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on-line chattingLots of people out there can’t wrap their heads around the idea that your social media job is a real job. The irony is that everybody still thinks it would be a cool job to have, but they look at you with the skepticism of someone evaluating a waiter that says they’re an actor. Here are 5 reasons why I think this is happening

Your job is something most people do for fun

Most people’s experience with social has been tweeting about their dinner, posting selfies and creeping on their friends. They can’t imagine you could have a job that gets to do that all day. “It must be like working at an ice cream place,” they say, “or a bar that never closes.”

The job is really hard to explain without sounding like a boring wizard

Truth is, social media management isn’t as glamorous as it seems. People may ask you about it, but by the time you get through the list of all the things you really do, they’ve lost interest in the question and are tapping through their iPhones.

The flip side of that, is their expectation that you can perform amazing feats of wizardry and get instant likes, followers and views with a wave of your magical social media wand. They’re often disappointed when they find out you’re going to need more time, budget or at least a solid bribe for such last-minute miracles.

People confuse social networking and social media

Confusing social networking and social media marketing is like confusing someone who clicks the TV remote and someone who makes TV ads. Social networking is keeping in touch with friends and family, finding new things, deals, news and sharing. Social media marketing involves taking advantage of people’s need to do that, and persuading them and their friends to buy your stuff in the process.

Social media marketing is happening under their radar

They don’t realize that when they watched that video, commented and got a comment back, entered that contest or had that issue resolved with their favorite brand on Facebook or Twitter, that was you  on the other end. They think it was actually the brand itself, personified, as if by social media magic.

When they find themselves buying a certain brand of shampoo because they thought that video their friend sent was funny, reposted it and set off a comment thread about how other people love the shampoo, even though it costs more than the leading brand that does the same exact thing, they have no idea YOU made that happen.

Showing the connection between social media activity and sales results

We’re getting there, but I think it’s still hard for a lot of brands, businesses and startups to draw a direct line between social media activity and sales, which is a huge problem for job security, right? You still may find yourself spending more time on selling yourself and your department to the CEO and CFO than selling product, but keep your head in the game and take every opportunity to show results, large and small!

Just tell your marketing team to look at your sales before you start, and look at your sales afterwards. Excluding anything else your company did differently, did your sales go up? If so, keep doing it. If not, figure out what went wrong. Stop doing the things that didn’t work and do more of the ones that did. So simple.

David Murdico is the Executive Creative Director & Managing Partner of Supercool Creative, a digital marketing agency specializing in big ideas, social media marketing, interactive and online video production for startups and brands including Dickies, Dish, Capcom, T-Mobile, Pizza Hut, Atari, THQ and IBM. David has written over 100 articles on social media marketing, integrated marketing and online video for AdAge, MediaPost, ReelSEO and the Supercool Blog, and has been a featured speaker and a frequent guest on various online radio shows.