Should social media managers be compensated more for exposing themselves to greater psychological stress?

Asking for a friend who has a performance evaluation coming up and wants to come up with an effective argument for why they should be compensated much higher for the extra hours logged, always-on culture, anxiety, etc.

Are there any good statistics or thought pieces out there on this? Ideas for creative arguments? I feel like the “how can a social media professional, find tech life balance” question has come up regularly, but I haven’t heard of any companies making compelling changes to support those professionals.

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Hi Andrew, I offer a viewpoint and I’m sure there are many more and different perspectives on the question you pose.
I feel that your friend is missing a very important aspect of this question as it relates to Health & Wellbeing. There is little difference in the psychological stress of a Social Media Manager and that of any other workplace environment where the team member is being asked OR expected to log extra hours. In my humble opinion your question seems in ways to make the
‘’ Compensation ‘’ an important facet of the scenario. In contrast I think the really important piece is the fact that they are being asked / told or expected to put in more hours than their contract suggests. This is where the damage to Health & Wellbeing is being perpetrated.
Just as an example : A successful concierge person can suffer the very same expected input in a Hotel …they may be asked or expected to accept ( post work hours ) all manners of enquiries by text/ phone / email / msg etc etc etc…by the Duty manager.
Both scenario’s are equally problematic for the individual and really ‘’ should not happen ‘’. The emphasis should be nothing to do with money, but totally about weather it’s fair on the team member. A fair and balanced work contract should automatically cover most eventualities in these situations. It should be totally at the discretion of the team member to evaluate if extra help / work is needed to be done. The remuneration should be automatic and recognised,… if it is !!, Most team members will always ‘’ help ‘’ the organisation in their moment of need. So to re-cap, I feel your friend should tease out through constructive conversation, fair and balanced expectation for both parties. I also feel very strongly that it’s your friend who perhaps might put their employer through ‘’ An Evaluation ‘’ including a real hard look at the Culture of the organisation and then decide after that … Do I really want to spend my ‘’ really REALLY ‘’ valuable life in this organisation who places no value on my psychological health & wellbeing.
I hope you might find some value in this humble opinion …as I say there are many many ways different people will assess your question … I wish your friend much luck in their career and equal good luck to you…it’s nice of you to help them in their time of need.

Best Regards Martin


How did this turn out for your friend Andrew? I’m curious since I consider myself a reformed social media manager lol. For me, the only cure for the stress it created for me to run at that pace was to stop working in that role.

The only argument he may have, although it’s a bit late for that if he already had his review, is the extra hours & overtime that it takes to live up to the “responsive” badge. He would need to track all of those extra hours & monitoring and make a case based on that, since (depending on where your friend lives) there are likely work rules for overtime etc. There is a ROI for him being always on, and it is up to him to prove it.

The issue I see is that it’s hard to make an argument based on his own mental health or experience, the company is focused on their experience and how his work fits into their bigger picture goals. You have to speak their language and translate how his performance feeds into their ROI. More $$ from them means he’s able to better commit to his role, and the flip side is that they are properly (and legally) compensating him for the extra attention he gives to their social presence.

I haven’t seen many companies making a push for fairness here either. I wish! It would better shine a light on how unsustainable this “always on” form of social media marketing expectations are.

When I was still taking on clients for social media management I had to make clear I wasn’t “always on” and charged a premium when I managed ad campaigns that required me to login on nights & weekends, specifically because of that drain. Clients that didn’t go for that got marked as unhealthy clients and I wouldn’t work for someone who doesn’t value my time.

I hope it turns out well for your friend! If anything, newsfeed blockers might be his mental healths saving grace for now :slight_smile: