Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

social media

Let’s face it.  social media is becoming more and more important in marketing your brand whether you are a brick and mortar business, an online business, a celebrity, a non-profit,  or something else altogether.  No matter which category you fall into, social media allows you to reach more of your target market for less marketing dollars than traditional marketing avenues.  If you haven’t started using social media yet, or have but have not been managing your accounts regularly, this post covers the pros and cons of hiring an intern to handle your social media accounts.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media?

  1. Pro:  You can get an intern free or almost free.  Most interns are required to do internships as part of their college credit so you won’t have to pay the rate you would have to pay a professional.
  2. Pro:  Interns are usually more technically savvy.  Interns have been using the social platforms you want for years.  They probably have taken classes in many of the management platforms as well.
  3. Pro: Interns are not set in their ways.  Interns are usually younger and are open to new ideas (your way of doing things) whereas professionals usually have their own way of doing things.)

 

  1. Con:  Interns are only with you a short time.  Because interns are doing their internship for a class credit, they are only there a short time (unless you decide to hire them). If you decide not to hire them, you have to go through the process of training another intern.
  2. Con:  Interns may need to be closely monitored.  Although your intern may have years of experience on various social platforms, their experience is purely for personal and social reasons.  Their posts may contain inappropriate language, and represent your business or brand in a questionable or negative manner.  Unless closely monitored, they may spend the day tweeting with their friends instead of the tasks you’ve given them.
  3. Con:  Interns are not dedicated to your brand or company.  You put your blood sweat and tears into your company.  You would never do anything to tarnish your company’s name in any way shape or form.  Does your intern care if there’s a typographical error, or if they accidentally post a photo of them at a party drunk as a skunk to your account that should have been posted to their personal account? Very doubtful.
  4. Con:  Interns don’t know everything about your company.  The person representing your company through social media should know as much as possible about your company and your brand.  People will be asking questions about your products and services.  Exactly how much can you teach an intern in a limited amount of time about your company or your brand?
  5. Con:  Interns won’t monitor your social platforms 24/7.  This goes back to the intern not being dedicated to your company.  They are there for college credit and possibly a job down the road, but 24/7 monitoring is a lot to ask for someone who is probably not getting paid.

I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media.  Please be sure to share them!  If you haven’t started using social media as part of your marketing strategy start now.  Don’t take my word for it – read this post by Forbes.  If you don’t play, you can’t win.

Have you Stumbled Upon StumbleUpon?

stumbleupon

stumbleupon

What is StumbleUpon?

If you use StumbleUpon from their site, it helps you discover and share great websites your friends or other people have recommended.  Many of these sites have had reviews written about them so you can get a quick glance of what the site is about before visiting the link.  This alone makes “stumbling” more attractive than searching via your search engines.

StumbleUpon Your Friends

Who recommends these sites?  Your friends have probably been stumbling for a while, why not StumbleUpon them?  StumbleUpon has the capability for you to find your Facebook and Twitter friends with a few clicks of your mouse and I’ve recorded a short video to show you how:

StumbleUpon Your Favorite Topics

Not only did you learn how to find your friends in that video, but you learned how to share your favorite links with them.  This is just a primer to get you started.  There’s so much more StumbleUpon can do.  For instance, did you know you can StumbleUpon your favorite topics?

“StumbleUpon offers nearly 500 topics which users may choose to indicate their interests and preferences so each Stumble produces only the most relevant content. StumbleUpon delivers increasingly relevant content as the Toolbar learns what the user has liked in the past and continues to present quality web sites in the future.”

Here’s short video showing you how to stumbleupon your favorite topics:

StumbleUpon More Visits to Your Blog

I read this great post by Jeff Bullas the other day that had an amazing infographic explaining how StumbleUpon was more effective than the average Twitter or Facebook account.  (Now that’s not taking Triberr or other online communities into account.)   This infographic basically said pages shared on StumbleUpon had a “half-life” of a link of 400 hours, compared to 2.8 for Twitter and 3.2 for Facebook.  Pretty impressive.  I would have liked to know what those stats were for LinkedIn.  If you are serious about marketing your business online and getting maximum exposure to your blog, website, or Facebook fan page, I highly recommend you start using StumbleUpon.

