August 28, 2017 Chad Richards

Social Media Manager Life: 10 Things I Know To Be True After 10 Years

social media manager life

I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things in my years here at Firebelly as a social media manager. Here are 10 things I know to be true.

1. My family and friends still don’t understand what I do.

After 10 years they still think I “play on Facebook all day.” I used to ramble on about everything I really do, but I’ve since learned to just smile and nod. They’re kinda right.

2. I really do use a lot of math!

Those formulas and equations I never thought I’d use in the real world? Yep, I use quite a few of them. When I’m not “playing on Facebook,” I’m pouring through data for reports and forecasts. Numbers don’t lie and I love the honesty of the stories they tell.

RELATED POST: A Social Media Manager’s 3 Favorite Social Media Marketing Resources

3. The only constant is change.

There will always be new channels, new tools and new algorithms. You’ve got to be ready to adapt quickly. That’s part of what I love about working in this field.

4. Brands and fans say they want one thing when they really want another.

Brands say they want “engagement” when they really want sales. A disgruntled fan may say they just want their concern to be acknowledged by the brand when they really want a gift card. BTW: It’s often in your best interest to just give them the gift card.

5. There’s an ad for that.

Looking to grow your audience size, increase engagement, boost web traffic and generate sales? Organic efforts will only get you so far. You gotta pay to play.

6. Audiences can be bought, communities cannot.

Though the terms audience building and community building are often used interchangeably, there’s a big difference between the two.

Audience building is a short-term play—you promote your channels and get people watching you. Community building is more of a long-term strategy focused on cultivating relationships through collaboration.

7. Humanity is awful and amazing at the same time.

Some days I despise people after seeing the nasty, ill-informed comments they make on social media. Other days, I see the goodness in humanity when it rallies support for a person, brand or a cause in a way that wouldn’t be possible without social media.

RELATED POST: Interview With Senior Social Media Manager Chad Richards

8. Never be a know-it-all.

As I mentioned earlier, things are always changing. There are always new things to learn. You will never know it all. Don’t act like you do. People will appreciate a “Good question. Let me look into that for you.”

9. Brands don’t have to be social to be successful on social media.

I guess it depends on your definition of success, but I’ve worked with several brands who didn’t act the way brands are supposed to act on social media. They weren’t consistent in their publishing approach. They ignored questions. They deleted all complaints.

They did nothing to “humanize their brand” as the gurus used to (still do?) preach, but they still generated a ton in sales with their ad efforts. WARNING: This is not my recommended approach, nor does it work for everyone (so don’t get any ideas).

10. There is nothing else I’d rather do.

I love what I do. Not a lot of people can say that. For that, I feel fortunate. I enjoy the creative aspects of this job, as well as the analytical; both sides of my brain are kept active and happy.

Looking to add a social media manager to your life? Firebelly is here for you. Call us at 317-557-4460, email us at or fill out our contact form.

Chad Richards

VP, Social Media Services at Firebelly
Fun Fact: Chad was named "Most Influential Up & Comer" at the inaugural Social Media Summit. He's been with Firebelly since 2007.
Chad Richards

About the Author

Chad Richards Fun Fact: Chad was named "Most Influential Up & Comer" at the inaugural Social Media Summit. He's been with Firebelly since 2007.



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