5 things all social media professionals should know

If you are thinking about hiring someone (or already have) to manage your social media channels, how do you know they are doing a good job? I have come across a lot of people that say they have experience managing social media channels but have never heard of Hootsuite. Hmm…. Community managers do a lot more than just post to Facebook and Twitter. They look for trends forming and listen to what their customers are talking about. They respond to criticism professionally and quickly. They keep tabs on which posts are performing better than others. They grow your social media channels and stay actively engaged. They create strategies on how to turn fans into loyal customers. Before you hire someone to manage your social media channels, do a little research to find out if that person will be a good fit to manage your company’s brand and goals.

Here are five things most social media professionals should know:

You can expand your reach just by using one character
Twitter can extend your reach just by adding a period in front of your tweet when you are replying to someone. When you reply directly to someone’s tweet, only people that are following you and that person will see that tweet, unless they visit your timeline. social media By adding a period before their name makes that tweet visible to everyone who follows you and depending on how many followers you have, that can make a huge difference!

Facebook contests that ask you to “share this post” don’t work
OK, maybe you get a lot of reach because everyone shares your post, however, if you are posting on your Facebook page and not using a third party app, depending on your fan’s security settings, you may not see that they have shared your post. Your Facebook page may also show five shares but when you click to see who has shared your post, not all of them show up. Using a third party app will automatically generate a random winner or if the contest is skill-based, it makes it easier to manage entries and capture information.

Your best performing tweet or post each week
If you have hired someone to manage your social media channels, they should be sharing weekly or monthly results with you. There are a lot of tools that can pull reports and feed this information with just a couple clicks. Hootsuite,  Facebook Insights and Twitter Counter are just a few. I have found Hootsuite extremely helpful for creating monthly reports which offers more information about your demographic and click throughs.

Why content marketing is important
Content marketing is a word that has been coming up frequently on blogs and social sites like Social Media Today. People are more likely to listen, read and respond to your content if it is helpful, informational or evokes an emotion. If you can solve a problem or answer a question for a customer before they ask it, you are making their life easier. Content marketing also builds up credibility that you are knowledgeable in your industry as well as gives customers a reason to return to your website on a regular basis.

Listening is underrated
Actively listening to what people are saying on social media, especially your customers, takes time – time that most people don’t have or have the patience for.  Monitoring key words related to your brand can lead to new customers and give you an idea on what people are saying about you or your brand. If people keep asking the same questions, maybe it’s worth writing a FAQ sheet or blog post related to that question.

These are just a few main points to think about when hiring a social media professional. Take a look at their social media channels and see what they are posting and how engaged they are. Ask for a referral from a past client and ask them how their most successful campaign performed and what they did that made it so successful. The more information you collect, the easier your decision will become.

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