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By Joseph Roraff | Agent in Onalaska, WI

7 ways to get social media wrong

Hiring someone to manage your company's social media? Don't make the same mistakes everyone else is making.

These days, it seems like everyone's looking to hire someone to manage their company's social media presence. That kind of demand can lead to poor hiring decisions. Why? Well, you may be impressed when you see someone's extensive Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest presence. But just because someone can use social media for personal benefit doesn't mean they know how to manage it for a business.

To help business owners better identify what to look for in a  social media job candidate, I recently interviewed William Ward, social media professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. According to Ward, these are the seven most common social media hiring mistakes.

1. Don't conflate personal and professional. Ward says smaller businesses commonly make the mistake of confusing personal social media fluency with social media professionalism, and there's a notable difference. A social media professional should be able to describe how they select, curate and/or create content; how, who and why they select followers and connections; and how they integrate social media initiatives with other media.

You should ask what kind of professional social media training and certifications candidates have. Candidates with proper training and who demonstrate maturity, Ward says, make better hires.

2. Don't take their word for it. Instead of drawing assumptions about a candidate's social media experience, Ward stresses that you want them to log into their social media accounts with you--have them show you what they do professionally. "Do not rely on their word of mouth or resume," cautions Ward. Instead, have candidates walk you through the social media management tools they use and justify why they choose them. (Ward's program, for example, uses HootSuite to manage many of his students' social media activities).


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