How to Explain Your Social Media Job to Your Parents
October 21, 2022
Trust me, if you work in social media, you’ve had this experience. You’re home for Thanksgiving and your grandparents or aunts and uncles are asking about what their talented grandchild is up to these days at work. Your parents start to give an explanation for you, that sounds something like “They make those posts you see on Facebook- gifs or whatever they’re called”. Your grandparents still look confused, and honestly, you are too because you’ve tried multiple times to explain to your mom and dad that what you do is a little more advanced than funny cat videos on YouTube.
So, how do you explain your social media job to your parents or any of the older people in your life that aren’t quite as connected, digitally, as you are?
Give them your job description, not title
Sometimes our job titles, make what we do sound a lot more complicated: SEO Ninja, Content Strategist, Digital Coordinator, etc. Starting to explain your job by saying ‘SEO’ would leave anybody confused. Instead, talk a little bit about what you do- what do your daily tasks look like at work?
When I describe my job at Mend, I often explain a typical Monday: we make plans for clients, we have photo/video shoots, and we take photos and videos from those shoots and edit them. And why are we doing this? To share an organization/business’ story with current and potential consumers. All of these things make sense to my parents and grandparents, instead of leaving them with the words ‘social media management’ and hoping they’ll understand.
Show them some of your work
Not only do family members love any chance to be proud of you, but showing them what you’re working on will help provide a visual to the job description you just gave. Even though they might not understand why you’re using audio of a kid talking about why he loves corn, they can see the footage you filmed or graphics you created and appreciate them.
Compare your job to something they’ll understand
In our case at Mend, marketing isn’t a new concept, even though using social media, may be. Try comparing what you do to something your parents have experienced before. Do you know when the radio would feature a guest talking about their new book? Well, we do something similar but on Instagram and Facebook. We help that entrepreneur tell the story of their business online.
Don’t use complicated language
Trust me, it can be fun to start throwing around words like algorithm, clickbait, and conversion rate, and feel like the smartest person in the room, but your family is only going to feel more confused. A lot of these ideas can be simplified, or just left out of the conversation altogether. Unless your parents and grandparents become active on social media, they’re never going to quite understand what you do or what these terms mean- and that’s okay! But the less confused they feel, the more likely they are to explain what you do to others in a way that makes sense and to continue to engage with you!
Otherwise, they might think you’re a bit techier than you are and start suggesting to others that you code and design websites…(been there before).
Have some fun!
It’s exciting that people want to be involved and understand what you do! Don’t brush off the questions by telling your family that they wouldn’t get it. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and social media is fun! Plus they probably have friends who are business owners who could probably use your services (wink, wink)…
And don’t underestimate them! We can always grow and learn new things!