This really pissed off social media pros: Company slammed for measly $32K salary offer for D.C. director job

What's a reasonable salary for a director at a beltway messaging firm?

Published May 20, 2016 6:05PM (EDT)

  (<a href=''>xalanx</a> via <a href=''>iStock</a>)
(xalanx via iStock)

What would you guess is a reasonable salary for a director-level position in a company that provides policy analytics to members of Congress? Surely should be in striking distance of six figures, right?

Members of a Facebook group of D.C.-based social media professionals thought so, and quickly got their pitchforks out when a messaging firm called AlphaVu posted a listing for a Social Media Content Director at the low, low annual salary of $32,000 to $34,000. Angry responses quickly piled up, as DCist first noted.

"To use the term 'Director' with 32k behind it in nation's capital is an insult," commented one group member.

"I made more as an entry level employee at a non-profit that was a start up," wrote another. "This is a shame."

As DCist points out, Glassdoor reports that the nationwide average salary for social media directors is $56,718, a figure one would expect to be even higher in Washington, one of America's most expensive cities to live in.

With his company under fire from commenters, AlphaVu founder Scott Wilkinson didn't help matters when he rashly wrote (and quickly deleted) a rude response to Elliot Volkman, one the Facebook group's administrators, on Twitter:

This really set the Facebook discussion off. "If only he had access to some social data analysis service that would warn him about such engagement strategies and impart the knowledge we live with that there's no such as deleting something once its [sic] already shared," observed one member.

To his credit, Wilkinson did his best to take the high road after the initial kerfuffle, apologizing and explaining that he had mistakenly listed the job title as "Director" when it was actually an associate-level position, an excuse that struck many in the already-riled commentariat as disingenuous.  

"You have never hired for this exact type of position and weren't sure what would be appropriate, but you have your own data analytics company, which to me indicates you are fairly analytical and likely not research-averse," responded a group member. "You couldn't be bothered to do some cursory data analysis on titles and salary ranges for comparable positions in the DC area?"

Wilkinson said he had changed the posting to reflect that the opening is for an entry-level position and raised the salary to $35,000 to $40,000, but as of Friday afternoon, the job posting linked to in the Facebook group still lists the old title and salary.

By Michael Garofalo

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