My Opinion of Social Media (from a Social Media Manager)

Social media is my full time job. Because I work with it day in & day out,  I have an educated grasp on what goes on behind the scenes. Just like anything in the world, social media should be used in moderation.

Marketing is a huge part of social media. Brands promote their posts to have a wider reach, which means the average user (like me or you) sees the brand. Taco Bell created a taco Snapchat lens for Cinco de Mayo; the filter was viewed 224 million times. Social media marketing is no joke.

There are teams working together to create cool engaging posts for brands, big or small. There's the new wave of marketing which comes in the form of bloggers & social media influencers. Social media gives people a platform & voice, especially those with a large following.

You'll see your favorite beauty blogger showing off some items in her "Favorites" video, never really knowing whether she was paid to promote it or if she genuinely likes something. The U.S. does have a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ".com Disclosures" guideline but the whole world isn't regulated.

When it comes to self-promotion, there's the side of social media that can be seen as vain or an attempt to show off. Instagram  feeds often highlight the most vibrant, most positive, most beautiful photos & moments. There's the shot of someone's back as they relax by the infinity pool. There's that photo of a stunningly configured açai bowl. There's the one where the blogger is dressed in a flawless outfit in head-to-toe designer wear. 


california lifestyle blogger, social media manager
Upon first look, this photo is cute! However, here's what went into this one photo: I did a dozen poses to find the one that was the most flattering — How can I hide my wide hips? What's the best way to mask a double chin? Oh gosh, my hair is greasy let me put it up. I took approximately 29 photos to find one that I liked. I edited the heck out of it, using about three filters. Then I doubled the image to hide the horrors of a dressing room. Hmm...not so simple, is it?

When we see images like this it makes it hard for the average person to differentiate between reality & a carefully curated feed. Please keep in mind that what you see on social media isn't always the whole truth. There is often a squad of people on the other side of the photo helping to create an amazing image or campaign. Someone works to better the lighting. Someone fans her to give her hair the perfect amount of wind. Someone's sole job is to edit the photo to perfection. Someone styles her in the latest trends.

From someone who does social media for a living, not everything is as it seems. I often look at tweets, updates, photos, & ask a myriad of questions. How many people worked together to create that wonderful image? Did they do it on their own? Were they paid for this post? How come there's no sign of a disclaimer? Did they buy this or receive it for free? 

From someone who does social media for a living, don't feel like the amount of likes validates you as human being. You are beautiful regardless if you get 200 likes on your Instagram photo. You are intelligent even if no one comments on your post. You are interesting regardless if someone retweets you.

From someone who does social media as a career, be sure to take a moment away from your phone, from your tablet, from your computer screen. Take 10 minutes to just be yourself, be alone, just be. When you stop thinking of social media as a point of validation, you can use social media without comparing yourself. 

From someone who does social media for a living, there is some good to it all. Social media can be filled with news, beauty, inspiration, truth, honesty, vulnerability, & community. Within social media lies those people who are authentic, who are open, who are willing to let you into their lives. Embrace this version of social media.

Remember: social media is not always 100% truthful. Take it with a grain of salt & don't be so hard on yourself when you see someone with a vast wardrobe & six pack abs & a clean, green "What I Eat in a Day" post. Understand that social media is a confusing mixture of marketing, thoughtfully curated content, & real life.

And that is my opinion of social media.

What's your opinion of social media? :]

Follow me for more fashion & style from the Californian perspective: 
Bloglovin // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter

Oh & add me on Snapchat: carmenvarner

53 comments

  1. Saskia CilibertoMay 18, 2016 at 12:55 AM

    LOOOVEE the bag! Soo cute ahha <3

    TheVogueWord
    TheVogueWord

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love this! all so very true! you should totally do a post on your career :D
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was so insightful, thank you!

    www.miriamwoodburnblog.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  4. YES. I completely agree with you on social media.

    It's hard, though, sometimes. To differentiate between reality and contrived reality as a creator. I'm definitely well aware of this when I am a consumer, but as a creator? That's completely different.

    We've been taught so often the nature of social media, so I think that it being a carefully curated reality is long and done over with. It's trying to understand that when you're the one posting photos that is the issue that needs reminding of. At least that's me personally, anyway.

