So the dream’s come true. After years of being told to put your phone away in class, stop live-tweeting your mates’ conversations and embarrassing your mum with weird filters on Snapchat, you’ve bagged yourself a job in social media.

You’re getting paid to tweet, and you don’t have to scroll through Instagram under your desk anymore. You’ve made it. What could possibly go wrong? … Well, maybe just a couple of things.

There are highs and lows in every job, so we spoke to Chris Kay, a Social Media and Business Partner Specialist at O2 to find out how to handle social media job nightmares.

Nightmare One: You’re tweeting lots but not getting any engagement

Picture the scene, you’re churning out tweets so much that you basically only speak to your friends in 140 characters now, but you’re not getting much response. What do you do?

“Your content may be the issue,” Chris told us. “It could even just come down to the basics – is it written the right way, is grammar and punctuation correct, are you over-using emoji (or not using them where you should)?”

“Make sure your content is aimed towards the people who follow you. Something that may help with engagement is asking inviting or thought-provoking questions, perhaps utilising Twitter polls. One of the things I do before posting is to ask myself: ‘If I saw this posted by someone else on Twitter, would I engage with it?’ If the answer is no, you should play around and tweak it until your answer becomes ‘Yes!’”

Nightmare two: A tweet goes out with a massive error in it

Maybe it’s a spelling mistake, maybe it’s a major slip up. If a tweet goes wrong and your followers notice before you do, what’s the right thing to do next?

“We’ve all been there,” says Chris. “First thing’s first – don’t panic! If you panic, you may do something to exacerbate the situation. If it’s a massive error that can cause offense, upset or damage your reputation then deleting it may be the best action to take.”

But, Chris reckons you could make it alright without erasing it. “There may be instances where you can turn this around,” he told us. “If folk are engaging in a light-hearted way and harmlessly poking fun, you may be able to leave the tweet and respond with some wit to turn it around and show your human side.”

“Take the time to get it right first time,” recommends Chris. “Social Media can be extremely rewarding, but also at times very unforgiving. You wouldn’t think it possible to typo ‘bit harsh’ into two different swear words, but it’s something I’ve erroneously done when I was first starting out  and trying to impress my manager with ‘look how quickly I’m replying to tweets’. To make it worse, I sent it to a journalist! I learned the hard way: read every tweet three times before you tweet it. And then read it another three times to make 101% sure there’s no issues with it. For a brand on Twitter, getting the right tweet out slowly is better than getting the wrong tweet out quickly.”

Nightmare Three: Someone starts being negative about your brand on Twitter

You’ve been retweeting praise and positive comments like nobody’s business, but then something negative pops up in your mentions. What do you do?!

“There may be a genuine issue or cause for the negativity so apologise, back it up with some of your mission statement if appropriate, and try and get them into email or private message to establish what the issue is,” Chris recommends.“This keeps things simple and ensures others don’t get involved, you can then begin to look at how to turn things around.”

“If you manage to resolve the issue, bring it around full-circle by tweeting back asking how they’re getting on and if thing’s are sorted,” says Chris. “If the issue was fully resolved, they should respond positively which should shine a positive light on you and your brand. If you have a loyal following and maintain a deep and on-going relationship with your regulars, you may even be able to turn some of them into brand advocates and in times of need, this can be invaluable.”

Nightmare four: You’ve got creative block and need to come up with a cool new way to use Snapchat

There’s only so many times you can do the dog filter and get away with it. You need new ideas but you’ve got nada. What next?

“If you’ve got a creative block, look at current affairs, what’s trending online or on twitter, or what’s going on in the world right now,” says Chris. “That may give some inspiration and help to keep your snapchats relevant. If you’re sending a fun Snap to your friends, your aim is to make them laugh and smile. If you’re a brand and looking to engage with your customers, your aim should be to make their jaws drop and make them think ‘that’s cool!’ and to remember you. Try and show folk things they may not have access to themselves – give them a reason to want to view your future snaps.”

Nightmare five: A huge social media change happens overnight

You think you’ve finally got it sussed with the six channels you’re managing on different social platforms when, BAM, Instagram stories arrives and your manager is asking why you’ve not posted one yet.

“Quick, someone look into doing a meme about how they’ve forgot this is already a ‘thing’ and it’s called ‘Snapchat’!” says Chris. “New social media channels seem to pop up regularly but as is the case with Instagram Stories, there may  be very similar platforms that already exist. If you already have a good following on Instagram, getting involved with ‘Stories’ makes sense, but if your following on Instagram is non-existent, you need to decide if building it up is worth the work or if you just stick to the channels you’re already on and established with.”

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