Bailey: What are they typically running into? And we get into error messaging. We get into UX, UI, we get into, and I said, half the time, you know, most of the time when I am helping my mother, it’s not her fault, I’d say 99 percent of the time, it is not her fault. [00:37:00] The site doesn’t work. It’s not clear. It’s not functioning correctly.

[00:37:04] Matt Bailey: The error messaging is horrible. So why are we blaming old people for their inability to use technology? You know, and so it creates another level of empathy. I think among marketers designers that we can be pretty lazy sometimes when we’re designing interfaces and, you know, so that getting to that accessibility, but, you know, but they’re the, we’re usually the first ones that say, you know, you know, they always need a young person, you know, you must be in computers.

[00:37:38] Matt Bailey: You can help me, but there is a truth to that. That you’re comfortable with interfaces that don’t give full instructions. I think that is the more accurate thing to say.

[00:37:49] Jennifer Radke: Yeah, they’re not afraid. I think the younger generation, for the most part, isn’t afraid to push the button, you know, whereas the older generation thinks they’re going to launch a nuclear warhead or something if they push the wrong button.[00:38:00] [00:38:01] Jennifer Radke: The younger generation is like, what? Something bad could happen. Yep. But the reality is, Yeah, you’re right. We need to do a better job of designing it for one, our audience, but two for people who may not have exposure to the understanding that we have. And that happens in marketing all the time. Simple things like reminding your marketing team to put a call to action on there.

[00:38:23] Jennifer Radke: What do you want them to do when they’ve consumed your content? Yes, we forget that we just assume that people know we want them to go to our site and buy something or sign up for something. No, it’s not an easy assumption, especially when we’re making a parody of some trend. Like, we don’t always tie them, which is also why we don’t need to jump on every trend.

[00:38:48] Jennifer Radke: But To your point, we have to make it easy. We have to help them with

[00:38:53] Matt Bailey: design. I think the first three months when I had hired someone, the first three months, all she heard me say was [00:39:00] contrast, more contrast. It was just constantly like, it’s not contrasting. It was, I think she got sick of me saying it, but you know, and eventually I’m showing like, this is what I’m seeing.

[00:39:11] Matt Bailey: This is how I see it. This is. And so, you know, and now, you know, you get it. But I think part of that is you have to see what it looks like in someone else’s eyes. And I have always been a, you know, an advocate of high contrast. Your eyes will go to high contrast. This is what we want people to do. So, yeah, some of those other lessons of simple design techniques, understanding a little more of the neuroscience of how we need it.

[00:39:37] Matt Bailey: Look at and evaluate information within a few seconds. I’ll never forget. We spent years doing eye tracking studies, and that was probably the most valuable type of training of learning where people look and why and what does that do to the brain when they see certain things helps you develop that empathy for your users, for your [00:40:00] followers and communicating much better.

[00:40:04] Matt Bailey: To get that information across,

[00:40:08] Jennifer Radke: yeah, it’s powerful what we can learn from people because we have to just ask them, right? Like, Oh, what is it that you want from us? What do you like about this channel? This brand, this conversation, you know, what don’t you like? What can we do more

[00:40:22] Matt Bailey: of? Okay, you just opened up, like, my last, the last point I want to dig into.

[00:40:28] Matt Bailey: Content. Now, I feel like, to some, that’s a dirty word. Because we, you know, that’s all we hear, content. I love how, you know, our transition here was Are we even asking our audience if we’re giving them what they want? That is a big question to ask when it comes to the content we produce.

[00:40:50] Jennifer Radke: Usually the answer is no, right?

[00:40:54] Jennifer Radke: And we don’t realize that because we just see what, you know, why is my engagement rate so [00:41:00] low or why are people not visiting our site or. You know, we look at the data behind it and we go, something’s wrong with our people. Yes. No, something’s wrong with our content, right? We may not be giving them what they need at this moment.

[00:41:17] Jennifer Radke: And it doesn’t always mean that the content we’re providing isn’t helpful. It might not be timely. Right. It might not be what the majority of them need right now, which I think in some ways contradicts the whole converse sentence I made earlier about trends. We don’t need to jump on all the latest trends, but we do need to be aware of the cycle that our consumers are going through.

[00:41:43] Jennifer Radke: Lemme see if I can give an off-the-cuff. A good example, but I think of higher ed, right? Mm-Hmm. , you are probably not doing a ton of marketing for new applicants in May, June, or July. People are not in their [00:42:00] brains or in their mindset of, Hey, I need to think a year and three months out, right? To apply to college.

[00:42:08] Jennifer Radke: Right? What the content is for someone in those months, May, June, July, are probably congratulations messages for those that are graduating, whether they’re graduating high school or college, support, what to do next, what does career planning look like. What do summer internships, you know, sound like what is the campus got going on in the summer, right?

[00:42:33] Jennifer Radke: It kind of depends on what your goals and objectives are, but your content will look different then as opposed to like November, December. When that is, when all the applications are due, that is when people want information, not on what your cool little mascot is doing, but when does the FAFSA need to be filled in?

[00:42:51] Jennifer Radke: When does my application need to be there? I know.

