I was reading though some of my favorite blogs where I get a host of ideas for the Internet Squeeze and I came across a great read from Peter Shankman. He was ranting about the blindness of most business managers who still feel compelled to outsource social media. Whether it is a fear of getting their hands dirty, or just a desire to avoid learning something new, it seems that most people just don’t get it.
The internet has changed the mechanisms and processes that progressive companies use to engage with both customers and prospective customers. Social media is only part of the overall toolbox, but an important one nevertheless. The various different social media sites represent a change in the process of communicating with our customers, so do not think for a second that you can outsource social media or hire a social media expert to “handle it” for your company.
Borrowing a quote from Mr. Shankman,
You’d never give the intern permission to write the corporate press release to accompany an earnings announcement, so why the hell are you listening to the 22-year-old who says “we’re going to do this social media thing because it’s cool?”
You see, customer service and company communication will always be a core competency for an organization that wishes to stay in business. Social media offers new devices to reach our customers, so it is an issue that should be addressed from the top of the organization on down. If the head of your organization does not care about customer interaction, then your organization is dying. Period.
3 Tips For Hiring A Social Media Expert
- The best choice is YOU – That’s right, YOU. I don’t care if you are a 70 year old CEO or the head of a team in your company, you need to take the time to learn about how social media can enhance the customer experience with your company. Even if you do not possess the authority to make sweeping changes, they are needed and somebody will eventually desire guidance in an adaptation plan. YOU need to be part of the solution.
- The second best choice is your Chief Marketing Officer – I cannot imagine a company without a CMO. If you are a 1 person company, then it’s you! If you are a large organization, then somebody should wield this title and work to deliver the company message on all appropriate channels. The CMO has to be or become an expert in social media; it is not going away and it’s not just some trendy fashion statement. Current and future customers are already there, is your company?
- The worst choice is somebody who does not work for your company – While this has been established earlier, I felt it worth repeating. The primary role of social media is customer engagement, so how is somebody who does not understand you or your customers going to do this for you? It’s like hiring somebody to “man the store” while you’re away, it better be a trusted and experienced employee.
Take heed and evaluate the methods and processes that your company is using to engage with customers. You might feel comfortable in doing things the way you always have (they’ve been successful after all), but your customers are changing and they are moving forward, you need to as well. Technology will always be a change agent in business, do not let this one slip by.