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The 8 Truths of Hiring a Professional Social Media Director


The 8 Truths of Hiring a Professional Social Media Director

Social Media Hiring Truth #1 – Not everyone can “DO” Social Media.

Don’t hire your son’s girlfriend’s sisters best friend who is a Selfie Queen

There is this common misconception that anyone who understand how to use the basics of the social media tools and major networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, G+, Snapchat, etc) all of a sudden is called a social media expert (selfie queens included)

The reality is that social media needs to be directed by someone with Social Media Consulting real client experience and references.

Social Media Hiring Truth #2 – You get what you pay for

If you want to spend a few dollars or even find someone for free that you can offer benefits and training to run your Social Media Marketing programs, you are in for a load of trouble. Social media moves in real-time – while you are training someone on marketing , branding , community development and PR, your competitors are moving forward and growing their brands in social with a real social media professional.

To give you a quick indication on how much to spend on an experienced social media marketing professional, I know full-time Social Media Directors at successful companies (because they understand the power of professionalism) that earn 6 figures. I also know peers of mine, including yours truly, that warrant $300-$500 an hour. Why – because you get what you pay for.

Social Media Hiring Truth #3 – Beware of the professional Social Media Expert pretenders

A quick story – I had a mole on my team who pretended to want to work with me but in reality picked up a few bits from me and used my name to get business, This would be like the Karate Kid going to Mister Miagi and taking one lesson and calling himself a Master. Yes its that ridiculous! So what can you do? Make sure to check their references and client history.

Social Media Hiring Truth #4 – NOT everyone trained in social media is suited to properly communicate your brand

Social Media Marketing, at its core, is a communications vehicle. When utilized appropriately, a brand , whether company or individual, is creating a conversation with their audience. For social media to work well for you or your business, it needs to be aligned with and checked in often against the vision of the CEO or executive team or if you are a small business, the owner’s vision for the business. The vision and related brand messaging needs to flow in every social interaction, whether a post, a share, comment, a reply…you get the picture.

If the person in charge of your social media programs is not first creating or understanding the brand messaging and then constantly checking social engagement against that approved messaging then there is room for brand dilution in a big way. Make sure your social media director, trainer, manager or all of the above has done their homework. As a social media strategist, the very first thing I do in my process is a business analysis, not a social media analysis – that comes second. Social media is just a marketing tool – remember that – the business goals are the priority.

Related: Does Investing in Social Media Create Business Value?

Social Media Hiring Truth #5– Your Social Media Director has to be passionate about your business

The work done in social media marketing has everything to do with creating and building a brand, brand presence, target community development. If you hire someone who has the skills to lead your social media strategy and manage your social media team but sees you as just another account, then watch out. I have seen this too many times. I have hired social media people for my own agency and for my agency clients and other clients.

The person who just ticks of the social media to-do’s of posting anything and moving on is not the right person. The person who is right is of coursed skilled and experienced, but moreover passionate about monitoring your social brand, driving engagement, spotting media opportunities, sales opportunities, providing excellent social customer care.

Social Media Hiring Truth #6 – There are critical skills and experience that a Social Media Director Needs

An experienced social media professional , whether a strategist, trainer, manager or all of the above must possess certain experience and skills.

First is that you want to find the person who has experience in a related vertical of yours. For example, if you are in consumer products, you want someone who knows social customer care cold and understand all the ins and outs of managing social advertising for true optimization.

If you offer B2B professional services , you want a skilled social media person who understands how to build original content for thought-leadership, the B2B sales to social sales buying process , how to use social for employee engagement and social activity. If you are a manufacturer of products, you want a social media pro who gets how to talk to retailers in social and how to leverage their communities for your brand building. You get the picture – ask the right questions here so the learning curve isn’t a year long.

Design of graphics, videos, landing pages – I could go on – done well- is really in fact critically important for social media content engagement and sharing. Your social media director needs a good creative eye – this doesn’t necessarily mean one person – no way – should be designing, writing and managing everything, but the person responsible for the social brand, your social brand, needs to understand how you want that brand portrayed through visual content.

Social Media Hiring Truth #7 – Hiring someone with English as a 1st language is the only way to go (if your clients speak English as a 1st language)

If you hire someone to do your social media who does not have English as a first language and your clients and customers speak English as a first language you are in for BIG trouble. Further, a social media person can and should get involved with writing

  • Social post copy
  • Blog posts
  • Editing posts
  • Social ad copy
  • Social video copy

Do NOT leave your social media writing to a non-writer with poor English – BAD!

Social Media Hiring Truth #8 – If you hire a psycho they could snap at your social media audience

Your Social Media person should have good experience with client relations or customer service. After all, social media is where anyone can talk about you or your brand. HMMMMMMM seems obvious you want someone answering or replying to people in a way that strengthens that social brand.

The Final Word on Hiring a REAL Social Media Professional

While you are considering hiring a Social Media Director or Social Media Consultant, think that a business can use social media as a way to deliver engaging content and building a trusted community. To do so, your Social Media person needs a true understanding of the needs and behaviors of your target audience so that he or she can eventually create a referral based social media ecosystem – to me that is “doing” social right.

If you enjoyed this post, please share with your Social Media Followers. If you need any help with Social Media Marketing, use my online calendar to book a Social Media Phone Consultation.

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