What its like to be Pornhub’s social media manager

Pornhub Aria, the woman behind the online adult video site's social media empire.
Image: Pornhub

Managing a brand’s social media is tricky for anyone in 2019, and it’s even more challenging if you’re the social voice (and face) of Pornhub, the web’s most popular porn site. We spoke with Aria Nathaniel about the fine line she walks at the office each day.

Boasting a whopping 6 million followers on Instagram and 1.25 million on Twitter, Pornhub has amassed extensive reach on social media channels. By riffing on memes, trends, and current events — and interacting with readers — Pornhub stays relevant and continues to build an engaged community.

Most of that work is done by one woman — Pornhub’s social media manager, Aria Nathaniel, who’s staying up to date not just on what Pornhub’s doing, but on the latest trends across the internet.

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The voice of Pornhub

Between spreading awareness of the brand, engaging with followers, and keeping her posts within each platforms’ terms of service, Nathaniel has a big job. But for all the extra behind-the-scenes challenges of running social media for a porn brand, Nathaniel’s work appears effortless to the average follower. 

Like all social media managers, Nathaniel’s job requires her to stay up on what’s happening online. “I try to latch on to mainstream trends and breaking news stories to boost engagement. If people are talking about something nonstop, I want to insert myself into that discussion,” Nathaniel tells Mashable via email. “It’s me 24/7, 365.”

“I’m constantly scouring the news and keeping myself ‘in the know’ on things — sports, politics, entertainment, video games,” she says.

Like any social media manager for a brand, Nathaniel has to follow certain rules (like the aforementioned platforms’ terms of service). But as the voice of a large adult entertainment platform, she has more leeway about what she shares than, say, someone running social for a telecom or an airline. “I’m afforded a unique opportunity to pave my own funny/witty/sexy/raunchy lane and break away from all the mundane commentary that tends to typically proliferate [on] branded social media,” she says. 

This strategy, Nathaniel says, has made Pornhub more “approachable,” adding, “People are able to see me being silly on social media and are less inclined to think of us as strictly an adult entertainment platform. I like giving Pornhub a personality that many people can relate to.”

She puts thought into the type of content to put on each platform: The Twitter account is heavy with jokes and memes, because, as Nathaniel says, “it’s especially important to be relevant and topical with whatever you’re posting about there.”

Because Instagram is more visually focused, she notes, she focuses on promoting some of the adult entertainers and “posting pictures from various marketing initiatives we’re doing, whether it be a new product, physical activation, or stunt.”

While some of the content Pornhub posts may get your heart racing just a bit or isn’t something you’d want coworkers in your office catching you scrolling through, Nathaniel says that nothing she posts violates TOS. While content has occasionally been removed from Instagram, she says those instances generally aren’t a TOS violation but coordinated attacks by dissenters, “a result of people mass reporting our account because they don’t agree with what we stand for.”

There are other social media challenges for Nathaniel, too, but, surprisingly, not the ones you might think.  

Side-stepping Twitter’s darker corners

We all know that along with the good things they do, like providing a platform for marginalized voices, social media channels can also be terrible places, filled with harassment and misogyny, making these platforms a minefield for women. One study, published in December 2018, found that women were harassed on Twitter every 30 seconds. And you know it’s not a good thing when that number actually feels like it’s lowballing how often it occurs.

Nathaniel, though, says she’s actually been relatively lucky when it comes to harassment. She tells me she keeps a close eye on Pornhub’s mentions so she can interact with followers, and doesn’t receive too many harassing comments. “The internet, by and large, has been rather kind to me/us in regards to comments and interactions,” she says.

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Find me nowhere near the sun because my skin has evidently never seen the light of day….selfie. #phworthy

A post shared by Pornhub (@pornhub) on

But Nathaniel does make an effort to evade trolls by being careful about what she chooses to post about, and avoiding controversial political topics. “I’m very cognizant so as to not post something too controversial because I don’t want my comments and replies to turn into a hateful thread where people are arguing back and forth with each other,” she tells me. 

Still, there are some questionable queries thrown Nathaniel’s way, even as she seems to take them in stride. “The one question I’m asked incessantly… is why I haven’t done porn, which I take as a compliment,” she says. 

“It always amazes me when people realize I’m not a bot and actually a real human.”