If you’d like to learn more about Jeff Bullas’ post and how to get a StumbleUpon toolbar for your browser, or how to write a StumbleUpon review, stay tuned to this upcoming video:

I know this was a lot of information for one post, but as you can see, it all goes together.  I learned StumbleUpon in little bits and haven’t taken full advantage of it yet.  I will be soon, so if you see me following you, feel free to follow me back, share posts etc… Have you started “Stumbling” yet?  I’d like to know!

 

 

Social Media Strategy: What Do You Do?

What is Social Media Strategy?

Well – let’s break it apart.  There are social media  platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Youtube to name a few.  Strategy as explained by dictionary terms is: a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.   So, in simple terms, Social Media Strategy is a Plan for obtaining a Goal for Getting Ahead in the World.  For most businesses, that would translate to making more money and who’s going to say they don’t want to make more money?

This post is the first in a series of social media strategy, and I’m going to help you get started with a few bullet points:

  • What do you or what does your company do?  Make it tweetable in 100 characters or less so it can be RTd  Make the statement so easy a 5 year old child can repeat it.  Make it catchy enough someone would want to make it into a jingle.
  • Everyone needs to part of the same team.  It’s imperative everyone at your company from the executives to the sales team to the marketing department are all on the same page.  Department A can’t be running one campaign while Department B is running another.  Have you ever been on the phone for a support issue and had to be transferred numerous times to different departments and explain yourself over and over?  Frustrating isn’t it?  Social media/marketing campaigns should be symbiotic and the left hand should know what the right hand is doing at all times.
  • Know your competition.  This is where you can gain the upper hand on your competition and they may not know you’re doing it.  If you monitor their Twitter and Facebook accounts, see the questions being posted by their fans and followers that are not being answered quickly enough or at all, that’s when you can swoop in and answer their questions.  After a while you gain credibility as a knowledgeable source.   Am I saying you need to say “I work for XYZ company and we know the answers come follow us!”  No – not at all.  Just discretely answer the question before your competition has a chance to.  The individual who asks the question will see the avatar and if it happens regularly, you will gain more followers, you will get listed and you will get more fans.
  • Use social media.  I’ve been peppering it in with the previous bullets, but you really do need to use as many of the social media platforms as you can.  Blog about your product.  If you offer a service and are an expert in your field, write how-to posts, e-books, create short videos.  Did you know 71% of online adults now use video sharing sites like YouTube?  That’s up from 66% in 2010. Many of you say you don’t want to show yourself on camera – that’s fine – I don’t show myself on camera, but I create videos for my blog posts.  I use an application call Jing made by TechSmith  I’ve loved it – and especially like the fact I’m limited to 2 minutes so I can’t make a long drawn out video.
  • Don’t Expect Success Overnight. I’ve heard and read so many complaints from companies and individuals saying “social media didn’t work for me” or “social media just doesn’t work”.  The problem with these scenarios is these people didn’t give social media a realistic chance to succeed.  They either tried to do it themselves with no plan or strategy, or they got a high school or college intern who was good at Facebook and Four Square to do their social media updates.  Depending upon what your product or service is, you need to interact with your customers.  Help them with their questions if they have any. Whether you do that on your Facebook fan page, on your blog, or on your Twitter feed, be sure to try to remember their names, if they asked questions on previous posts, make them feel special.   Turn your customers into your cheerleaders.
So let’s recap the basics for step 1 in this series of Social Media Strategies:
  • Very short description or tagline of what your company does; 100 characters or less
  • Everyone needs to be part of the team
  • Know your competition
  • Use Social Media
  • Don’t Expect Overnight Success
And as always – if you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them here or on my Facebook fan page  or Twitter @YSMMogul.

 

How NOT to Get Fans on Facebook

You’ll read lots of posts and articles and tips on how you can get people to “like” your page or become a fan.  This post is more about how you DON’T want to get those fans.

