Thinking about hiring a Social Media manager?
With all the buzz surrounding all things Social Media, it is no wonder there are so many social media “experts” and “guru’s” invading the social media space. For someone like myself who works daily in the social space this is major concern. As I see the numbers of individuals proclaiming themselves “Social Media Managers” I find myself worrying about the small businesses out there who have little experience with social media that are spending hard earned money on what can best be described as “snake oil” salesmen. It just boggles my mind when I look at the social footprint of some of these so called social media ninja’s. With that in mind I thought I might share some tips that business owners can refer to when looking into hiring a social media manager.
> One of the first things to look for is what social media footprint does your candidate have. Are they active in the social space, do they have a presence? I can’t tell you how many times I have seen individuals teaching classes on how to “do” SoMe who have absolutely no presence in the social space. Business owners need to ask themselves, if they can’t build a social media community for themselves, how are they going to build one for my business?
> Are they offering social media “package” deals? One of the biggest red flags is the packaged deal…for $59.99 we will handle all of your social media needs…Package deals often equate to nothing more than bots bothering people in the space with outbound only interaction. Run away, run far away. Building a solid social community takes interaction, with the emphasis being on a two way communication process. If your perspective candidate talks mostly about what they are going to be broadcasting on your behalf, they are in the wrong business, and likely have little actual experience in the social space.
> Are they promising pie in the sky social media immediate results? Another huge red flag. Reference any book, blog site (I recommend Steamfeed.com) authored by in the trenches social media professionals who are doing the job every day and you will see that one of the consistent messages is “patience”. It takes an ample amount of time to build an engaging social media community, anyone who tells you otherwise is “selling” you social media snake oil.
> Read the contract. Especially if you are working with a firm that is online. I once had a client show me a contract for a company that was offering Social Media services for $79 a month. Upon reading the contract fully, it was stated that they “did not reply or respond to any Twitter tweets or Facebook posts”. Really, are you kidding me, that is the whole point entering the social media space, interaction and engagement.
> Are they charging for the initial consultation to evaluate your social space presence? This one is a pet peeve of mine. Why would a competent social media professional charge to do an initial consultation for a potential client? If the initial consultation is costing you, be aware that you aren’t going to be “nickeled and dimed” for add on services. A good social media manager will usually go the extra mile to make sure your SoMe campaign is rocking and rolling. The social media professionals that I am connected with (and there are many) take the job personally, they want to see your success more than their own.
In the end, the message is do your homework, don’t believe everything you hear, ask some questions. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money, a good social media manager will be able to help your business in a variety of ways.
Do you have any secrets that might help others who are thinking about hiring a SoMe manager? Please share.