Most companies are hiring social media staff and consultants these days. Having been involved in social media now for the last three years, as well as hiring both consultants and staff, I have some definate recommendations so that you can get more than you hoped for.
- Check their following. Whether you are hiring an individual, a contractor or a company, check out the number of followers they have. Unless they can show they’ve at least attracted 1000 followers either on twitter or on Facebook, ignore them. They haven’t played enough with social media to know how to effectively use it. The best will have over 10,000 followers, but they’ll be more expensive of course.
- Make sure they do the work themselves. This applies mostly to hiring individuals and consultants. You can throw a rock across the streets these days and hit a social media consultant, but most of them only understand it at a strategic level and then usually only because there is so much material on social media. Find those people who have actually built their own followings and not merely managed others.
- They need to be creative and analytical. If they’ve never used tools to measure the impact of their followers on a business, then they don’t know how to leverage their audience toward taking desirable actions.
- Are they connected? This is slightly tougher to analyze, but they need to be connected to and have influencing capabilities with other influencers. Even better is if those influencers are in your industry. It will help spread your message much further, much faster.
- Does their online personality match yours? This is very important because they will be a very visible part of your company. If their own tweets, Facebook posts and images don’t resonate with you, then anything they do for you will be a challenge. Unless they are a professional actor, it’s hard for people to fake a personality.
Hope this helps you in your search. These days you can no longer ignore social media if you want to grow your organization. This critical role is very important to get right.
I’ve never really had many role models in life. As a kid there were superheroes like the Hulk and Spiderman that I liked, but not really anyone in real life. Eventually Jesus entered my life and that changed, but the number of role models didn’t increase much.
But as I have become “wiser” with age, and I use that term simply because I have experienced more than I had at 18, I have realized there are a wide range of influencers in my life that affect how I think about life around me. For instance, I’ve recently started following Michael Hyatt and he has influenced my thinking about leadership. Now, I don’t consider him a mentor or a superhero as I simply don’t know him, but I read his work and it influences my thinking.
Another example, unfortunately is the media. They can sway an audience to their way of thinking very quickly whether it is the truth or not. We simply need to be more aware of who is influencing us, why they are influencing us, and choose to allow that or not.
This is good advice whether you run a church or a business. Because of social media, it has enabled everyone to be an influencer of your audience. If a single person riding on an airplane can post a few tweets and affect how that company treats it’s customers, you better believe that it doesn’t take much for a few people to influence the perception of your organization, for better or worse.
This means that as leaders, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring or not participating in the social conversation. As leaders you can be one of the greatest influencers in your space, if you are willing to participate. Otherwise you’ll be reliant on outside influencers to affect the direction of your organization.
So I decided to find out, how hard it would be to write a blog entry from my iPhone.
So I have of course downloaded the WordPress app and have it setup. That was easy enough. I entered my title (hopefully the URL comes put correct). I set up my category and now I’m typing away. All in all, it can definitely can be done, but I’m no where near as fast as my keyboard. I find my self making a lot of spelling errors that I have to manually correct.
It has taken me about 5 minutes to type this much. It would normally take maybe 30 seconds. If I keep practicing I would of course get better.
Posting pictures and video is pretty clunky though. By default they get posted at the bottom of the entry. You can of course copy and paste the code it inserts elsewhere in the entry, but copy/paste on the iPhone is a bad experience.
I’ve been actively using the Internet and Web since the summer of 1994 for work. Even though I’m on it all day, I must say I really don’t enjoy it that much. It just sucks up so much time if you let it. If you’re in a software company like I am, everyone is using it the majority of the day. Its extremely easy to get sidetracked into something interesting to read that has nothing to do with your job.
So many people now sit behind these keyboards typing away (like I am now) on something. We type to interact with each other, we type to do our work. The most exercise I get at work, minus getting out of my seat, is moving the little mouse next to my keyboard. That is how it is for so many people. It is why I love it when the Internet at work goes down or there is a power outage for whatever reason. Suddenly no one knows what to do. They get out of their seats and start interacting with one another. We actually goof around with one another. We talk and we socialize rather than send out a bunch of tweets about that Beiber guy.
But alas, the power does come back on, and the Internet is restored and people get back to socializing again behind the keyboard. I’m not saying that people don’t get out of their desks and talk with one another, but it is rather funny that it takes the complete removal of our social networks for people to actually get to know one another at a more personal level. Hmmm, maybe I should turn off that router tomorrow and see what happens. ;-)
Not a fad. Nor is it new. Word of mouth “marketing” has always been the best way of getting customers and establishing relationships since people started selling stuff. Social interactions affect your decisions and your future. I can trace my current job back through social interactions all the way back to my childhood. Social networking (aka relationships) have always been here. But…
The social sites are tools that enable us all to communicate to a larger group of people faster than we have been able to in the past. It’s all how you use these tools of course, but like any tool, they’ve been created because someone saw a need. The online social environment is the result (IMHO) of the speed of business/life that came about during the dotcom days. Because of the pace it created, people have had to adopt new ways of interacting with each other because they feel like they don’t have the time for other people. Meaningful interactions significantly decreased over the last decade to be replaced by 140 characters because we “had” to keep up. Everyone wants “instant results” now.
But what is interesting is that the pace we set a decade ago is now gone, or we have simply adapted so much that we don’t notice it anymore. We learned new habits that were simply easier to manage and therefore we didn’t change our bad communication habits either. Our kids and those that have been entering the workforce over the last 10 years have assumed this pace and communication methods to be the norm because they don’t know a different way. So now, “everyone” uses these new tools because they feel they have to communicate with lots of people in order to matter and have self worth. People tend to think if you don’t use the tools, friends think you are being rude, don’t care or at least out-dated (or possibly dead).
For better or worse, the tools are not going away and will increase in capabilities and number of users worldwide. The voice (and power) of the customer is becoming very large, very fast. The workers of the last decade, and most likely the next one, communicate this way and want more of it. If this is where everyone lives and communicates, then businesses are forced to go there also. Its why so many business people didn’t want to use Twitter in the beginning because they felt it was a fad, and a big social party; the relevancy just wasn’t seen to business owners. The businesses didn’t see a need to change their marketing and advertising models, but the consumer attention and method of communication changed, thus we are witnessing the demise of traditional marketing. Businesses that adapted to using these tools early have captured a lot of brand share. We’ve seen this even in our own space for lesser products.
Results of this for marketing? Nothing new that we haven’t known for centuries; go where the conversation is happening and participate.