If you happen to work in social media, you already know that your position is commonly misunderstood. These on the surface trying in could assume social entrepreneurs have a enjoyable, stress-free, entry-level position. However that’s merely not true.
With the objective of highlighting the realities of working in advertising and marketing, Social Media Tea supplies an outlet the place social media and digital advertising and marketing professionals anonymously spill their secrets and techniques, their frustrations, and their experiences. What began on Instagram as a cathartic aspect challenge rapidly become a multichannel social neighborhood with 1000’s of followers.
Sprout’s Senior Supervisor of Social Media, Rachael Samuels sat down with the brains behind @SippinSocialTea, Alexa Heinrich and Austin Braun, to seek out out what they’ve discovered from operating such a sizzling social account.
Rachael Samuels: Hiya everyone. I’m Rachael Samuels. I’m the Senior Supervisor of Social Media at Sprout Social. I’m joined right here immediately by Alexa Heinrich (pronouns she, her) and Austin Braun (pronouns he, him). I’m actually so struck to satisfy these two immediately as a result of they’re each a part of our Sprout neighborhood, I do know them really manner higher by their handles @HashtagHeyAlexa, @AustinOnSocial—however that’s social media for you.
We now have them right here as a result of they run this superior social media account referred to as Social Media Tea so I’ll simply allow you to each introduce yourselves actual fast, after which we are able to simply roll in. I’ve a bunch of inquiries to ask you immediately, since we’re all very meta within the social media world and I really feel like we’ve acquired quite a bit to speak about so Alexa, I’ll sling it over to you.
Alexa Heinrich: Thanks for having us right here immediately, first off, it’s nice to see you, Rachael. I’m Alexa, be happy to name me Alex so your Amazon gadgets don’t go off. I’m the social media supervisor for St. Petersburg Faculty in sunny, Florida, however I’m initially from Chicago, which is the place Austin is now.
Austin Braun: That’s proper. Hiya everybody. My identify is Austin Braun. I simply moved from Boulder, CO, to Chicago, and I’m gentle transitioning on my position as a digital media strategist on the College of Colorado, Boulder Faculty of Engineering to pursue my startup, which is predicated out right here in Chicago. I’ve simply moved right here and I’m excited to be right here.
Rachael Samuels: So excited. I didn’t share the place I’m, however I’m coming to you from Haverhill, MA. So distant life. Austin, Alexa, I’ve acquired lots of questions, however let’s begin with, how did the 2 of you meet? And what’s Social Media Tea? What impressed you to create it?
Alexa Heinrich: In true pandemic kind, Austin and I’ve by no means met in particular person. We all know one another by the upper schooling social media neighborhood, which is huge on-line, so we type of know one another by there. I began Social Media Tea on my own final June, after which Austin went and tried to spoil my enjoyable. If you wish to inform her about that.
Austin Braun: So I used to be seeing the Social Media Tea account pop up right here and there, it was gaining some traction and one thing simply clicked. I don’t know if it was instinct or simply luck or a little bit of each. And I used to be like, “I do know that tone and voice from Alexa’s social media, that’s her” and again then it was in fact nonetheless nameless. So I slid into these DMs and I used to be like “Okay, Alexa, is that this you? You must inform me.” Lo and behold, it was.
Alexa Heinrich: Seven days, I lasted seven days nameless.
Austin Braun: I used to be like “There’s no manner it’s not her” as a result of she speaks in that particular tone that we’ve all come to investigate in our position and [on] social media, we are able to decide up nuances right here and there. I used to be like “Bingo” that’s Alexa, proper there.
Rachael Samuels: That’s so humorous. I’ll be sincere. I seen the account as quickly because it popped up. Being a social media supervisor who markets to different social media managers on a regular basis (as Sprout Social is a social media administration software), I comply with lots of social media communities, social media advertising and marketing Twitter, Fb, all of it. And I used to be seeing this account in every single place. And I too had a hunch that it was Alexa. So when the account was revealed, I used to be really actually simply happy with myself that I used to be like, “Oh man, I do know my neighborhood so nicely!” I had a completely egocentric, happy with myself second.
Alexa Heinrich: It’s humorous as a result of Alicia additionally suspected it was me and I advised her as a result of she and I are good pals. There have been people who knew, however I didn’t final very lengthy.
