Most modern companies recognize that Social Media is valuable–even vital–and it is here to stay. Each week I see more businesses opening Facebook pages and beginning blogs. Many small business owners, however, have told me recently that they are getting burned out. They all say the same thing: “I personally don’t want to Tweet and Post. I’ll just hire an intern to do it for me. They are young and into all that stuff!” So, should you hire an intern to do all your social media marketing? Or should you outsource your social media to an “expert?”
Interns Lack The Training
There was I time when I thought that hiring an intern from a local university was not a bad idea. That was until I did some research and conducted some interviews. I have found that many colleges around the country introduce students to Social Media but don’t teach them how to turn these trends into business tools. One intern director–of a business school no less–even admitted to me that his university is way behind the times! Social media marketing changes rapidly, and the only way our education system will keep up and train students for success is by hiring successful social media marketing consultants, such as Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Mari Smith,David Merriman Scott, and Gary Vaynerchuk. These consultants (and many more like them) would change the whole business world if students could hear their message and put it to use. Until that happens, we have to look elsewhere. So where else to do we look?
I must say again that I think it far better to do social media marketing in-house rather than outsourcing it. Yes, get advise and assistance from consultants, but then have someone within the company do the social networking. The CEO or owner first must embrace the idea. He (or she) must be willing to give an employee the freedom to use social media as a representative of the company. If there are no employees with the skills or interest to use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and blogging, then you must look at hiring a part-time social media employee. My suggestion, for those of you who own a small service business, is to hire someone who is actively using social media right now. One of the best places to start your search is a successful Mommy Blogger! Mom Blogs are very popular these days; you may even have a customer who has a mom’s blog. If she has a good following base and is successful using Twitter and Facebook, hire her! See if she is willing to work part-time for you. She should be local and know your company. I’d recommend her coming into your office at least once a week and attending any company meetings. The idea is for her to get to know your company, inside and out. She already knows how to use the social media networks. She can then take over your current social media sites or start from scratch!
What is your take on this? Do you agree? What are your plans for beginning, improving or growing your Social Media in 2011?
BTW, I’m sure you can find an intern or student who could be successful at helping your business. If you have one working right now, don’t fire her. If you like her, get help from a good social media coach.