A year, an apartment, and multiple crises later, my partner still doesn't know what I do for a living. I don't know whether to replace the job or the partner.
On closer reflection, I realize I could probably never replace the job. I enjoy it too much.
I hear the internal sighs of most people when I say something like that. "Get paid to tweet and write Facebook posts all day? I'd be you in a flash." And here's where polite explanations fail me. How could I possibly crunch what I do into a real conversation instead of 280 characters?
Turns out I need to figure out how. So I decided to write it out behind the safety of my screen. It's easy, by the job description, to believe that I turn up every Monday to sit at my open-space workplace to sip coffee while scouring the news for interesting bits to feed my online community, with a dog drooling in my lap and my colleagues laughing hysterically at the latest meme in the background. While I won't say that is completely inaccurate (my colleagues are soft laughers), this is just the beginning of my day. Things get much more... interesting as the clock ticks on. Here is what I do, and why you need one of us.
I develop content you don't know you're going to love. How do I convince a young 20-year-old to read the ideas of a certain policy maker? How do I tell a mother who wants the best for her child that letting them play all day long in supportive environments may indeed be the best for her child? I spend all day thinking of ways to knock on your computer screen to feed you content that you need to be consuming. And I target not just you, but everybody. Virality is what we work for. And the thrill of getting it is just as rewarding as any job.
I help you (client or audience) grow your community. This is not window dressing. People like me are the matchmakers of the internet. While no one is denying social media's negative effects on mental health (we all know about the famous Facebook-cocaine connection), the research also points us towards one thing: the fact that isolation is the bigger problem at hand. Some good social media hygiene, fixed screen use time, and a clearly defined scope for social media use is a great start. But beyond that, the golden rule is this: using the web to fuel that in-person connection you're hoping will happen. And that's where I come in. I edit scripts, and feed feeds, spend hours debating which order social media icons should appear on a new site, and develop new plugs. All of this is to make sure that you connect with the people you need to connect with. Making yourself and your views known, sharing your ideas and unique value proposition- that's what fuels my work and fuels your personal branding. And it's you I'm waiting to hear from you. So knock right back on my screen, too.
I share best practices. Though I love memes and amazing cat GIFs, that's more leisure time than work-time activity for me. During work hours, I look for inspiring content so that your social media feed isn't just filled with partisan debate; I hunt for solutions and great ideas so that you know our world isn't just filled with problems, and that there are people out there building workable solutions. And, more importantly, you can be one of them.
This is what being a digital content strategist and community manager is. It takes effort, lots of hits and misses, many presentations, excel sheets, data analytics, strategy meetings, an amazing team, and a supportive online network to happen. But when it does, you know you're making a difference.
P.S: I've decided to keep the partner. But only if he reads this post and shares it with anyone who asks what I do next time.
Born in Mangalore and raised in Abu Dhabi, Alaric Moras graduated with a BA in English Literature from Saint Xavier’s, Mumbai, and went on to pursue his MA in International Affairs at Sciences Po, Paris. He is a Digital Content Editor and Communications Specialist and aspires to be a published writer. His areas of interest include English literature, communications, anthropology, psychology, historical fiction, and feminist and LGBTQI literature. More here: (Link to my Linkedin profile).