social media internsWhen I was a sophomore in college, I built my first Facebook business page. Before I had my cap and gown, I had my hands on multiple Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts. I wasn’t horrible at it – but I wasn’t great. I certainly didn’t know half the things on this list – and I didn’t have the resources I needed to learn them.

Despite the importance of social media and recent World Cup brand blunders, I can’t tell you how many brands place the social media reigns in the hands of individuals who have not received proper training or resources, and expect them to provide a social media ROI within a few months.

But really, do you want to give the face of your brand to someone without proper training?

Sure, maybe they spend their lunch break on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook – but that doesn’t mean they will accurately represent your brand in a way that falls in line with your current brand standards.  Let’s get this straight. Social Media Addicts =/= Social Media Experts.

Unfortunately, a familiarity with social media is an adequate qualification for an organization to blindly hand over one of the most important elements of their business. This positions a medium in which consumers are either actively seeking answers to complex questions, potentially disgruntled, or nestled nicely in the primed ‘buying phase,’ in the hands of someone who might not ever have used a single product you sell. This is not a good recipe for this front line communication.

Here are just a few things the person managing your organization’s social media probably should know:

  1. How to use the Facebook For Business platform.
  2. How to choose between pay-per-click and pay-per-view advertising and the advantages or disadvantages of each.
  3. How to pick an appropriate hashtag. (nope, not #tagforlikes #likeforlike)
  4. How to create a Promoted Tweets campaign.
  5. How to design and optimize a landing page for a social media campaign for optimal conversions.
  6. How to develop a “voice” for your brand.
  7. How to find the optimal time of day to post content.*
  8. How to get SEO value for a Google+ post – or how to use Google+ at all. (Try this plethora of info on G+.)
  9. How to find niche social networks that your target audience is using. (Try Knowem – search a username and it’ll give you a bazillion niche sites; this great article has 60+ examples.)
  10. How to use tools like Topsy, Followerwonk, Social Mention and more.
  11. How to differentiate between “reach” and “engagement”.
  12. How to create a report that shows the value of social media for your CEO.
  13. How to optimize a LinkedIn profile (Personal or Business).
  14. How to create a tracking URL for measuring campaigns in Google Analytics.
  15. How to create a social media editorial calendar and use tools to streamline this process.
  16. How to use Photoshop or any program to create social media graphics. (Or try these hacks if you don’t have design skills!)
  17. How to use Tumblr for something other than curating funny gifs and cat pictures.
  18. How to distinguish between engaging and broadcasting.
  19. How to schedule content for every platform for optimal visual impact.*
  20. How to find influencers and leverage their prominence.

These aren’t things you can just “know” simply by being a millennial that uses Facebook. They are things your social media handlers are able to learn, but wouldn’t it be better for them to be trained by an expert before experimenting on your brand’s following and potentially ruining your reputation? We offer social media consulting and are able to walk your employees through the most simple to the most complex of initiatives. For training on your own, check out blogs and tutorials from thought leaders like Hubspot, Raven, and Hootsuite. Have your social media team read daily content from SocialMediaExaminer – a publication with the edge on all social media developments. Tell them to check out your competitors and make a list of things they’re doing right – and what they’re doing wrong. PLEASE, ensure they have a basic tutorial in Google Analytics so they can see the result of their efforts, and prove that all-important ROI you are seeking.

After all, you don’t want to or end up in a list of big brand bloopers, or lose customers over a mis-directed or inappropriate tweet, picture, or more. So get started and give your social media resource the training he or she really needs!

*I didn’t link to any articles for scheduling content because every social platform is different and every audience is unique. You have to do your own research and test what works best for you.