When people think of social media and social popularity, the first instinct is to try and find influencers somewhere on your social networks. True, they may be out there: wildly popular people and accounts that can make or break your reputation with a single tweet or post, inexplicably large followings on a page that, for no reason, stand out above the rest. But have you considered taking a closer look at the people you’ve already employed? What do you know about them? What is their social standing online? You might already have a minor Internet celebrity on your payroll, so take the time to get to know your employees an co-workers. They might just be the boost you’re looking for!
The social quality of your employees largely depends on how much you’ve invested in your online presence. The more invested you are, the more “connected” your employees tend to be. While it’s wonderful to hire someone who knows how to use social networks as a marketing tool, it’s also equally important to have someone who uses these networks on a daily basis for their basic purposes: to be social! To influence people, you need to be a people person. You need to know how to be social, and that’s a lesson that many companies tend to forget, especially social media marketing companies on Twitter! Instead of being social and present online, most of these marketing agencies tweet links and articles to their own materials and seldom interact with the people following them. What kind of message is that sending? How is it that you cannot practice what you preach and be expected to be taken seriously? I’ve encountered at least one agency that seems to be getting it right: Uptown Treehouse. While I’m wary of any social marketing agency that follows me on Twitter, this one actually takes the time to answer questions and tweet back their followers. Kudos on avoiding my blocklist!
So before you decide to hire someone based on their supposed online presence, take a very close look at the quality of their submissions. Are they all links? Do they actually have conversations with people? Do their follower counts really reflect their social influence online? This last question is extremely important for one reason: anyone can buy followers by the thousands! If you didn’t know that, then I suggest you read my blog entries about buying Facebook Likes and automated programs. Take stock of how well your current employees use the social networks you’re paying to utilize as marketing tool. To influence users, you have to be a user.