Competition Is Fierce, Says Rosetta Stone Facebook Page Administrator

“Must have bulletproof self-esteem,” the job description might well read. Curses and insults flung by anonymous fans and followers could quickly bruise a soft-shelled ego, says this Facebook page administrator.

Before joining Rosetta Stone’s three-person social media strategy team, 25-year-old Kari Johnson dabbled in film advertising and the music industry. Now, for the past year, the Brown University graduate has been the primary Facebook page administrator (and Twitter responder) at the Rosslyn, Va.-based language-learning software company. With nearly 15,000 Facebook users talking about the page at press time, and more than 1 million likes, there’s a lot to be done.

Reporting to the senior manager of digital marketing, Johnson spends her days responding to Facebook users; creating and curating content; handling Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube advertising; and writing and editing blogs.

How did Johnson land her gig? By spotting a posting on — where else? — Facebook.

What goals and markers are you held accountable to?

People make the mistake of putting too much stock in the number of fans or followers. You could have millions of fans, but if they’re not engaged, your company’s investment could result in a virtual ghost town. If I work to maintain engagement, those leads come naturally. Metrics I pay close attention to include cost-per-email-lead, direct sales, “total reach” on Facebook, and number of YouTube views.

What’s the biggest challenge for a Facebook page administrator?

People who curse at you, say abusive things — most who haven’t even seen the product. My feelings get hurt once or twice a day. Because the Internet gives anonymity, people think it’s an appropriate place to vent existential angst.

Ouch. How do you deal?

Dramatic readings of the insults to the rest of the digital team usually take the sting out of even the most berating words.

What should every page administrator know?

The value of superfans: People throughout Rosetta Stone, from finance to product development, regularly chat about “Matt,” “Janice,” and “Geoffrey.” Commenters likely have no idea how much we take their opinions into consideration.

What do you recommend for people seeking page administrator opportunities?

The job market is so fierce, it’s good to apply to a job from a position of power. Applying while you’re still in school or at a comparable job would be preferable. If you do end up with an employment gap, fill it with blogging or freelance writing, and apply to speak at industry events about your areas of expertise. Also consider taking weeklong courses to improve your technical skills, such as video editing and Web design.

What salary range should starting administrators expect?

Facebook administration is not an entry-level position. Social media jobs have become the most competitive in the digital space. There’s a glut of job-seeking, overeducated Millennials with a working knowledge of social platforms, writing, design, and basic coding. A recent Adobe study claimed that social media is undervalued by nearly 100 percent. I predict that jobs like mine, now paying between $50,000 and $65,000 per year, will pay double that within two years.

What does your typical day look like?

Social media: It’s not all chatting on Facebook! I divide my time between responding, scanning the Internet for relevant articles/videos/memes, trend analysis, blog writing, and project development. A good chunk of my time is also devoted to legal and financial paperwork.

What are the most important qualities or skills a page administrator needs?

Strong writing skills, an eye for analytics, and a good memory.

Does your job involve marketing?

I’m part of the marketing team. I work with our brand team and creative services to develop advertising for social platforms. At our company, social media strategy and administration are distinct from customer care on social media. The customer care and success responders each have their own unique profiles.

What advice do you have for fellow page administrators?

Even if you’re paying for analytics, cross-check the data with your own reporting. Also, it doesn’t hurt to know how to read graphs and charts.

What are your hours like?

I work from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, but I’m available for emergencies whenever they occur, and, trust me, they occur. The last time my boyfriend and I hosted a party, I ended up having to duck out for some last-minute ad changes.

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