    Loved this post, Carmen!

    MAY | WWW.THEMAYDEN.COM

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such an interesting perspective. I participate in social media because I love it and find it fun, but I can definitely tell when people put effort into what they post compared to those who do very little. Thanks for sharing!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for your perspective on the subject! I love scrolling through my social media feeds and connecting with other like-minded bloggers and brands. But it is important to take a step back and also remember to live your life -- in the moment. Not everything has to be captured for a social media platform!

    www.livinginsteil.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was so refreshing to read! Social media definitely has its positive and negative attributes and I really enjoyed reading your take on it! Thanks for sharing :)
    www.sprinklesandsaturdays.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this! People can be easily fooled by the lifestyle facades of the social media "celebrities" forgetting that it's all been planned before hand.

    Great post!

    XoXo,

    Tamara - LoveofMode.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a great post! It really opened my eyes. I definitely related to the part about beating myself up after watching a 'What I Eat In a Day' video. Thanks for sharing, I think I needed to see it.

    alicered.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree that everyone has to have time off it now and again and it really needs to be managed in moderation, or you can get really sucked in! Great post! <3

    The Dazzle Guide

    ReplyDelete
  11. So true, thanks for this honest and authentic post. It is so important to take some time off from all this social media circus and start living again!
    xo Julia
    www.westendbirds.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. It was great to read your perspective as someone who works in social media. Like everything, we need to take it with a pinch of salt and use it in moderation. I am a believer in only following accounts that inspire me or make me feel good. If someone's instagram feed starts making me feel inadequate, then I just unfollow. Something I think is a shame though is that the freshness and naivety of content created outside of the well established magazines seems to be lost. We came to blogs to find the truth about beauty products and fashion, and now these people are being paid and are much more influenced than a big magazine would, to be honest. But luckily, not everyone is the same and there is a lot of content that although curated is genuine.

    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree, that social media is extremely important to maintain and be able to use it for website promotion etc. However I do enjoy more seeing not so heavily edited photos, with some description that gives me better feel of a person. Currently, I feel there is too much created virtual reality rather than truth.

    Find and connect with me, if we are not friends already:

    Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blog...

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/igab...

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/igaberry1

    Website: https://www.igaberry.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I totally agree with and especially on the fact that how you will take the photo is a huge thing! Great post!

    http://violettedaily.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. so agreee, and so agree with this : " rom someone who does social media as a career, be sure to take a moment away from your phone, from your tablet, from your computer screen".


    - Lily Widjaja
    www.Glowlicious.Me

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love social media and think it is a great way to reach people but I think it is becoming far too prominent in every day life. It gets a little ridiculous at time, and I think I depend on it a little too much to escape things in my actual life that I don't want to deal with or need a distraction from xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin | Instagram

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very well written. I agree with you. As I'm working in media I'm aware of the things you mentioned here. I don't try to live according to social media influencers. I like to find a visual inspiration, rather than way of life I could copy.

    Daniela
    http://www.smellofjasmine.com/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great article to read on the social media topic, especially from your standpoint as an insider. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with it, lol. But I believe, like everything in life, it is NEUTRAL. Just a tool. It all depends on how we individually use it. Also, it's important, like you said, to take everything with a grain of salt of course, not to believe everything you see 100%.
    Thanks for visiting my blog, Carmen!
    Love from Ghana!
    Cara
    www.xocara.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I absolutely love this post, and completely agree! I'm studying fashion brand management in college right now, and I'm hoping to spend some time doing social media marketing when I graduate! Social media is super interesting and mysterious, and I love finding out just to what lengths someone (a company or someone REALLY dedicated to their aesthetic) went to to make their picture. But I definitely agree it's important to disconnect sometimes.

    Theresa | Paired Apparel

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great point of view!

    Happy Monday Doll!! Ps: I'm hosting a Giveaway. I'd love if you entered!

    BLOG | TAISLANY

    ReplyDelete
  21. As someone who works in social media, I know that many people don't understand what goes into it & what's real. For instance, a photo of a pool at a hotel was edited to omit cracks in the concrete & to replace dead, patchy grass with green grass.

