I’ve been noticing this as a trend lately that’s happening in many companies and businesses within Malaysia. Young grads are being hired for a specific job to find that they are given an additional job description – to manage the company’s social media accounts.
Is this really a smart thing to do?
A young person usually spends their entire day on Facebook, Twitter and blogs therefore they are great candidates to manage the accounts, isn’t it? WRONG. Though it may be true that they are technologically savvy, this does not automatically makes him or her a social media expert with the required capabilities to take on your company’s social media presence.
Likewise for PR Managers, they may be really good at what they do but this does not automatically makes them a social butterfly online. Plus, PR Managers generally have extrovert personalities so keeping them behind a screen to socialize may not work as well as you think it would.
Insisting on using them?
I would not go down this path but if that’s the only choice you have, consider looking up their backgrounds or throwing them a test before adding it to their job description. Check out their Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts to see what they usually talk about (you may even find that they are active only on Facebook games).
If you find that they are actively participating in chats, sharing informative contents, retweeting, creating content and etc – Congratulations! You’ve found your man (or woman)!
If you find that they are actively chatting casually, sharing random contents, talking about the bits and pieces of their life, mostly participating in games and etc – You may not want to bestow them your company’s social media accounts.
What should be done then?
The best for the job is definitely a social media manager or consultant that specializes in social media. One that does not only have the knowledge, but also with the experience to generate ideas, execute and creatively engage with his / her network.
There are tons of articles out there listing the various areas to look for in a social media manager so I won’t go into the details but most of them concur that he / she must have some past experience in the field. It can be personal experiences, various projects / campaigns or past / present clients.
Also, do not hesitate to probe questions to test their knowledge in the field as knowing these can give you an ease of mind and somewhat gauge the potential results thus evaluating whether he or she is worth your money.
So, is it really a ‘no’ to hire a young person / PR to do the job for me?