Most business owners understand the power of social media, but not all of them understand the knowledge, strategy, and effort it takes to make it work for their company. I often hear, “I’ll just hire an college kid to do it!” or “Isn’t that kid down the street on Facebook? Maybe he can do our social media.”
My inner marketer wants to go Terry Tate on them, but alas, I must compose myself and explain why that’s a bad idea.
Would you hire a kid who ran a lemonade stand to be an executive at your company? Probably not. No matter how many cups they sold or how awesome the lemonade was, it’s just a different ball game. The same goes for social media. Using Facebook or Twitter for personal use is much easier than using it for business. There’s a totally different rule book, and overlooking those rules will inevitably prevent you from seeing great results or, even worse, cause you to make a big mistake where lots of people can see it. One poorly handled situation, insensitive tweet, or off-color photo (even if it was posted innocently) can be deadly.
There are countless examples – PayPal, Red Cross, and Chrysler, just to name a few – but the lesson is the same: only give the keys to your social media castle to those who you completely trust. This should be someone that understands your company’s voice, style, and processes, and has the time to manage it. If you wouldn’t trust this person to answer the phones or be interviewed by a news station, they shouldn’t be touching your social accounts.
A lot of people are scared of social media because they think it creates problems and causes controversy. In reality, it doesn’t create issues, but it does magnify them.
Aside from protecting you from faux pas, hiring a skilled marketer who understands the complexities of social media will increase the likelihood of your success with these tools. Just because anyone can use them doesn’t mean that anyone can use them well. College kids know how to post an update, share pictures, and broadcast their message to the masses. On the other hand, they probably don’t take into account who their audience is, what their goals are, how to tailor their message accordingly, the proper ways to handle comments, how to avoid common mistakes, etc. The average person could probably get you average results. But is that all you want if you’re investing time and money into this? Don’t you want more than that?
Social media can be an amazing tool for reaching new customers, building relationships with them, and driving sales…but only if it’s in proper hands. Choose wisely!
For more where this came from, check out our tips on how to be a social media superstar.