5 considerations before hiring a social media specialist

Social Media Specialist

The necessity of managing social media for your business is inescapable, so hiring a skilled person for the job is wise, of course, but it isn’t always the most simplest task finding the right person for the skills to do the job.

If you’re searching for that social media specialist, here are a few things recommended for you to do, before you begin:

1. Education yourself
Like ploughing through your competitions posts and researching different marketing strategies, time must be invested into educating yourself, and maybe your team, about the social media basics.

Learn, then guide: To be on the same level as your social media prospect, you’ll need to know what you are hiring the person for, as the specialists role will be to provide you with expertise, your social media strategy, development, and execution but they’re not there to provide you with consulting for your overall business plan.

Do your homework: Ensure that you’ve done your research and mastered what’s within the scope of social media.
By doing so, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively with your specialist and discuss expectations and objectives.
It would also benefit you to understand the terminology that circles social media platforms, such as likes, fans, shares, RT, mentions, comments, pins, boards, flipogram, hyperlab, hashtags, twitter chat etc.

To research and learn:
– Scope of social media
– Social media terminology, channels and tools
– Difference between posting on Twitter (140 character limit) and other channels
– Different features of major platforms eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

2. Define your goals strategy

Before embarking on your social media journey, set and define some goals, and how you’re planning on reaching them – are you using social media for awareness, sales, engagement, visits?

Thania Guardino, Social Media Manager at Swell Marketing says: “It’s alarming how many clients underestimate the strategic and planning process of their social media strategy.

Your social media content should reflect your larger communications plan.
Traditional marketing items like company promotions, press releases, events, and publicity should definitely be shared across your social channels.
Something to consider might be optimising your social media properties, for better search engine visibility.

3. Consider the content

The second most important process of your social media is the content you send out.
As it is at the heart of social media strategy, because your tone, audience and type of content posted should be considered, it makes up quite a lot of your social media marketing.

Messaging: Always take into account your customer, and what role social media plays in their lives. They’ll probably not waiting around on Facebook and Twitter to be bombarded with sales to like a page, follow, sign-up, or buy etc.
Often, clients will come in asking us to post call-to-action content, without providing any value to their customers in return.
If your social media is successful, you’ll be providing your fans and followers value, just as your services and products should.

This means  that you’re sharing valuable content with them: relevant articles, pictures, videos, memes, jokes, news, informations, giveaways and discounts.
I you want to make a sale, you’ll want to adapt your writing styles for the type of person you want buying product/service – this will be why they return to your brand, because you’re the most reliable.

Original vs curated content: Deciding the tone of the content, whether it be funny; serious; witty; fun etc, along with if you’re posting original content, curated content or a mixture of both, it needs to be decided who is posting what, and the sources you’re getting your content from.

If you have a blog, this is the probably the best place to produce original content and if you haven’t got a blog, it’s strongly advised that you do.
A thing to question your social media specialist would be if they write on blogs, this could be another factor to be taken into consideration when deciding on whether to hire them.

Timing: Scheduling and timing your posts is also another consideration, as you’ll want to post when your audience are most active and will receive the content, gaining you more reach.

Images: Lastly, if you’re including pictures in your content, you’ll want to make sure they’re relevant to the article and more importantly, if they’re suitable and appropriate.
Again, writing and creating original content will prevail in comparison with sharing third-party images, but both are a major factor in the success of you social media.

Resolving these questions before hiring someone, is an advantage in itself.

4. Understand the role of social media in marketing

A further thing for you to learn, is what role social media plays in marketing.

It’s a tool: The primary role of social media, within marketing, is communication, as it makes you accessible to people – those who are interested in your product, and those that don’t know about it yet.
It enables you to give your brand a personality, and create relationships, thus leading to repeat buyers and customer loyalty.

It’s like a sales assistant: You should think of your social media role as a salesperson: understanding that partnerships between businesses, clients, and customers are created through the correct branding and relationship building.

Do more: If you’re social media is fantastic but your website barely reaching average, you brand is going to plummet, quite fast.
Post anything and everything that you think is worth posting, and do more than just sharing it across your social media – integrate it into all of your marketing effort: make a custom image on your site’s homepage, print a flyer and include it in your packaging etc.

To achieve the best results, it’s your responsibility to ensure your marketing strategy works cohesively across all of your channels, traditional, digital and social.

5. Come prepared, or prepare to listen

Prior to meeting with the social media specialist, it’s important to determine if you’re actually interested in hiring the person because you need someone to implement a plan or if you’re going to them for the plan.

The best clients are the ones who have a vision and a method for execution, or ones who are flexible and open to suggestion.
Like those best clients, you should meet with the specialist with an open mind, and from then you’re business should bloom, whatever the decision.

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