Time to read: 2 minutes. Time to hire a social media manager, freelancer or agency? Here’s are 4 phrases to watch out for in the interview process. For instance, “Social media is not for selling.” The arguments supporting this viewpoint are often made by social media managers who don’t know how (or refuse to) to take responsibility for generating leads and sales. Let’s identify 4 red flag statements so you can hire a rock star social media manager.
“Social media is not for selling.”
It’s an absolute statement. Few things in our world today are absolute so that should be setting off a bell right away. Social media managers speaking in absolutes is a warning sign.
When you hear this phrase remember to ask your prospective social media marketing manager or agency rep to explain why “social media is not for selling.”
ALSO! If they don’t make the statement candidly… be sure to watch out for the below phrases coming at you from your interviewee. If you hear any of these give pause, consider not hiring the candidate.
“Marketing is a long-term deal, not instant”
This position presumes the only sales that happen are those happening instantly.
We simply don’t live in a world where marketing and advertising is (exclusively) short-term and instant. If you’re smart (and I know you are) you know that social media marketing isn’t a shortcut to instant sales.
If your social media manager or candidate tells you this? It’s a warning sign. Pay attention!
“People are not on social media to be sold”
It sounds totally rational and a little part of each of us can relate to this claim—until you think about it for a minute.
It’s simply not true.
For the sake of argument, let’s say it IS true. People don’t go to social media to be sold. But do they turn to social media to solve problems? Have you? Or have you ever turned to Facebook to discover short-cuts to doing something really important to you?
Do people ever turn to blogs or YouTube to discover new ways to achieve goals?
Sure they do. As people do these things do they end up meeting businesses that can help them. Are any of these folks meeting up with businesses…and then getting courted by those businesses (via social media)? Of course there are.
Some prospects even convert to customers—they purchase!
Many of us are selling on social media every day. Social media sales success stories abound!
Also, consider Google. Consider the millions of people each day that:
- query Google about a problem they need solved or a goal they want to reach;
- end up at a blog;
- sign up for an Ebook or educational video series;
- end up buying from the blog owner a few months later.
Saying that people are not on social media to be sold is simply not true. Some people are, some people aren’t. Some people are problem-solving or researching…. and then get lead to the solution via a commercial entity who can help them.
Don’t hire a social media manager who tells you otherwise. If you have a current social media manager with this viewpoint sign them up for my free social media sales training course.
“Social media is about building brand equity”
I’ve heard this one time and time again. It presumes getting and maintaining brand equity is not about selling.
Let’s keep it real. The folks who practically invented (e.g. David Ogilvy) advertising already agree—it certainly is!
Bottom line on how to hire a social media manager is this: Don’t hire anyone who tells you that marketing isn’t responsible for generating sales.
Watch out for the above phrases exiting the mouths of your interviewees or employees. That’s how to hire a social media manager who’s focused on leads and sales.
Photo credit: Tool Man Tim.
Great article, Jeff – Words have power, and I’ve used these phrases myself! You’ve helped me look at social media with fresh eyes. Thank you!
I agree with the points you make. However, I believe when social media professionals say sales doesn’t work in social media they’re referring to the stereotypical “sales guy” that is obnoxious and in your face. That doesn’t work on social media. It just turns people off.
What does work is getting to the basics of networking and relationship building. Take the opportunity to get to know your clients or potential clients just like any good sales person would do. If you build the trust then you will get repeat business and referrals. Social media is just a part of the marketing and sales plan.