Are You Sabotaging Your Social Media?

It happens a lot. Companies — especially smaller ones — hire a social media person whose sole qualification is that they spend a lot of time doing their own social media.

Then reality sets in.

This person you hired may know which filter to use with a selfie. But they rarely know your company. Or your customers. Or your industry. And all too often, they don’t know business.

That means they’re unlikely to set meaningful goals that connect with your bottom line. They don’t consider how to create a brand-consistent voice on social media — or how it fits into the bigger marketing picture.

How does such a person get hired to manage social media? First, they don’t cost much. Their lack of experience means you don’t have to pay a high salary to bring them on board.

Second, many small businesses don’t really know why they’re engaging in social media in the first place. They know they need to be there, but they’re not sure why, or what they should expect. It’s hard to make a great hire with low expectations.

So what should a small company — or any company, for that matter — look for in a social media marketer? At least four things.

First, find someone who knows marketing well enough to identify a target audience and to tailor content to them.

Second, look for a person who writes well, spells well and knows how to avoid visual and verbal clichés. They should be able to write in a conversational tone that’s easy to read, while still maintaining a professional voice that’s consistent with your brand.

Third, you want someone who’s results-oriented — who not only tracks engagement, but looks beyond social to see if their content is driving traffic to your website or your business.

And fourth, get someone who’s organized — who creates a content calendar and sticks with it — and who continually comes up with new ideas for posts based on the current content your followers are engaging with.

Because it doesn’t cost anything to post content on social media, it’s easy to give it less weight and lower the bar for the person you hire to handle it. But that’s a disservice to both of you.

Raise your expectations and your standards for social media, and you’ll be surprised at the positive impact it can have on business growth. Because business growth is the only reason to be on social media in the first place.