Monday, October 10, 2011

How will I find the best Social Media Marketer available?

It has been a long while since I’ve posted a blog. A lot has happened over the course of June, July, August, and September.
Lime Kiln Point, San Juan Island
  1. We (three coauthors and I) finished the first college textbook on social media marketing. It will be available March 2012. Keep an eye out for Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach.
  2. Since the beginning of July I’ve been working (remotely) as the Director of Communications for Own Point of Sale.
  3. Travel. In June, I drove up and down the east coast in my visit to Cape Cod and flew to Ann Arbor, MI to meet with Own Point of Sale. Then, during July I flew from Washington DC to Spokane, WA to visit family. In August/September, I spent a couple of weeks in Los Angeles, CA, flew to Portland, OR, drove from Portland through Seattle, WA to visit the San Juan Islands, and flew to Ann Arbor, MI for work. I then flew to Washington DC (my former home) packed my things and made a cross country road trip to move back to the best coast (I mean, west coast). ;)
To say the least, it has been an adventurous couple of months but I have not forgotten about social media by any means. During this time I also attended a few small business professional meetings and had a chance to answer some questions about social media and how to hire someone to handle social media for your business.

One question and answer I felt was worth sharing:

How will I find the best Social Media Marketer available?

First, avoid “Experts” – more specifically, don’t go for the self-proclaimed expert. Look to recommendations from previous clients and employers to tell you if they have expertise in the field. It seems today that everyone with a Facebook profile or Twitter page is calling him/herself a social media expert, guru, diva, etc. The truth is, the field is so rapidly evolving that no one can legitimately claim to be a social media expert (platform specific sure, but the field is far too broad).

Instead, it is best to look for someone with prior hands on experience actually doing social media marketing for a company or client. Odds are, you’d be better off with someone who has maintained social media pages as an intern than any of the “experts” out there. I have heard from too many people how they hired an expert and came out with very little executable knowledge of how to improve their company’s social media presence.

Second, post the job listing to a social media platform like LinkedIn Jobs. Finding and applying for the job through a social media platform shows that he/she does have (at least) a base understanding of social media.

Third, conduct an online background check. Look at all the pages he/she provides you with links to and even ones that he/she doesn’t. Read the content posted through his or her blog, Twitter, and corporate pages that he/she has managed. So, what are you looking for? You’re looking to see two things: (1) is he/she using proper grammar (avoid people who use slang, that is not how you want your business portrayed) and (2) can he/she phrase things succinctly (with social media platforms like Twitter, there is a character limit and your employee has to be able to convey your message with the fewest words possible).

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