In Social Media Management: You Get What You Pay For 

by | Jan 26, 2017 | Social Media

With an already lengthy to-do list, social media can quickly become the time suck that gets moved month after month and sometimes year after year to the bottom of your to-do list. We’ve all been there.

This is why many business owners like you, decide to hire someone to create the content and manage your social media presence. This person doesn’t just manage all aspects of social media (and often times content marketing), but more importantly they manage the reputation of your business.

The day-to-day often looks like a running task list of:

  • New content creation to share on the various social channels (that are engaging and timely)
  • Regularly create new blog posts
  • Monitor what’s happening in your industry to best capitalize on it for your company to become a part of the conversation
  • Keep up with platform changes and additions
  • Measuring what’s working and what’s not and knowing how to pivot
  • Managing the company’s online community (answering questions, responding to comments)

Often, the social media manager will also be responsible for higher-level tasks such as defining goals, tracking KPIs and developing a strategy that is designed to accomplish them.

As a part of or extension of your marketing and business strategy team, a lot is expected of social media managers. So, it’s not surprising that it isn’t cheap to hire a dedicated and experienced social media manager to handle everything outlined above.

But in business, owners are always looking for a way to save money where they can. Some business owners decide to hire teens that don’t know what it’s like to not have the Internet in the palm of their hand, who just have a “natural knack” for social media. This teen could be their neighbor’s daughter, who just started her own fashion blog, or a local high school kid who’s proficient in social media because they use it daily. You know what these two examples have in common? They’re CHEAP (and inexperienced and a risk to your online reputation…keep reading).

To that I say: You get what you pay for, especially when it comes to social media.

Sure, those teens and young college interns know how social media works — the mechanics of it — but what they don’t have is the business or marketing savvy. Using social media for business purposes is MAJORLY different than using it solo. It’s not just your reputation at stake, but that of an entire company and boy are the stakes high.

So what’s the difference? What does an experienced social media manager know that the teen or intern doesn’t know? Let us count the ways.

  • Using social media to meet business goals (and defining relevant business goals if you don’t have them)
  • Utilizing metrics, ads, etc. on different platforms to track the success in order to reach business goals or knowing when to pivot the strategy
  • Monitor the ROI of campaigns
  • Optimize accounts/posts for SEO

These are skills that can be developed over time, but you’re going to spend more money (and time you don’t have) training the teen to get to this point, rather than hiring an experienced professional, who knows the ins and outs of these objectives outright and can dig in immediately.

Though it seems like social media is all fun and games, there’s a set of strategies that need to be executed in order to win.

Consistency is King

Something we preach regularly is practicing patience when it comes to social media, because it’s a long game. To the results you desire, consistency is king. Because of course there is a learning curve for whoever you hire to understand how the brand works and what it stands for so you need someone who can commit to seeing their strategy through, someone that isn’t going to leave you stranded because they graduated from high school or they want to take that two-week cruise vacation in the middle of summer, which is also busy season. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Handle Crises Like a Boss

On social media, everything moves like lightening, and you need someone that will not only pay attention to what’s being said about your company at all times, but also has the professionalism and experience to handle any customer service or negative comments toward your company with ease and in some instances grace. A master at turning the negative to the positive.

Also, it’s best to utilize a professional to ensure a hiccup in social media management like this one doesn’t happen. Fashion Designer Marc Jacob’s Twitter account was compromised when someone claiming to be an intern defamed the company’s CEO 140 characters after 140 characters.

Can They Keep Up?

It’s crucial that a social media manager keeps up with the ever-changing tides of the industry. Facebook changes its ad structure often along with that pesky algorithm and Instagram is adding new features daily to extend its value prop, just to name a few. Does your teenage social media manager read industry news? If they do, do they then apply the new knowledge and tools to the overall strategy? Do they know where your target audience hangs out online? Do they follow industry sites or attend workshops to enhance their skills and knowledge? These are key questions to ask. To be fair, these are great questions to ask all social media managers before hiring them.

Not Reactive, Responsive

Your social media manager is the face (especially in this uptick in video content) and voice of your brand online which is an enormous responsibility. A teen may not have the maturity or necessary pause or filters to manage your company’s reputation on social media.

For example, what if a perturbed customer makes a negative comment that has some serious ‘tude? An experienced social media manager has faced this several times before and will know exactly how to respond and diffuse the situation, whereas the less experienced teen may be more reactive and respond too quickly without the appropriate level of professionalism.

Staying Power

Why does this matter? Well, social media content has a tendency to stick around (even after deleting!) and continue to haunt your company’s dreams. The impact of an unprofessional and reactive response can continue to leech on your reputation for longer than you’d like.

My hope is that this post will have you think twice before hiring a teen and in some instances an intern to manage your social media. The benefits, which is predominately the low cost, doesn’t compare to the risks you’re putting on your reputation as a leader of your company but your company as a whole.

If you decide you need to hire some outside help, but don’t have the cash money, we recommend hiring someone with more experience for a few hours a week.

Looking for someone to take the reins? E-mail Karlyn.