Hiring someone to manage your social media accounts is about trust, not just convenience. You chose to open social media business accounts because your customers and potential customers use those platforms. Social media managers can tackle maintenance and monitoring, but digital properties are living things which must be nurtured.
You cannot pay someone to care about your brand as much as you do.
If you are reluctant to build or at least visit your company’s accounts, ask yourself: “If I prefer to ignore my page, account, etc., how can I expect customers to ‘like’ it or engage with my content?” Even if you have a pre-approval policy with your social media manager for any new activity on your account, signing off on a post-by-post basis is no substitute for viewing a page the way your visitors do.
You may have accounts on multiple platforms, but let’s focus on Facebook.
ASK: Will my likes and engagement increase? How?
Reputable social media managers may use boosted posts or ads to attract new interest, but they will not purchase likes. As I wrote in Likes: Get Real, “click farms” generate and sell “fake likes.” The practice of buying likes is forbidden by Facebook, and carrying these likes – which do not represent true interest by a real person – in your account can reduce your engagement levels, which may affect the delivery of posts.
ASK: What types of content will you use?
Think about the pages you enjoy visiting. Many probably feature a mixture of several types of content, such as:
- Original. This unique content was written for this page, and only this page.
- Customized. Unless you visit similar pages, you may not realize you’re reading content from a template, since names have been added to match the page. This content – often featuring relevant advice or general tips, etc. – has not been copied or pirated. Instead, the manager wrote or purchased material for the post and then personalized it for individual clients.
- Curated. This category includes “shares” of material published by various partners as well as strategic links to your own online properties such as your blog.
- Interactive. Yes, social media content is interactive by nature, but you can invite even more participation with activities such as contests.
ASK: Who will have access to my page and/or perform the tasks and services I’ve purchased?
Does your social media manager hire virtual assistants or other subcontractors to do the work in your social media management package? If so, ask any related questions about topics that matter to you. For example, how were the subcontractors selected? How much access will they have (passwords, etc.)?
ASK: What ideas do you have for improving the way Facebook fits into my social media strategy and/or brand strategy?
Make sure your social media accounts are not operating in isolation from your other communication vehicles. Messaging and brand identity, including the online personality or “voice,” should be consistent.
The best social media managers want to educate you and work with you.
Ask them to show you the methods and tools they use to update accounts, schedule posts, create ads and plan campaigns, etc. Discuss the types of posts you will add, if any, such as captioned photos from recent events. Your social media manager may have ideas about tagging or positioning those updates inside a larger editorial calendar for maximum impact.
Candace Schilling, publicist, offers PR Communication and Training to spiritual teachers and faith-based communities. For more inspiration as well as tips about marketing and strategic communication, check out her articles or find Candace on LinkedIn.