By Susan Tucker
Not everyone who claims to do Social Media Marketing for businessesactually know what social media for business is all about. There’s a difference between performing social media for personal use and social media for a company. Many small businesses have little time to micromanage every task at hand. With the emergence of social media, business owners realize that it is time to embrace the tools the world has shifted to.
Should the task be delegated to an already over-stretched office manager who has no desire to FaceWhat or TwitWho? How about the CEO who is already too busy developing new products? It may be time to hire a professional and you’ll be pleased to know that social media professionals can guide you with best practices, tips and tricks that will save you hassle, time and money in the long run.
The battle is with finding that right person.
If you are equipped with the right questions the age of the person you are looking to hire is of no importance. (Just because someone is “young,” is no indication that they automatically know the ins and outs of social media when it comes to your business.) What they “must” have is skills, a sturdy foundation in marketing strategy, and a comprehension of the social media customer. Understanding your buyer persona is KEY for any social media manager to help you with your online brand.
Questions to ask when you are ready to hire a small business social media manager:
1. Do you understand my industry? Ask them to depict the “essence” of your business. Being a “social media expert,” they should have already researched your company and your customer, prior to assessing the potential of your business in the realm of social media. For example, YouTube, blogging, Twitter, and Facebook are amazing networking channels with very different marketing tactics.
2. Can you develop quality content? Give examples. Whichever platform is used, for instance Twitter or Facebook, there should be an in-depth dialogue around your business brand. Content is the key to social media success, and if your content is no good, you can kiss networking goodbye! Your candidate should be experienced in writing and developing pertinent content for your audience.
3. How engaged do you plan to be? Are they experienced with managing a campaign that has spawned leads from social media? There is no use in popping in to write a few tweets every now and then. Social media networking is about actual engagement. When people talk to you, they expect a response.
4. What is your plan for growing my online community? If your applicant starts chatting about attracting a certain number of Facebook likes or a specific number of Twitter followers, put them to the test and ask, “how do they plan to accomplish it.” Numbers may sound good, but can they “maintain them?” Are they affiliated with any small business networking sites? In other words, attracting an audience via real content is more valuable in the long-run, than catchy phrases and words.
5. How do you plan to report ROI? Understanding the numbers is a key part of managing social media channels. Which posts are getting the most engagement? What social sites are driving the most traffic? What is the plan for understanding the return on investment? And, how often will they tweak and update management based on analytics?
Your Company Brand is at Stake!
Remember: hiring a social media person for your business is truly a “big deal.” The person you select will be the “backbone” of your business in the world of cyberspace. Tread carefully, and make sure the applicant is offering what you “actually need,” not what they fancy.