Friday, May 27, 2011

10 Thoughts Before You Hire For Social Media

Expert, guru or hack.  IS there even such a thing?  By the fruits of their labor thou shalt know but really, does brilliance really care about titles? 

Not Guru Nor Expert But Ignore Social Media at your Own Peril

10 Thoughts Before You Hire for your Social Media

1.  Social media by itself will not take the place of Marketing.  Anybody who says so or tries to sell you the idea is a HACK.

2.  You can consult metrics and dollars ROI but there's more to measuring social media effectivity. It's honest to goodness brand-building that involves more giving than getting which can be very frustrating.  (But costlier to altogether ignore)

3.  Social networks are social media but social media isn't just social networks.  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are like rooms in a very big online mansion.  That's where most people are and that's great for marketers.  But we're sure not everybody on facebook are your right targets and seriously, not even a few are on twitter to be sold at.

4.  Marketing's intent is to sell and social media, ultimately, wants to do the same.  If you are aware of the difference then congratulations, you're ready for social media.  If not, you'd be better of reviewing the marketing plan, make sure you have a very deep pocket and a can't miss, awesome product - like a proven height increase product in 5 days, if there's one.

5.  Social media supports marketing but way better if the whole company supports social media.  Not just for purely selfish and commercial reasons  and not because it won't work but it may take a tortuous route if your employees will see through the hypocrisy.  It will be better if you treat your employees with respect that they come up with great product and provide good service that social media will come naturally from within.

6. Social media is not too different with CSR so do not try to demonize social media marketing efforts.  Celebrate dollar deals you obtain with social media but more than that, treasure relationships.  Easier said than done.

7.  In the event you can find one who admits that he is one, hire that innovation expert and he'd probably drive you nuts with his demands for a whole lot of changes that you will only pay lip service to because without the sales, everyone is bound to dismiss him as a fraud.  Same with social media expert but instead of demanding changes, be prepared for a whole lot of data monitoring, listening and participating.  What happens next is a lot of work for the Marketing experts. 

8.  What do you think of lottery?  Do you still buy tickets even if you think odds are higher of being hit by lightning than winning?  Do you look at it as getting yourself an opportunity to win instead of  skipping thus you'd have no real chance at all.  At least you save  a couple of dollars instead of a losing ticket.  Getting social media, more like the same.

9. Observe and look around, compare buying trends.  See anything different or similar?  More than going online or digital, social media is not just some set of tools, service or fail-proof magic formula.  Honestly, I look at it as effective marketing evolving and doing it's homework in the new platform/marketplace.

10.  The real reason you should never hire a social media expert is that there isn't one.  Many will claim to be one for adding thousands of "likes" and followers to your brands fan page but they're no different from a celebrity endorsement - your 15 minutes worth of fame.  If you value something longer than that then you'd simply have to think it through and become the real expert - through learning, yourself.


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