Ask Link in Bio: Part Two
Tips for running a restaurant's IG account, my thoughts on the metaverse, and more.
And we’re back! Another round of Ask Link in Bio is here and this week we’re covering everything from work assignments as part of the interview process to ~the metaverse~. The range! Before we dig in, we’ve got another fun ad from our friends at Later.
“Are hashtags useful?” “How many should I use?” “What kind of hashtags are most effective?” If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you need to check out this study that Later did. Their team analyzed over 18M Instagram feed posts to bring us alllllll the answers.
And if you’re interested in trying Later, you can use KARTEN21 for $30 off for 1 month.
Okay, let’s jump into the questions!
Favorite apps to edit + create video content for Reels / TikTok?
I have been burned way too many times by both Instagram and TikTok when creating video content in-app. Whether it’s drafts becoming uneditable once you save them or clips being a total nightmare to rearrange—it’s nearly impossible to edit something effectively within TikTok or Instagram. I will only edit something within the app if it’s a trend or sound that absolutely requires me to do so, like mouthing a sound or doing a fancy transition.
99% of my editing for Reels and TikTok happens within InShot (not an ad). It allows you to be way more precise—you can slow down a specific part of a clip, extract audio, trim clips to whatever length of time you want, and lots more. If there’s a song I am trying to edit clips to, I will screen record it on my phone, upload it to InShot, extract the audio, and then use it to time the clips. Or if I want to do VO but not have the person record it straight into the app (since that often doesn’t make sense when working with talent), I’ll have them record a video of just audio, extract that, and lay it over b-roll. So much easier than toggling back and forth like you often have to do in TikTok and Instagram.
I think I have the Pro plan which costs $3.99 per month so I don’t have watermarks, etc. Extremely worth it. Make your company pay for it 😘.
Feelings/thoughts on interviews for social media positions that ask you to create a strategy, draft multiple posts, other creative labor activities? Is it an exploitative practice? How do mentally balance giving away your ideas for free and genuinely needing the job?
My thoughts on work assignments as part of the interview process have evolved through the years.
I think past me both completed assignments (when interviewing) and created assignments (when hiring), without questioning them much. At the time, I felt they were helpful to understand how a person thinks about social strategy and get a sense of their social voice. When interviewing for a job, I once worked on a 10-page deck that included a very realistic cross-platform social campaign. I didn’t get the job and would later see a version of the idea on the brand’s Instagram. I think every social manager (or really any interviewee, in general) has some version of this story. And that experience is likely what helped me change my view on assignments.
These days I don’t interview many candidates for jobs, but if I did, I would not give out assignments. Instead I’d ask in-depth questions about past campaigns they’ve worked on, social media accounts they love and why, any writing/design/video samples they have, ask about a social trend they are noticing, etc. You can learn a lot about someone’s approach to social media through talking to them—and without asking them to come up with a strategy that they should really be compensated for.
If you feel it is absolutely necessary to create an assignment, be upfront about how the work they produce will be used (maybe even draft a contract that says you will not use it unless they are hired) or consider compensating them for the time they spend creating the strategy. You’re likely only giving the assignment to 2-3 candidates—it feels doable to create a budget for paying people for the free labor they are doing for your brand.
Opinion on...Meta / the metaverse in general???
I guess I’ll first say that I don’t think it’ll actually happen. Or at least it won’t happen to the extent this dystopian video depicts it. Social media managers have been around for so many “this is the next big thing!”s that it’s hard to take anything new too seriously. (Remember that social network Peach?) But I do think that Mark Zuckerberg (and other very rich people) have the resources to push the metaverse further than is comfortable.
In that hour-long video, Mark Zuckerberg claims he’s building “the future we want”, when it’s quite clear he’s building the future he wants. One where he owns all of our data and can advertise to us 24 hours per day. I can see it now: brands creating metaverse influencers to wear their clothes (it’s already happening), virtual company happy hours sponsored by [insert beer company], etc. And while I think the general critiques of Meta and the metaverse have been done (I particularly loved this send from Ryan Broderick at Garbage Day), I haven’t heard much from the people who live on these platforms all day long.
It’s fair to say that social media professionals spend more time than the average person on social apps. It’s quite literally our job to post on them and when we aren’t posting we’re usually scrolling to stay on top of trends and news. Having worked in social media for eight years, this constant scroll has already taken a toll on me. I check my phone instinctively every 3-4 minutes, my screen time report legitimately scares me, I sometimes feel a deep sense of FOMO when on the app, my eyesight keeps getting worse, dread washes over me when a mean comment pops up, the list goes on. If anyone knows the effects of being on social media 24/7, it’s social managers. I actually think of us as the guinea pigs for metaverse 1.0. Because if it isn’t already clear, we are already in a form of the metaverse with our phones and the internet. I am wary of going any deeper.
“The next platform and medium will be even more immersive—an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it.” Throughout Zuckerberg’s video we are being sold on the best of this technology, like learning and connecting, yet I can’t help but think of the worst of it. The parts of the internet social managers are often exposed to day in and day out. What do trolls look like in the metaverse? How quickly does misinformation spread in the metaverse? Can you get death threats in the metaverse? How do you hold anonymous avatars accountable? Who even has access to the metaverse in the first place? And how much is the price of admission? These are questions that must be answered. If the future of social media management is indeed happening in the metaverse, I don’t want to be the guinea pig again.
Hello! I know this is vague, but any tips for making social media engaging and (relatively) easy for a restaurant? Managing the restaurant takes up most of my time, but I'm also tasked with keeping up the Instagram account to create visibility in the crowded NYC space. I love working on it (former full-time social media manager!) but unfortunately it's not often at the top of my to-do list. Thanks!
I feel for every single person who runs social in addition to whatever their full-time, hired-for job may be. When I think about low-lift, highly-effective social strategies for someone running a restaurant (and their social account) a few things come to mind. I am going to list them below, with an example of each!
Create a recurring series! You don’t necessarily even need to brand it as that, but by creating consistent content you are able to easily plan for it and also get your audience to a point where they expect it. Think about what your restaurant is all about and what type of series might make sense—could be anything from community storytelling to service-y cooking tips.
Lean into the unique voice or vibe of the restaurant through either imagery, copy, or both!
Example: Superiority Burger’s Instagram is fun, wacky, and very Brooks Headley. While their strategy is simple—post what’s on the menu or special—the funny copy and lo-fi imagery style make it unique enough to incentivize that follow. Check out this post and this post.
Example: From a visual perspective, Wildair has a consistent (and now iconic, IMO) way of promoting their Donuts With Friends series both through designed posts and fun videos shot on a small seamless background in their restaurant. That visual consistency feels key.
Food is entertaining! Try and document cool/weird/interesting things you are already doing!
Example: I loved following along as Bonnie’s was creating and opening their restaurant. I became invested in the restaurant before they even opened thanks to their IG Stories of what it’s like to build a space from scratch. Now that they are open they are keeping the camera rolling and showing a BTS look of what’s happening day-to-day at the restaurant.
I also posted this resource awhile back that could be helpful when it comes to more tactical posting tips!
L.A. Louver, one of the longest established contemporary art galleries on the West Coast, is seeking a part-time Social Media Associate to manage and expand the gallery’s social presence across platforms. If interested, please send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.