Rachael Samuels: For anybody who doesn’t know, Alicia Johnston is our Director of Content so it is smart that she’s additionally in that neighborhood.
So I assume I’ll say that account has blown up. I do know you two have been engaged on it and altering issues, you’ve discovered quite a bit alongside the best way. In order the account has grown a lot, I nonetheless see it on a regular basis, what have you ever discovered with that speedy development? What have you ever discovered in regards to the neighborhood? What has that speedy development been like for each of you?
Alexa Heinrich: It was staggering to start with simply because the upper schooling neighborhood discovered the account and it began to realize traction as individuals had been sharing it to that enormous neighborhood. And I used to be like, “Oh gosh, they’re going to determine it’s me.”
Then Matt Navara discovered it and shared it to his 1000’s of followers. There was a day I needed to flip off my notifications as a result of my telephone was overheating from how many individuals we gained in a single day. I’m fairly certain Austin was the one who went in and really turned off the notifications as a result of they had been simply nonstop. I’d open my telephone and it was simply all Instagram notifications.
However I feel simply studying the way to steadiness that challenge with what we do for our nine-to-five job has been an actual studying curve and balancing all of the communities which can be concerned with Social Media Tea, as a result of it’s not simply social media individuals. There are digital entrepreneurs from each spectrum.
Austin Braun: Echoing all that she mentioned, the larger query is “What haven’t we discovered?”
You recognize, we discovered the workflow, we discovered what issues work and what don’t to start with. However then we additionally actually discovered, or at the least for me personally, I noticed that the neighborhood at giant is so passionate in regards to the work that they do on-line and the impression that they’re all the time making an attempt to push for and obtain. That’s been an overwhelmingly constructive expertise to simply see that in motion and know that there are different individuals on the market who care and need to do good and join with others of their neighborhood.
Alexa Heinrich: Positively. And likewise I need to reward Austin for the truth that he places up with my chaos, but in addition he makes certain that there’s alt textual content on each single publish that goes out, as a result of he’s answerable for scheduling Twitter, so level of delight for me that he’s so good about it.
Austin Braun: I’ve discovered a lot in regards to the alt textual content aspect and accessibility aspect by Alexa and that has paid its dividends far and broad. I’d extremely advocate if anybody’s trying to higher their social media recreation, comply with Alexa, take her professional ideas and put them into play as a result of it’ll return rather well.
Rachael Samuels: Alexa is the accessibility queen and I reward her each day for all of her contributions to our neighborhood.
So I need to unpack this slightly bit. So that you expertise this speedy development, you additionally produce other jobs. You touched on this slightly bit, Alexa, however how do you handle all of it?
And when you have one tip for realizing your personal price, decreasing stress or including bandwidth, what would that one tip be?
Alexa Heinrich: Once we began out, I used to be simply getting confessions left and proper as a result of it was this novelty. There wasn’t an account that basically existed like this, particularly for social media. So I used to be making the posts willy nilly, posting them at any time when.
Then after I introduced Austin on to assist me handle all this, as a result of I believed, “Nicely I need to do Twitter finally. We’ll most likely do Fb finally, simply cowl the massive three.” We determined, okay, let’s do three a day on every platform. We’ll stagger them.
After just a few weeks of that, I used to be like let’s simply do one a day as a result of we’ve got lots of content material coming in and I [thought] it will be simpler from a scheduling standpoint. So, we publish as soon as a day on every platform. They’re staggered based mostly on once they got here in, as a result of we clearly began Instagram, after which just a few weeks later we began Twitter, then just a few weeks after that we began Fb. And we solely publish Monday by Friday. We don’t publish on the weekends in solidarity with our colleagues and friends who shouldn’t need to work on their days off.
Wait. You guys are allowed to sign off? ??????
— Blackness Everdeen at ? (@ThisIsTee1) June 19, 2021
We did that and that’s actually labored for us, but in addition Austin and I are all the time speaking. We textual content on a regular basis and we speak on a regular basis. We did a Zoom chat final week to speak about this, so I really feel like communication has been actually huge for us.
