Did your company jump on the bandwagon a while back and hire a social media manager based on age? If so, you were not alone. Some hiring managers relied on the faulty naive logic that young people know social media better since they use it a lot, or maybe because they seem to be more socially connected than older employees.  Small business owners and hiring managers are starting to realize that the best social media managers are not only socially savvy online, but also possess extensive knowledge of their industries. In my opinion, age has no bearing on a person’s ability to be an effective social media manager. A person of any age who has “social” skills and industry knowledge – and who helps his or her company succeed online – is a rare gem. There are other qualities hiring managers should consider as more essential when they are seeking a social media manager.

Is your small business failing to show positive interaction on any of its social media platforms (such as “Likes” or comments on Facebook, or “retweets” on Twitter)? Is your company losing credibility online rather than gaining momentum? Do you think this may have something to do with your current social media manager? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you and your business may need a new social media manager.

As well, these are four other signs which indicate you may need to start looking for a new social media manager:

His Blog Posts are Consistently Irrelevant

For the most part, people love kittens, puppies, babies and sweet grannies. But let’s say your business sells auto parts. Or computers. Or adult diapers. Sure, the cute story your social media manager told you about his dog and baby may be funny to his friends and family. But what if he decides to write about his family or movies he likes – on your business blog? A social media manager should understand your business well enough to write informative and possibly entertaining blog posts that appeal to the industry, not just his friends or family. The content may not be as cute, but the point is to educate your audience and introduce your brand through your organizations’ blog. He may think he is helping by driving traffic to your website. Unless the traffic includes some qualified leads, those efforts are useless.

She Only Shares Her Posts

Even if your industry falls into a “less-than-sexy” industry, a good social media manager is able to find plenty of industry-relevant content by other authors to share. There are no hard and fast rules about how often you should be sharing your own content – you actually need to share your own blog posts – in moderation. If your readers like your content, they will share it. They are even more likely to share your content when you have been sharing theirs.

He Completely Automates Your Company’s Social Media

I want to jump in first to say I have no personal issues with scheduling social media posts. For a busy social media manager, it often becomes a necessity. There, I said it. The problem with automating arises when the social media manager relies so heavily on automation that he no longer engages with leads or clients. When questions go unanswered, people get frustrated and angry. They may even take their business elsewhere. More recently, social media automation was scrutinized after Epicurious sent out what appeared to be self-promotional tweets after the Boston Marathon bombings last April. The tweets were not meant to be malicious or ill-willed – they were only poorly timed. Automation is not bad, especially if a real person monitors the posts, engages with the audience and deletes potentially offensive posts as often as necessary.

She Posts Plenty of Great Content – On One or Two Platforms

A good social media manager knows there are many other social platforms besides Facebook and Twitter – and that even these two have evolved beyond their original capabilities. Depending on your type of business and your target market, you may find other platforms are effective for marketing and brand awareness. It may turn out your potential clients are looking for a company just like yours on Instagram or Pinterest. If so, then you should be there, too. Another side to this is posting on too many platforms. Oftentimes, overexposure backfires for a brand or causes burnout for an overly enthusiastic social media manager. Doing research and knowing your audience (i.e., who they are and where they are looking online) helps a business prevent either of these scenarios.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, a small business may be challenged with finding a social media manager who has both the “social” skills and the business knowledge. A person can easily learn both, but your business needs to decide whether to invest time and energy into education and training.

Do you have a social media manager or do you need a new one?

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