7 impossible requests anyone who works in social media will know all about

Working in social is fun. You’re at the bleeding edge of the current global conversation, which can be exhilarating.

And one of the best parts of the job is talking to and advising people from different areas of business on what they can and can’t do.

These conversations can also become tricky when impossible requests come in.

I never say never, and will always try to find solutions for people’s requests, but I thought I’d share some of the most common ones. It’s just for a laugh – but I reckon most people reading this will have made or received at least one of these at some point…

1.”Can you do a viral?”


This request probably had its heyday around about 2014 and is without doubt my favourite – because it’s almost axiomatic that you can’t.

The whole point of viral content is it just takes off unpredictably when that perfect combination of elements suddenly falls into place. Creativity, influence, news, timing.

Obviously I’ve tried, with varying degrees of success, but the idea that anyone who knows anything about social media can just conjure up a viral on the spot is, sadly, wide of the mark.

2. “What do women/men aged between x and y like?”


This could apply to any different demographic, but contains the one running problem whichever – ie. they like LOADS of different stuff.

Hell, guess what? Some of them aren’t even on social media! (I know right).

And all of that is before you’ve even come on to analytics. And obviously there aren’t any analytics that have ALL THE DATA IN THE WORLD.

I mean maybe that’s what god is? Just shitloads of data on everything?

Either way. If that is what god is, she doesn’t exist yet. So we can’t run that request either. Sorry guys.

3. “How do I make Lady Gaga/Ricky Gervais/Somebody Famous/This Random Journalist follow my account on Twitter?”


I mean.

You could make friends with them and ask? But I won’t be able to do that for you.

4. “Can you get these Instagrammers to do this stuff for no money?”


If I give you this duster, will you clean my house for no money?

How about if I share one of your Facebook posts? No? Thought not.

5. “How much money do I need to spend on this Facebook advert?”


The problem is that you can literally spend any amount of money on Facebook ads. Even if it was so much money that you physically couldn’t enter the numbers in the box, I’ll bet you could phone up and pay some other way.

This one is a legit question though – the best way to handle it is to look at estimated audience size and give a range of options. But there’s definitely no one magic number.

6. “Can you just run some stats about x?”


Obviously I know exactly what stats you want. Shall I just check how many times they’ve mentioned the word ‘chicken’ on Google Plus? Would that be useful? If not I’m going to need more info pls.

7. “We want to give this cat/dog/cartoon bear an Instagram account. It’ll be hilarious!”

It will not be hilarious.

Don’t. Do. It.



Find me on Facebook here.


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