The fragmentation of social media, the rise of TikTok, and the accelerated shift in social media to video have increased customer expectations. Agency partners in public relations and social media say they’re feeling the impact as clients increasingly ask for more content and feed platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels in hopes of a viral moment.
The increase in workload has prompted a social media marketing entrepreneur to move away from offerings of social media management services to focus on content creation. In this latest installment of our Confessions series, where we trade anonymity for candor, we hear from this social media entrepreneur about customer expectations in the fast-moving, ever-changing social media landscape.
This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What are your experiences as a content creator and social media strategist in today’s digital landscape?
One thing caught my eye for a change, [is] Clients don’t necessarily understand what it takes to get the results we get. They will throw many ideas at you at once, or they may have many different ideas that they want to implement at once but don’t necessarily realize that it will take a lot to implement them. Then they want you to get it out very early. This is a process. Sometimes the process seems a little rushed now because everything is happening so fast – new features and everyone wants to keep up with each one. It just seems like people don’t necessarily appreciate the process anymore when it comes to social media experts.
So you’re under pressure to publish good content quickly? How does this affect the way you work?
It definitely does. My agency recently had 12 clients at once. It was difficult to handle even now because I felt burned out dealing with it. I literally started changing my business. I used to say that we specialize in social media management and content creation. Well, I’m saying that we only specialize in content creation.
Why did you do that?
I made 30 posts a month for my clients. As I gained a little more experience, I changed my lowest [service] Package to 15 posts per month and a few reels per week. Now you need to create reels. It’s just videos. Now we have to force customers to get this content. It used to be just me creating the content. I didn’t really need them. But now I need these Day in the Life videos. I need you to show your expertise, go live and collaborate with others. You need to do these different things now to be successful on these different platforms. [But] they are busy too. That’s why they hired me. So that’s definitely become a battle in itself as well – just being able to engage with my clients so they can provide me with the content I need.
Which social media platforms take up the most time and energy?
Instagram, definitely. I see TikTok as the least effort. With all my customers we can have fun on TikTok. But with Instagram, everything has to be so technical because some of my clients have it differently [product] Features that some of my other clients don’t have. When a customer sees something, they say, “I want that. Can I do something like that?” And it’s like, “You don’t even have that role [available on your account].” Then they feel upset and we have to manage the expectations. [Clients asked for more] when Reels came out. When video content literally took over because everyone wanted to be seen. When Reels went down, that was the only way people saw people’s content. [It] was through video content.
You said Instagram Reels is a heavier lift for you than TikTok in terms of content production. Why?
Everyone wants to be perfect on Instagram. TikTok thrives on authenticity. You can literally take a video of yourself in bed talking about whatever and it will explode because people love you, relate to you… As far as Instagram goes, you might not see a post for three days, den someone posted. Or you don’t see someone’s story because Instagram only shows 10% of their followers’ posts. There are so many technical things about Instagram now that just pull people away.