As we like to say at Brandsplat, admitting you need a Social Media Manager is the first step on the road to recovery… as in recovering your time, recovering your ability to do big-picture thinking, recovering your sense of dignity once you’re no longer haunted by thoughts like, “Did I really just retweet Khloe Kardashian?”
Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you need someone to handle your social media presence, the next question seems like a big hurdle: What do I look for in a Social Media Manager? After all, this person will have a direct line to both your current and potential customers. They will have to handle questions and complaints for you. They’ll need to know what kind of online partnerships (in the form of retweets, Likes and other reputation currency) to form, and what ones NOT to form. In short, they’ll need to have your brand’s best interests at heart.
While we can’t help you with your Kardashian retweet guilt, we can help you find a good social media management fit for your business.
1. Brains — The Social Media Manager should be one of the smartest people you employ. We’ll say it again: HIRE THE SMARTY. This role requires the manager to use creative flair at the same time as employing analytic awareness. She must be able to think about your goals — both long- and short-term — and understand your customers’ needs and wants. She is tasked with performing public relations, brand management and customer service at once, all while watching out for potential pitfalls. Anybody can haphazardly post something to Facebook; only elite communicators can do so with a plan in place and a goal in mind, adjusting as they go. Don’t kid yourself: This is not a role for the intern or new hire.
2. Heart — Your Social Media Manager needs to care about your company and its customers. If she doesn’t, the posts and interactions will suffer. Having a true believer in this role is crucial, so look for someone who gets excited about one or more aspects of your business. And by all means, steer clear of the jaded social media managers out there — followers can sense that lack of enthusiasm immediately and will immediately associate it with you and your company.
3. Time — If you find someone who has the first two, ask a final, supremely important question: Does he or she have time to take you on? Chances are, she’s already attracted a wide array of clients who are so impressed by her abilities that they ask her to do more and more for their organization. So does she really have time for you? Does she have a hole in her schedule currently, or will she be letting go of a client or two in order to accommodate your needs? (Hint: You’re looking for someone who has been through a time when she bit off more work than she could handle and learned how not to do that again.)
Bottom line: Great social media managers are worth their weight in gold. So don’t just let your nephew who’s home from college for the summer handle your social media presence. Hire a professional.