The 5 Biggest Differences Between Social Media Management and “Being On” Social Media

Guest Post: I would like to introduce Larry Alton. Larry is a current columnist for a variety of different publications, including Entrepreneur.com, SearchEngineJournal.com, MarketingTechBlog.com, Tech.co and The Washington Times. And now, us!

He’s written a great post that answers questions you didn’t know to ask about hiring a Social Media Manager, and how to tell the difference between somebody who is simply”on” social media and someone who actually can manage “your” social media.

Thanks for a great post, Larry.  MP


 

The 5 Biggest Differences Between Social Media Management and “Being On” Social Media  

It sounds like a dream come true: You’re getting paid to be on social media all day. While some older generations might scoff at the title “social media manager,” it’s actually a very real, very challenging and ultimately very rewarding career that few people are capable of doing well. Thinking SM management is easy and always fun is like thinking being a bartender is easy and fun—after all, you’re getting paid to party, right? What SM management may look like to outsiders is nothing like the reality.

How do you know if someone really is a good social media manager, or just thinks they are? There are some clues to watch out for. If you’re hiring someone to manage your social media, don’t go with the first applicant you get—dig a little deeper. And if you’re the one wanting to segue into SM management? It’s going to take more than being a pro at Instagram.

 

1. SM managers know analytics

Not only do genuine SM managers know analytics, but they know how to explain the data in laymen’s terms. Ideally, you’re getting a rundown of your SM statistics once a week (more if you like or if you’re business is experiencing fast growth). How can you tell if someone is delivering with their SM management skills? The numbers will tell you.

 

2. They create unique approaches for each client

Take a look at other sites and businesses the applicant has managed SM for. Is it obvious all the posts were written by the same person and it doesn’t seem customized to each client? That’s a sign that they’re not “managing” these sites, but simply using their own voice and comfort fields to bring in some extra revenue. You shouldn’t be able to tell the same person is posting for different clients.

 

3. They have an impressive and lengthy portfolio

Everyone has to start somewhere, but do you really want to be the guinea pig for a newbie SM manager? Ideally their portfolio is online, on their website, and it’s clear that SM management is their specialty (not just one of the many things they offer). While technically anyone could put together (or even fake) a SM portfolio, that’s a rarity. If an applicant doesn’t have a portfolio for you to peruse, they either don’t take their job seriously or are too green to have one.

 

4. They give you a free consult

If you’re specifically looking for someone to manage certain social media platforms, that’s one thing. However, every professional SM manager should offer a free consultation that includes their ideas on the best platforms for your business. There’s so much more out there than just Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. It’s a sign of a pro if they do their research before getting hungry to start posting.

 

5. Their personal socialmedia pages are moderately active

It’s a huge red flag if you “stalk” your candidates online and find that their personal page has posts every 10 seconds. However, if you’re found their SM Manager professional page, that’s different. Just bear in mind that if they have time to be posting non-stop and collect friends like Pokemon, they might be bordering on SM addict and may not give your SM the attention it deserves. Moderation is key.

 

When hiring a SM manager, rely on someone with a proven track record who knows their numbers and how to translate them to you. They respect your time and your reputation. That’s the mark of a pro.

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larryaltonLarry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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