Whether big or small, every company is beginning to realize that this “social media” thing is important enough to warrant getting some help with it. We’ve learned the hard way, perhaps, that 3rd party vendors don’t live up to their promises of delivering social media goldmines. We’re learning that it can’t just be an admin task added to the routine assignments of the front desk, and you know you can’t just squeeze it into your busy schedule. Social media is not something to just check off the list. Just like your website, social media is an incredibly powerful tool providing you the ability to attract new and potential customers… If you use the tool correctly.
So, you’re ready to make the investment of some time and money. How do you find the right person to take on your social media, who will prove worthy of your investment?
Here are 3 job requirements they’ll need to have, as well as 2 bonus requirements YOU’LL want to make sure YOU have! Let’s dive in…
1. A Social Media Assistant with Smarts
No other way to put this. Social media has been mistaken for something kind of, well… silly. It’s far from silly, my friends. Social media is the heart of the people, and it could be the heart of your brand. At the core of any social interaction is an emotional exchange – be it love, hate, empathy, longing, fulfillment. You need someone who recognizes the significance of social media, who is excited to study and truly understand your particular audience. You want someone who can articulate this understanding well. Luckily, this quality can not be faked. Look for a person who can win you over and make you believe in them. If they can do this with you, they can probably do this with your audience.
2. A Social Media Assistant with Passion for YOUR brand.
Notice I emphasize YOUR brand. This is a key distinction! There are plenty of “social media experts” who speak passionately. They may even have smarts (#1), but you are looking for someone you can trust with your very own company. They need to want to know about you, your brand, your history, your future. They need to speak with a fire and an enthusiasm that inspires YOU. There is an energy in their engagement, and a precision in the quality of their content. They aren’t just general cheerleaders, they are a stand for something real and important. You’re looking for a champion for your brand.
3. A Social Media Assistant who’s not afraid of RESULTS.
While they may not need to be analytics experts, we want to find a person who understands they are accountable to your business. The way they justify their job position is by increasing your audience, improving the quality of engagement (meaning, they help the existing fans to become more active), and ultimately converting fans into paying customers. This is a journey, and it may even be a long one. But, a great social media assistant will be invested in finding the right combination of engagement that she or he can proudly prove to you is also EFFECTIVE.
BONUS TIPS FOR YOU: I haven’t forgotten! While you are hoping to find the perfect assistant, there are 2 key tips that are 100% your responsibility. Without these, it really doesn’t matter how amazing your team is, they won’t be as effective as they could become.
Be willing to listen.
From the very beginning, your amazing social media assistant is going to start learning incredibly valuable information about your fans and potential customers. She or he is going to be on the front lines, laughing with them, helping them, listening to their concerns. It’s your job to make DAMN SURE that you provide this person with what he or she needs to provide the best content possible. I say again: THIS IS YOUR JOB, NOT THEIRS. They bring the excitement, they bring the attention to detail, the voice, the follow up. Perhaps they help with the messaging and visuals, depending on who runs your graphics… But, they absolutely need you to provide the guts of your content. They are basically pretending to be you, remember? They need fuel! So, listen to what they need and provide it – pictures, ideas, thoughts, product information, videos, poems – whatever is appropriate. And, in an ideal scenario, you’ll create an amazing system of teamwork with your social media person. They become a seamless extension of you. You connect regularly to uncover a few key brand nuggets for the week, and your social media assistant knows how to transform these nuggets into gold.
Build systems you can replicate.
There’s a sad reality that if you find someone amazing they probably won’t be with you forever. You are an example of someone who probably worked for others before now working for yourself. This can be painful, especially when we’ve grown so dependent on this person. But, you’ll minimize the disruption if you’ve planned ahead. Starting from the beginning, establish protocol that can be replicated.
- Make sure that all accounts are in the business name, and all login credentials are in your possession.
- Make sure that all assets are in a common archives, and these are organized in a way that makes sense to you. Photos, videos, strategy campaigns, etc. should all be accounted for in a general (cloud) filing system.
- Analytics, metrics, lessons, observations should be captured in a detailed report at least every quarter. Again, this is the most valuable part of this position – knowing your ideal customer inside and out. You may want to even create a template here that asks questions you want answered.
- Sharing patterns should also be documented so you can continue through any disruption. What social platforms were shared to, when? How often? What times of day were best? Were posts all done manually, or did they use a multi-platform tool (Hootesuite, etc.)? In the worst case scenario where you have to do your own social media until you find a replacement who qualifies, you’ll need to know this!
I could probably go on and on about this, but I like to try to keep my suggestions to succinct bite-sized pieces.
If you are ready to take that step of receiving some help, these tips above should prove very useful in making a social media assistant match made in heaven!
If you have any comments regarding your own experience, or feedback on what I’ve written, feel free to comment below. I’m all ears…