October 3, 2011

Rachel Strella

You Give Social Media Management a Bad Name: Part I – The “Tweet-for-Hires”

Can’t seem to fit social media into your day? You’re not alone. Many business owners drop marketing and social media to the bottom of their long to-do list.

You might even consider outsourcing your efforts to a social media manager since you can’t seem to find the time and you’re not really clear on what you’re supposed to be doing.

But, what does a social media manager do exactly? Can they represent you in the most visible front?

Or, like a lot of folks, you may think the idea of a social media manager will take away from the authenticity of your business.

I will be the first to say social media management is not for every business. In fact, I would highly recommend that companies with more than 10 employees consider hiring or training in-house staff to manage their efforts.

Moreover, social media management can be viewed in a negative light simply because there are a good number of “tweet-for-hire” services out there who charge a lot of money and simply sit in a coffee shop and tweet for 20 or 30 clients. These services have no strategy. They just tweet with little or no engagement.

Megan Barto captures this type of service well in her guest post for Ken Mueller’s blog. She refers to a service that reached out to her (and she IS a social media manager already) regarding outsourcing the efforts at her dealership. This company charged $150 a month for three tweets per week. That was it. It didn’t matter if your business had only one follower or what the short-and-long term marketing goals were. They just did exactly what they are supposed to do: tweet for you.

Ken Mueller said it best, “One tweet is like putting a two second commercial on a cable access channel at three in the morning… “If social media is about conversation and engagement, one tweet a week is actually like working a regular 9-5 job, and saying one sentence to your co-workers or customers all week, then ignoring them the rest of the time.”

There are other companies – both locally and nationally – that push content out there like grass clippings. Some are even charging in excess of $50,000 a year for this service!

Why? Because they can. It’s these types of businesses that give social media management a bad name.

Social media is such a buzzword; businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and ready to hire someone to “take it care of it” for them without a clue of what social media is really all about… the conversation!

Honestly, I wasn’t even aware these kinds of services existed when I started my business. All I knew was that my first consulting client wanted someone to manage their efforts and I was only hoping I was up to the challenge. It’s not easy to “be” another company online, but I knew if I took the time to know the company, its mission, and its goals that I might be able to give it a try.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on Thursday!

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