Educating Future Social Media Managers: Placing Emphasis on Conflict Management, Audience Interpretation, and Personal Boundaries

Jana Thomas

Slide Deck


Jana Thomas has spent nearly 20 years in marketing, advertising, and communications with expertise in multimedia campaign development, search engine marketing, and social media. She also owns a social media consulting company that specializes in film and family entertainment brands and employee training in social media strategy and content development. Jana is a professor of practice in the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication at Kansas State University. She conducts research in the areas of adolescent media use, digital citizenship, and social media manager health and well-being.


Educating the next generation of social media managers requires a special emphasis on several important concepts. First, students must learn to manage negative customer communication toward brands; second, they need to understand how to communicate with diverse audiences with a range of backgrounds and experiences; and third, they should establish personal support systems and mental health guardrails for a job that demands constant creativity and availability.