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  • Don’t give away prizes to entice people to become fans.  This will not focus on your target audience.  It will instead draw individuals only interested in the prizes you are giving away who will probably “unlike” you when your promotion is over.  This results in money spent on advertising and prizes for fans who will more than likely not turn into clients.
  • Don’t buy fans.  Unless you don’t have a target market, which is unlikely, you will get a variety of ages, languages, backgrounds, etc…  Most companies, yours included should have a target market in mind when creating their fan page.  Similarly, these fans will also “unlike” you just as quickly as they like you.  The only upside to buying fans would be to give you a quick “boost” in numbers when you first introduce your page to make you appear as though you’re more established.  Again, these fans will not stick around for the long term, they will not participate in discussions, “like” any comments, etc…
  • Don’t SPAM. If you import from your e-mail address book, make sure everyone on that list will know who the invitation is from.  Over time our address books become littered with a variety of e-mails, acquaintances, etc…  Anti-spam laws are more stringent than ever and you will be signing off that you have the approval of everyone on that list to send them the invitation to your new fan page.  You don’t want to be blocked before you get started!
  • Don’t Beg.  You might not think it’s begging, but that’s probably the way it will appear to everyone else.  “Hey I just created a new fan page, be sure to “like” me.” or “Why haven’t you “liked” my fan page yet?  I’ve told you about it several times this past month?”    I would say that constitutes as begging.  Remember, no one is obligated to “like” your fan page.
  • This method is something I do, but it’s not something for everyone or every company.  The fan page exchange.  It’s not going to get you your target market, but it will help grow your numbers in a short time if you work at it diligently.   There is something you need to remember if  you decide to participate in the fan page exchange.  This is good for networking purposes.  You get to know other fan page administrators, business owners, etc.  You exchange comments, increase the numbers on each others pages.  You need to “like” the other person’s fan page as yourself and not as your page.  Although you can “like” another page as a page, it does NOT count toward the total “likes”.

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 I hope this helps you in your endeavors to learn Facebook and how to effectively market your fan page.  Good Luck!

What is Social Media Marketing Anyway?

I’ve learned what I know because I’ve read A LOT about the different applications like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc… and because I’ve been sucessful using these methods selling my art for years.   It’s seems social media has become an overnight sensation and everyone wants to jump on the train.  There are many who think, because they’ve been tweeting for a couple of years, or because they’ve been hanging out on Facebook and have learned how to make a fan page they’ve earned the right to call themselves an expert and charge those less educated in the field exhorbitant amounts of money.  It’s a shame, really.  If this blog helps just  one person save money by steering them to the correct website, the correct trained professional, or teaches them to do something on their own then I’ve done my part. 

Social Media should NOT be considered a marketing ploy. 

Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are an avenue for businesses to offer good customer service to their customers.  If you offer a product or service, get to know your customers like the neighborhood stores back in the 40’s and 50’s.  Once people get to know you, and trust you will give them great service, then they will want to tell all their friends and family about you.  They will want to like your Facebook fan page, they will want to follow you on twitter.  Not because you are offering a free ipad2 (which by the way is a really bad way to get fans – we’ll talk about that in another post).

If you don’t provide great customer service (it amazes me these days, the economy being what it is that so many companies don’t) your customers will go to your competition.  Worse yet, because of social media, they will tell their friends, their followers, their contacts about your bad customers service.  Do you see where I’m going with this?

What Should You Post?

If you are wondering what you need to post on your Facebook fan page wall, or your Twitter feed:

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  • Be yourself.  Prove you are a human and not an automatice robitic post.  Read your stream and comment on other people’s posts.
  • Be HELPFUL.  YOU are an expert in your field.  Provide free expert advice in your area of expertise without expecting anything in return.  The more helpful you are, the more likely you are to be listed.
  • Don’t be afraid to post links to your competitors sites if they provide helpful information.  This shows you are confident about your expertise, enough so you’re willing to give your competitor a pat on the back for a job well done.  This also tells people you stay on top of the latest trends.  Talk about standing out from the crowd!
  • Don’t try to sell.  People are tired of being “sold to” all the time and can eaily hide you from their stream.  Being hidden is just as bad as not having an account at all.
  • Don’t try to sell in your auto DMs.  (auto DM = automatic direct message in Twitter)  This is such a turn off to some users, people will automatically unfollow people who use this feature.

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So – if you treat social media not as a marketing tool, but as an avenue to meet future friends and customers to socialize with and be helpful to, fans and followers will soon follow.  Good Luck & Be Social! 🙂