In reality, she says she rarely even visits porn sets: “Because I’m the brand ambassador it’s pretty rare [that] I’d wind up on the production set unless it was for a marketing campaign. We do very little production ourselves, actually, which usually surprises most people.”

Nathaniel hasn’t had many issues with overzealous followers, either, and when she has it’s been mostly positive. “For a while I had a wonderful fan sending me donuts every week. While it’s not uncommon for people to send me things, this was recurring and quite wholesome.”

Fans also appreciate her literal realness: “It always amazes me when people realize I’m not a bot and actually a real human,” she says. “I always get a good laugh from that. Most people are super nice and gracious, and I’m always so appreciative.“ At the end of the day, regardless of someone’s profession, people should be mindful of the things they say to them.”

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Gal pals! #phworthy

A post shared by Pornhub (@pornhub) on

The big online porn behemoths Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn are all owned by the company Mindgeek, and each has its own social media manager. When asked if these social media accounts might play a role in the misogyny that’s rampant on these platforms, Nathaniel points out that all of Mindgeek’s social media accounts are run by women. “[Mindgeek] is a cool place for us as women to speak up and speak out on things that are near and dear to us.”

Nathaniel says she also has a great relationship with those other social media managers: “I’m close friends with YouPorn Katie and the social media manager for RedTube, Emma.” 

All three women work in the same office, she says, and adds, “We do sometimes talk shop but rarely compare notes. We want to be as genuine as possible and if we compare notes or share tips with respect to what does and doesn’t work on our distinct platforms, that may compromise our authenticity and personality.”

Treading carefully

One might think a drawback to working in the adult entertainment business would be becoming numbed to sex. After all, there have been numerous stories about the effects on those who watch a lot of pornography; it stands to reason that working in the industry, even an arm’s length from production, one might run similar risks.

But Nathaniel says she hasn’t experienced this in her job. “People always expect me to be super horny or super desensitized to sex from working here, but I don’t feel a shift in anything at all. If anything, I’m just more informed.”

“I never thought that I’d have Kanye West … physically stitching a dress to my body.”

Elaborating, she adds, “Working at Pornhub is like being in sex ed class 24/7, and I mean that in the best way possible. I’m more knowledgeable about sex and sexual health. I’m more aware of the sexual community and the challenges they face. I’m more in tune with sex workers and have been fortunate to form lifelong friendships with many of them.”

That’s not to say she doesn’t have any concerns. When you’re the person behind a major brand online, you’re always a target of trolls and others looking for you to make the slightest misstep. Or, sometimes, no mistakes at all; they’re just ready to pounce. 

The story of Amy Brown, the Wendy’s social media manager who blew up thanks to sassy tweets but soon experienced a backlash for no reason other than that people are jerks, is one such example.

Being sharp and genuine and connecting with the readership is a big part of the task, too, and Nathaniel is quick to praise the entire social media team at Pornhub, adding, “We work tirelessly to ensure we’re culturally competent, authentic, and sensitive to people.” 

“At the end of the day we just want to put a smile on people’s faces. I want someone to be scrolling through Twitter, stop on my Tweet and laugh out loud or smile. That’s all,” she says.

And it’s working: Users apparently like Nathaniel’s voice so much, that there are multiple series on YouTube featuring her, including the day-in-the-life series “Chronicles of Aria,” and “Pyft,” in which Nathaniel operates a rideshare for porn stars. “[Many] people who follow us on social ask to see more of me and my personality, so we thought this would be a cool way to do so on a safe for work platform,” she says.

While it appears that she leads an adventurous life, Nathaniel insists that she’s not “a wild and crazy person” but has had a few fun moments, like the 2018 Pornhub Awards in Los Angeles. “I never thought that I’d have Kanye West (who was creative director of the awards show) physically stitching a dress to my body.”

Ultimately, the success of both the Pornhub social media strategy and Nathaniel herself has boiled down to maintaining that much-talked-about authenticity and not losing her sense of self, particularly on a platforms littered with garbage, bots, and plenty of hate speech.

And, she says, it’s especially important to stay centered when you run the account for adult entertainment; the subject matter itself can inspire people who might think it’s okay to be horribly foul in response while at the same time angering people who, as Nathaniel mentioned, don’t like what Pornhub does.

Ultimately, Nathaniel has found that balance: “Pornhub Aria is who I am as a person. I haven’t changed to conform to people’s preferences or anything. I’m super authentic and take pride in that.”

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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