Austin Braun: Completely. Communication is vital and having the eagerness and the power in an effort to do that, to allocate the free time, that’s actually fulfilling and makes it simpler to do. It’s not one thing we take into consideration doing or we make a chore out of, we simply do it as a result of we need to do it. And the expansion we’ve seen, it simply retains us rolling. The neighborhood that we connect with is de facto our major gasoline
Alexa Heinrich: And we attempt to schedule a month at a time too, simply so we’re like “Okay, we’re good for the whole month,” and as soon as the final week rolls round we’re like “Okay, acquired to do subsequent month.”
Rachael Samuels: That’s wonderful. That’s actually good. A month forward is a dream state for me, that’s superior.
So that you’re beginning to dive slightly bit into technique and also you’re speaking about submissions. Simply so the viewers is aware of what Social Media Tea actually is, is submissions out of your neighborhood round their very own expertise with social media advertising and marketing and being social media entrepreneurs.
Austin, I like how a lot life that offers you as a result of it provides me a lot life too. It’s one of many causes I like being a social media supervisor for Sprout as a result of I get to commiserate, but in addition notice that we’ve acquired this robust neighborhood of entrepreneurs [who] are all targeted on this frequent good and growing accessibility in advertising and marketing, growing range in advertising and marketing, growing inclusion in advertising and marketing.
So, I feel that there are such a lot of crossovers, however I’m curious, how do you accumulate these submissions? And the way do you resolve which of them are going to go up? Or what’s the technique for Social Media Tea’s content material?
Alexa Heinrich: Social Media Tea actually is the best user-generated content material challenge that I by no means thought I’d begin. We take submissions by Instagram, Fb, by Twitter and we even have an e mail.
We’re very clear on our web site that it is advisable to maintain all your content material inside your submission nameless. So, you possibly can’t identify names, you possibly can’t identify manufacturers. If I could make one thing much more imprecise, I’ll, like taking out genders for individuals, and I simply put them into this large spreadsheet that Austin and I’ve as they arrive in.
I take down the submission, the date it got here in after which I give it a quantity in order that I maintain them so as. After which there are columns for Instagram, Twitter, Fb, in addition to the emoji that they get assigned, which is simply random and no matter I really feel like giving it at this level. We simply do them in chronological order and that appears to work out simply wonderful. However Austin, do you need to speak about our technique?
Austin Braun: The perfect half about our technique is that it’s frequently evolving and there are not any guardrails that we put up round ourselves. We all the time need to experiment or see if this labored or this didn’t, let’s try to make one thing higher about it.
You may see our pinned Tweet on our Twitter, for our Twitter technique, which is principally simply to be freeform and advert hoc in all regards. And when we’ve got the scheduled content material, that’s our content material, however on the aspect, Alexa and I’ll go on the accounts and simply throw our ideas into the void and hope they stick in the event that they really feel related. Numerous occasions that comes by rather well.
The perfect content material creators suppose outdoors of their very own lived experiences and realities.
They make content material that’s relatable and accessible for as many individuals as doable, not simply what they THINK their viewers appears, acts, or lives like. They transcend such slender considering.
— Social Media Tea (@SippinSocialTea) September 30, 2021
Rachael Samuels: I like that in regards to the account. I like that it’s UGC, nevertheless it additionally has a voice and the account’s fairly open and sincere about being a social media account and I simply love that transparency. I undoubtedly see the technique there and I additionally suppose iteration is the battery of a robust social media technique. You need to all the time be altering, all the time be proudly owning as much as issues that it is advisable to—I simply love that strategy, that’s superior.
I’ve to ask, I’m curious what is likely one of the most typical submissions or grievances or opinions which can be aired out.
Alexa Heinrich: We get lots of people who simply share just like the frequent issues we hear as social media professionals. One which we posted final week on Instagram was somebody quoting somebody that mentioned, “Hey, are you able to simply push this on social?” And for no matter motive that basically resonates with individuals as a result of it’s such a triggering phrase for us. “Are you able to simply put this on social?” Okay, that’s not everything of my job, however thanks.
In order that’s one, and there are actually humorous ones. There was one about how this particular person would cover bizarre phrases in her report each month to see if individuals really caught onto it. And she or he’s like, “That’s how I knew nobody was studying my studies,” as a result of nobody ever mentioned something in regards to the bizarre phrases she was randomly dropping in there.
These are all the time fascinating, when social media professionals do one thing to take again their energy, individuals actually relate to that.
