Social media is a Hulk-size time suck, but it is also one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. That’s also why it’s so dicey to freelance that kind of thing out. But there are a lot of really talented folks out there who can help you expand your reach and connect. You just have to find the right one when it comes to a social media hire. And since everyone thinks it’s a talent they can get paid for, there are a lot of ineffective people posing as social media superheroes. Here’s how you can separate the talent from the try-hards:
3 Ways to Tell a Social Media Shyster from a Superhero
It’s tempting to hand your social media over to an intern or the nearest teenager in your life. After all, they’re on the platforms all the time. But they’re connecting in a social way, amassing followers and likes and not concentrating on conversions. It would be best if you had someone who understands how to nurture a relationship to end in a sale. That’s not to say a teen can’t do that. But you need to have a conversation with them to make sure you are on the same page about your ultimate goals behind social media. Additionally, you’ll want to talk about the following things:
- Stats and KPIs. If you’re working with someone to help you reach more people and increase your sales, you’ll want to know they have a track record of doing so already. If you’re their first client, make sure they can show you how they will gather the analytics and tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Identify KPIs. If they tell you “Let’s try this and see.” That’s not enough. How will you “see”? If they guarantee 100 new followers before the end of the month, ensure you know what kind of followers they are. Speaking of…
- Know the target. Make sure your social media person understands audiences and the value of a like as it equates to your business goals. My TikTok is beginning to finally amass some likes. But guess what? They’re all from my teenage sons’ friends who enjoy making fun of my videos. They may “like” my stuff, but they will never buy from me. These are bogus numbers from a business perspective. Make sure your guru understands who you’re trying to target.
- Understand the offerings. Social media is not a science. What works for your ideal audience may not work for others. That’s why social media packages vary as much as restaurant food prices. Some people do retainers, some monthly and some hourly fees. Know what you’re paying for.
After you’ve narrowed down your list of social media people who seem capable, dig deeper into understanding how you would work together. Ask them to draw up a proposal or editorial calendar. Pay them for their time. Examine their ideas on how they plan to reach a larger audience. You’re looking for creativity here and things you may have already tried that didn’t work. No reason to work with someone who’s doing exactly what you’ve already done.
If They’re Going to Be You, They Must Know You: how to work with a new social media hire
Finally, communication is key when looking for someone who will be representing you on social media. While a good social media person should ask you the following things about your business, if they don’t, make sure you communicate these important details.
- Give specifics on your ideal audience.
- Share past triumphs and trials.
- Communicate the tone you want on your posts.
- Agree upon the posting review process. Will you see posts before they go out?
- Understand who oversees responses. If you do, will they call them to your attention, or will you need to monitor each day?
- How far out will they schedule? Communicate how you want holidays to be handled and if there are any topics you don’t want to mention.
- Will you supply content ideas and important dates to your business? This should be a partnership. If you’re running a sale, for instance, you should give your social media superhero notification of it and look for the best ways to leverage this information.
- Be clear about how you feel about content curation versus creation. Your social guru should have a strong understanding of how to leverage curated content for a larger audience without getting into permission problems.
The hardest part of handing your social media over to someone else is making sure their efforts fit your goals and remain authentically “you.” Don’t expect that any social media hire will take it off your hands in a “set it and forget it” kind of way. You want to remain a part of the social side of your business. After all, success in that area is about building relationships and you don’t want to pay someone to do that for you. They can assist with the day-to-day posting, but the relationship should remain yours.