The Roaring PJ Blog

Hire a Social Media Strategist not the Neighbor’s Kid Down the Street

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By Melanie Yunk | May 22, 2015

Teens and recent college graduates spend an extraordinary amount of time on social media, so logically you should hire one as your new social media strategist. After all, they are already spending the majority of their time on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so they must know what they are doing, right? Maybe. Take into consideration a few other factors before you hire a fresh-faced young person to manage your business's social media marketing program.

Hire Neighbor Kid for Business, Little Business Man

Millennials understand how to operate social media accounts and even how to gain large numbers of followers. However, they might not be qualified to operate as your social media strategist, just yet. Such a person might best be described as more of a social media enthusiast. The difference between a strategist and an enthusiast is substantive.

Social media strategists acquire a refined skill set that empowers them to drive a successful social media marketing program. While social media enthusiasts truly enjoy using social media, they may lack the expertise and education that is necessary to execute an effective social media effort on behalf of a business.

A qualified person earned a strong background in digital marketing. These professionals develop strategies and methods to generate attention for your company, recruit customers, provide customer service and expand your brand. A social media strategist strives to continuously improve his or her knowledge, stay abreast of industry trends and algorithm updates and understands how social media fits into a company's general marketing strategy. A strategist becomes an extension of your already established marketing team and helps you navigate the acquisition of qualified leads via your website and to your place of business.

Consider what might happen if you hired a recent college graduate with limited marketing and professional experience to conduct your firm's social media marketing. While a new graduate might know the ins and outs of the various online platforms like Facebook and Twitter, will he or she be capable of developing and implementing a comprehensive social media strategy? Will this new hire be able to communicate your brand, values and messaging in 140 characters or less? How comfortable are you asking this person to deal with an unhappy, dissatisfied customer with their writing skills alone? The person you hire needs to bring more to the table than just a love for Pinterest and SnapChat.

So what qualifications and skills do you need look for in hiring a social media strategist?

  • Strategic marketing and digital marketing background
  • Writing and editing skills
  • Ability to create graphics and crop, edit and resize photos and graphics or work with a graphic artist
  • Knowledge of monitoring tools and Google Analytics, as well as social network analytics.
  • Understanding of keywords and search engine optimization methodology
  • Understanding of company short-term and long-term goals and how to build these goals into an editorial calendar
  • Listening and monitoring skills
  • Customer service experience

If you own or manage a business or simply have an interest in social media, we would love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Perhaps you've had a bad experience with a social media enthusiast who couldn't cut it as a true social media strategist. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information on the importance of hiring an experienced person to manage your program.

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