Rachael Samuels: I do know I relate to that basically hardcore. That’s completely why I like working at a social media group. I inform individuals on a regular basis it’s as a result of individuals communicate my language, however I really feel just like the core of it’s—and we hear this quite a bit from our neighborhood too—that social media managers are on the nucleus of a company. They know the client the perfect, they’re doing all of the work, they’re being strategic, iterating consistently, all of those various things, sporting 1,000,000 totally different hats and no person takes them severely or nobody cares to take a look at their studies and even ask for a report within the first place when that knowledge could possibly be so highly effective.
I really feel the plight of the social marketer and I feel it’s our time to shine, so I completely was not stunned that this account simply completely took off.
So my subsequent query and my final query is, realizing every thing you’ve discovered from all the neighborhood over the previous 12 months and within the coming 12 months, what do enterprise leaders have to know? What’s going to get them to take social entrepreneurs extra severely? What would you prefer to impress upon organizations and companies about their social advertising and marketing groups and the best way that they strategy and take heed to social entrepreneurs?
Austin Braun: I’ll go forward and take that one to start out. The factor is that sense of self-awareness for individuals and what they suppose they find out about social, versus the individuals who they work with whose job it’s to know social. Numerous occasions they’ll get sure leaders or whomever that say “Make this go viral” with out realizing the granular minutia of what it takes to get one thing from level A to level B.
Which you can “simply make it go viral”, like there’s a button for that.
— William N. Finley IV(It’s actual. I made it up) (@WNFIV) August 11, 2021
Folks on the high, the leaders, want to appreciate that social has an enormous and enormous place of their advertising and marketing, particularly for neighborhood constructing as an entire. And it’s additionally essential that they’ve the belief of their social media managers to do the fitting factor, to deal with it the fitting manner, as a result of that belief comes from so many days and months and years of doing this.
That isn’t simply an in a single day factor you possibly can activate and off, it’s not a data factor you possibly can simply learn into and suppose you realize it, as a result of it’s all the time evolving. For leaders, it actually comes all the way down to understanding what you do and don’t know, but in addition trusting the person who you’ve appointed to know and handle social—to truly give them the free rein to do what they should do with it.
Alexa Heinrich: And I feel understanding, not only for model management however everybody on the market who engages on social media, that the particular person behind an account is a human being and we’re experiencing so many alternative feelings and coping with so many alternative conditions each single day. And with this pandemic, a lot of us are burnt out creatively, emotionally. It’s very taxing mentally, our work.
The response that we get quite a bit with the Tea account when individuals discover it the primary time is, “Oh my gosh, that is so therapeutic,” or “Oh my gosh, that is so cathartic,” to the purpose the place Austin and I not too long ago did a collaboration with our buddy Ariel at Thrive Works. We did some questions that had been based mostly round psychological well being and dealing in social media. Then Thriveworks graciously had one in every of their therapists reply these questions from a social media standpoint. So many individuals after I posted it to Instagram had been simply responding with “I wanted this immediately, thanks for doing this, I actually wanted this.”
Weave within the completely happy. We are able to’t specific how a lot we love this reply or how grateful we’re to our pals at @Thriveworks and Brittany Morris for her knowledgeable recommendation on taking good care of our psychological well being whereas working in social media. Thanks, pals!
Now go drink some water. https://t.co/CuOdl9a9km
— Social Media Tea (@SippinSocialTea) September 1, 2021
Understanding that your social media supervisor might be burnt out, might be slightly drained, wants much less display screen time and desires help, not solely from the instruments they use, however from emotional help. They want psychological well being days. So it’s not simply enjoying round on Twitter all day. We handle quite a bit and it’s totally different job to job.
Rachael Samuels: Preach. All of that, I really feel that so deeply, I couldn’t be extra grateful that you just two exist and I couldn’t be extra grateful that you just two are a part of this Sprout neighborhood and are operating this account. So, thanks for doing this for all of us, I communicate on behalf of all social media managers, we would have liked you. And thanks for chatting with me immediately. That’s all I acquired.
Alexa Heinrich: Thanks for having us, this was fantastic and clearly the Tea account is a Sprout person so we love Sprout. It makes it quite a bit simpler once we’re bulk importing for a month.
Austin Braun : No kidding. This may not be as seamless as it’s with out Sprout. We’re grateful to be operating this and getting the message on the market and we’re grateful for the interview immediately.
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