    As the creator, you can keep these points in mind for how your reader can differentiate between real life & the posts/photos created to portray that life. :]

    ReplyDelete
  22. Absolutely. Real life & what we portray on the web, on our blogs, on social media are very different. :]

    ReplyDelete
  23. Social media is super fun! We just need to take it with a grain of salt; not everything we see on social is real or true. :]

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yep. I mean, it's not like 100% of people fake everything, but it's better to just go into social media knowing that it's not as real & honest as just chatting with your best friend. :]

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so glad this helped. Social media is still media. Enjoy it without comparing yourself. :]

    ReplyDelete
  26. You really can get sucked in. It's easy to scroll Twitter for hours or browse Instagram hashtags for ages. Just take a step back. :]

    ReplyDelete
  27. You said it perfectly, Julia. We need to start living again. We don't need to chronicle our entire lives through a filter or screen. Live! :]

    ReplyDelete
  28. You have a fantastic perspective on social media, Inma. That's great that you can take a step back & follow people that bring joy or inspiration to your world. It's important to keep supporting the content that you enjoy & relate to. You're still a consumer, so your support doesn't go unnoticed even in the sea of content creation. :]

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yes, lots of work goes into even the most mundane of photos. :]

    ReplyDelete
  30. Interesting thoughts, Iga. As consumers, we can still make a difference. Having this discussion alone can be helpful. There is certainly a focus on virtual reality, especially with sites like Snapchat making the shift toward ads. We just have to keep that in mind as we absorb all the content around us. :]

    ReplyDelete
  31. It is becoming too prominent in every day life. Remember when people used to sit down together at dinner & just talk? Now it's one bite of food for one text or tweet. It's vital to escape, if only for a moment! :]

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yes! Love your thoughts, Daniela. We should see social media & all the related content as visual inspiration, not a standard or way of life to copy. :]

    ReplyDelete
  33. Absolutely. It's important to understand its neutrality & keep that in the back of your mind as you absorb content. :]

    ReplyDelete
  34. That's awesome, Theresa. Brands, big or small, definitely put time into their aesthetic. It's fun to take note of those efforts & see the evolution, especially if you're in the business! :]

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great post, I think it's very important to remember that social media doesn't tell the whole truth. I know I only try to post the most beautiful pictures and if I have nothing interesting to post I won't post at all. However I think social media can be positive because it's definitely a source of inspiration and information.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I agree with this, you see a lot of people creating a second life on social media and we need to remember that they may only share the good things and it may be made up and edited so much. I try to keep my blog and my social networks pretty real. I don't share every bad thing that happens to me because I like to keep it positive, but that doesn't mean my life is perfect. xx

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is a really interesting post and I like your insider tips and perspective. I always take everything with a grain of salt because I understand that photos are not always what they appear, just like you mentioned. Thanks or sharing!

    Eden | Mint Notion

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love this post, I'm in love with social media but I always have to remind myself that it's not real and thinks can be so heavily skewed to look a certain way. I think everyone needs to remember that social media isn't reality a lot of the time!

    Tenz

    www.shesabouthatlife.com

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  39. I didn't always have that approach and sometimes seeing what people I know are up to on social media makes me feel a bit meh, but I started unfollowing people (not de-friending!) if their feeds annoyed me or made me feel bad and it has had a really positive effect on me x

    ReplyDelete
  40. It's interesting to hear how you manage your social - only posting the most beautiful photos. I think most of us do that, so it's always a good reminder that it's not 100% representative of someone's life. :]

    ReplyDelete
  41. Exactly. Not many people write a blog post on their pimple or how much they paid for their traffic ticket. We all have aspects of life not portrayed through social media.

    ReplyDelete
  42. You're doing social media right, Eden! :]

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love social media as well. It's my job after all, so it's nice to take a step back & just unwind from the imagery we see. :]

    ReplyDelete
  44. No for sure it's not! I don't think my feed would be very interesting if I posted absolutely everything I did tbh lol

    ReplyDelete
  45. Aww thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Xin

    http://xincerely.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I work in advertising so I completely get this! I often think about the same things. Sometimes it drives me nuts and I just want to be dropped off on an island for a month away from self promotion, ads, and brands. But it's definitely a great tool! :)

    -Emily www.coatandcoffee.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲

Wishlist

© Carmen Varner
Maira Gall
81fc14506961ef9749f14f0b763f9d6b