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Lessons from your girl next door/social media manager

My name is Tessa.

I am a social media manager. I started the journey on social sharing while actually looking for a solution. At the time I was the editor of a Nigerian magazine named ‘SPICE’ that used to be shared in Lagos sometime in 2008-2009. I shared this magazine monthly but I could not tell if anyone read it or not and getting feedback was a big challenge for me.

In my journey to discover if anyone enjoyed this magazine that celebrated successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria I stumbled on Facebook, and then Twitter and the rest is history.

I live, eat and breathe content. At every single interview for a job I have attended, the first words out of my mouth are that I love to read, write and share information that has value. It is not a mantra. It is the best way that I can describe my complex yet simple personality.


Lessons from my current job

My current job requires that I morph and learn new things every couple of months because the online space is constantly changing. During one of my researches I stumbled on Netflix, and the story behind it, how it grew and became the giant it is today. The company is widely regarded as the world’s largest streaming service, but that discounts a very large audience in China.


Much ado about Netflix?

It is the brand that brought about the millennial phrase ‘netflix and chill‘. It is a term that means movies and popcorn et al.

Netflix is a brand that grew bigger because of the internet. Netflix is owned by Reed Hastings. Netflix was worth $640 million in 2011 and has a current net worth of about $78 billion, and has over 5.2 million subscribers, 4 million of which came from international users.

In 2011, Netflix was still a DVD company. Reed Hastings the visionary saw what was coming, he knew that if he didn’t disrupt his company, disruption would still happen, he did and luckily for him his company survived the disruption and went on to become a TV company.


What was the big disruption?

He created one subscription plan for people who still wanted DVDs and another for those who wanted DVD and streaming. The price was considered steep and his delivery of this new change was pretty clumsy and social media went crazy for a bit, 82,000 angry comments across blogs, and on Facebook and Twitter and 810,000 subscribers went missing, and Netflix lost two third of its market value.

Reed Hastings had to take the bull by the horns and prove to Netflix subscribers that the value he was giving was worth the money they were paying. He improved the content across board.


Strategies and possibilities:

Then he expanded the subscriber base by looking for subscribers outside its home market. He has since grown his subscriber base by over 4 million subscribers in the last seven years.

Popular programming such as House of CardsOrange is the new black are exclusive to Netflix and watched all over the world.

HBO and a host of other companies now offer subscription services for video streaming via the internet.


Potpourri: something for everyone

When Netflix subscribers were asked about the service’s brand, there were so many responses. It is pretty clear that everyone describes Netflix based on the need that it meets in their life.

It is like a very big jar filled with all kinds of candy, the subscribers don’t want to eat all the kind of candy, they are just happy to have access to their favourite candy.


So who is a social media manager?

A social media manager is pretty much like Netflix.

S/he is a creative person that is always changing and always getting fresh innovation and strategy.

Yes, there are basic skills like writing, designing and creating but a media manager basically lives to satisfy the desires/wants of the audience of whatever niche they serve at any particular time.

They live to make others happy. Their thought processes are always engaged. It is impossible to not always relate their everyday living and travelling with the kind of content one wants to be creating and the kind of information one wants to be giving out.


Some of the values absolutely necessary for social media managers are:

  • Being creative and disciplined a.k.a the gift that works
  • Having and knowing the tools needed to do a great job
  • Brainstorming and executions sessions
  • The desire to add value to your audience
  • Being entrepreneurial in their thinking patterns even though they are technically employees
  • Building consistency in sharing information, irrespective of feelings bearing in mind that it is not a 9 to 5.
  • Changing/innovating as time passes and as algorithms change
  • Unlearning, learning, and being ready to grow everyday
  • Attending digiclan events, trainings and conferences targeted at new media to get refreshed and trained and to generally see what is happening in the industry.
  • There is something about mixing with their tribe, that shakes them out of ruts and produces the growth spurts needed.


Tessa is the Social Media Lead at BusinessDay Nigeria and a digital/social media manager with over ten year experience in publishing/social media space. She blogs at

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