[00:42:56] Matt Bailey: Dear listener, if you have dealt with FAFSA, you know what we’re talking about. [00:43:00] I

[00:43:01] Jennifer Radke: just did me, I just did the new version. Oh my gosh. There’s all kinds of trauma with that. But anyway. You know, we need to know those things when the cycle is happening. And each of our brands has a cycle like that.

[00:43:17] Jennifer Radke: Education is the one I chose one because it’s my background, but two, I think most of us can understand, even if we didn’t go to a traditional four-year college, we can understand the process of, well, school typically starts in August or September. And it goes through May or June. So there is a cycle, right?

[00:43:35] Jennifer Radke: There are different things that we need in those times. Our brands do that too. And so we’ve got to be aware of those and provide value during those tough times. And I encourage folks often to just simply ask questions. You know, one of the things we do in our newsletters is send out occasional real short one or two-question surveys.

[00:43:58] Jennifer Radke: Or a simple hit [00:44:00] reply and tell us what you need today, right? Because we don’t always know. And so when we’re trying to think of continuing education opportunities, if we’re trying to bring new speakers in, whatever the case may be, it’s best to ask, what is it that you need? I felt like in 2023, we did a ton in analytics with our current conversion to GA for a lot of social needs to understand.

[00:44:23] Jennifer Radke: How does this connect with what they’re measuring, right? But the one thing I got in December of last year was we want more analytics, platform-specific here in this case. And I felt like we had just done so much in analytics last year that they would be overwhelmed by that. Nope, they still need more. So if I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t know.

[00:44:45] Matt Bailey: Well, and you bring up a great point that, so, you know, you’re talking about a content calendar and which hopefully is like the number one tool of any social marketer is having that calendar and [00:45:00] planning out that content because one of the big things I hear is running out of ideas, running out of content ideas, and which is completely foreign to me.

[00:45:09] Matt Bailey: And maybe because I’ve been in this industry, but also because I do a hefty amount of research. As you were saying, the more research you’re doing, the more you’re going to be prepared for what’s relevant, what’s timely, what’s needed. And so when I hear people talk about, I’m running out of content ideas to me is like, Oh, there’s so much that you could be doing.

[00:45:32] Matt Bailey: And I think this gets also to the. Maybe the lack of formal education about being a social media marketer that what are, you know, here are the things that are gonna make you successful. Here are the things that the tools that you will need. And how do you put together a content calendar for, you know, let’s look at 18 to 24 months?

[00:45:58] Matt Bailey: Rather than, you know, [00:46:00] just this month or next month, I’m not sure there’s enough that, you know, at this point, we can call it fundamentals, but is it being taught as fundamentals? Are these critical subjects that, you know, we are I’m not sure. And we, yeah, I could keep going on that as far as, you know, how can we get into secondary education and help this and get these things in Todd in our

[00:46:24] Jennifer Radke: curriculum, in our textbook, we even have a free downloadable content calendar, kind of a starter, right?

[00:46:31] Jennifer Radke: But the reality is, I think we forget as we, and I don’t want to say forget. As we get wrapped up in our day-to-day, a lot of social media marketers let certain things go and those fundamentals are often those things because what they’re being asked to do is seemingly more important, right? So they have to jump on that fire or handle that situation.

[00:46:57] Jennifer Radke: There are constant [00:47:00] conversations happening in this space about the leadership who comes and says, Hey, I’ve got a great idea for you for content. Cool. We did that yesterday, or are you going to implement that? Or did you know that we’re not talking to those people anymore in our strategies? Whatever the case may be, right?

[00:47:19] Jennifer Radke: Usually it’s very off-topic, but then even as internal struggles we have as marketers. Do we want to be seen as cutting edge or maybe edgy or at least creative, right? So we forget an important fundamental, which is repurposing evergreen content. We have spent time and I guarantee almost everybody right in their brand has spent time and money to create.

[00:47:50] Jennifer Radke: Some collateral, some content, and publish something beautiful, whether it be a research study of video or whatever, and we share it [00:48:00] when it’s new, but we forget that we can repurpose that bad boy, right? We can take snippets of that video or quotes and put them into an image form, or we can do a spinoff blog post.

[00:48:14] Jennifer Radke: Or we can interview someone on the topic. I mean, there’s just so much that we can do to repurpose the content we already have. We should not run out of ideas, but it doesn’t seem in our brains as creative as fresh as new, but our audience needs repetition, right? They need to see or hear certain things several times in different ways for

[00:48:38] Matt Bailey: it to sink in.

[00:48:39] Matt Bailey: Well, I think you bring up something very important here is that when it’s your company, your social media, you live in it every day. And so you get tired of it, whereas, and I would use this in my teaching that, okay, when you’re creating an email welcome series, take the content from your website. And put it in your email series.

[00:48:58] Matt Bailey: That’s because I guarantee you they’ve not [00:49:00] read it. And if they have read it, they don’t remember it because we, and especially I see this in, you know, web developers, you’re in it every day. And so it’s repetitive, it’s tiring, but to our audience, it’s. They’ve maybe been exposed once or twice that month to our content.

[00:49:17] Matt Bailey: And so there is that pressure off, we feel like we’ve got to do something new, edgy, whereas our audience does, has not been exposed to it nearly as many times as we think they have. And Yeah, that I think inhibits that, that sense of let’s create something out of this and let’s build on what we’ve, what we’ve already built, let’s build on it.

[00:49:41] Matt Bailey: Let’s create something. And that is something I know I do in my training courses is, you know, you can create an asset that’s a resource for the next. Years if you do it right and so that, but I think that closeness to the project, that closeness to working [00:50:00] every day. That’s what wears people out. And they think they got to do something new after that.

[00:50:04] Jennifer Radke: Yeah, yeah. And that’s where the calendar helps, right? Because you can kind of make a longer picture and say, oh, I didn’t talk about this. As frequently as I thought I did, right? So we can bring it in, but it’s just that reminder. And yeah, if you need energy and excitement, your audience is the best place to look for ideas and fresh content.

[00:50:23] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Well, Jennifer, thank you so much. This has been such a great conversation getting to hear a little bit more about what you’re doing. And I’m looking forward to the upcoming study. And so dear listener, if you want to know more and more about this study, I highly recommend you go to it. NISM. org, right?

[00:50:42] Matt Bailey: NISM online. NISM online. We’ll put the links on the show page. But Jennifer, just a word, if you could talk to us about the community NISM. We talked about it briefly earlier when you talked about you know, Being supportive of those that are maybe going [00:51:00] through a really tough time, the value of having a community of other social media marketers and you know what an ISM offers.

[00:51:08] Matt Bailey: If you could talk to us a little bit about that.

[00:51:10] Jennifer Radke: Yeah, so it’s been fun to watch our community grow and evolve over the years. As we chatted about the last time I was here, we offer an industry-standardized certification. So an exam. That credentials folks in social media strategy. And so our core community is made up of those certified strategists who have passed that exam or going through continuing education.

[00:51:33] Jennifer Radke: But we also have what I would call kind of the outer circle of that community. Those people who maybe haven’t yet gone through the exam, but are in this field, trying to learn from those experts in that core. And they both lift each other in different ways. So the core community, we have some closed groups in which they can share best practices, collaborate, and also, you know, complain if they need to or vent [00:52:00] about the things that are going on in their world.

[00:52:02] Jennifer Radke: But then we have a more open community where you can come to webinars that we host a couple of times a month. You can join the conversations online. And possibly in person soon. So more come on that one where you can learn from others, support others, and lift the work, that folks are doing.

[00:52:22] Jennifer Radke: And what has been fun for me is kind of what I alluded to earlier is watching them support and lift each other, especially through COVID right? When. All we had was a computer screen to talk to, and everyone was scared and angry, right now in this post-COVID world where people are still a little scared and angry, but more involved, both in person and online in what our brands are doing.

[00:52:55] Jennifer Radke: And so they’re kind of catching us in a variety of And so they’re [00:53:00] Methodologies, if you will, and methods and forms. So yeah, it’s just really a great community—really smart people. I love surrounding myself with smart people. And I’m just very grateful right now to be able to lead this organization of smart people who are way smarter than me and who are lifting each other and moving this industry forward.

[00:53:19] Matt Bailey: So. That’s amazing. And yeah, I can’t suggest that enough. I know I’m going to go back to the early days of SEO. One of the things that was so, so helpful was having an online forum of people to go to and talk to and share, you know, our successes, our failures, and what are you seeing and how does this, that community of people that you can rely on.

[00:53:43] Matt Bailey: That can support you. That can help you figure out a problem is so invaluable. And you know, and then to be able to meet most of them in person, really just transform the entire relationship. I highly, recommend it if you are a social media marketer and you’re not in this [00:54:00] alone. There are other people with the same trials and tribulations as you.

[00:54:04] Matt Bailey: So I would highly suggest seek out is online. org, look up NISM, and join the community, I highly recommend it. Jennifer, thank you so much for your time today. I have appreciated it and appreciate everything you’re doing in the industry.

[00:54:22] Jennifer Radke: Thanks for having me again, Matt. It’s always great to

[00:54:23] Matt Bailey: talk with you.

[00:54:24] Matt Bailey: All right. Dear listener. I hope this has been helpful. And especially if you are looking to get into the social media marketing industry, Hey, here’s some straight talk from someone who’s there, who is heavily involved in the industry if you have any questions at all about social media marketing as a vocation.

[00:54:43] Matt Bailey: As a job, as a career, you can contact Jennifer or myself would love to talk with you about what’s involved with that and how you can get started or restart a new career in social media marketing. Until then, I look forward to our next cup of coffee on the endless [00:55:00] coffee cup podcast.

[00:55:05] Matt Bailey: You’ve been listening to the endless coffee cup. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with somebody else. And of course, please take just a moment and rate or review us at your favorite podcast service. If you need more information, contact Thanks again for being such a great listener.


Endless Coffee Cup podcast

Featured Guest:

Jennifer Radke

President, National Institute for Social Media

Jennifer Radke



Jennifer Radke is featured in other episodes:

[Podcast] How to Advance Your Marketing Career

Digital Marketing Training Courses

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