8 signs your community manager doesn’t know squat

He thinks Twitter and Facebook are the only social networks? He says ROI doesn’t matter? Better tell that “social media guru” to take a hike.

Let’s face it. We have all heard of or been approached by a “digital marketing jedi” or a “social media guru.” I want to think these people only exist within the small sect of Internet consultants who are delusional and convinced they can make millions by cashing in on the Facebook consulting bandwagon. But sadly, there are a lot more people than I want to believe who make things up to try to sound like they know more than they do. Here are eight signs community managers may not know as much as they should. 1. There’s an AOL email address on their business card. Unless you are a 12-year-old girl or a 78-year-old man, there is no reason why you should have an AOL email account on your professional business card. Nor should you have your personal email address on there, but we’ll let that slide for now. Get your own domain name and customized professional email address. If you must, use Gmail. 2. They used the words “buy” and “more Twitter followers” in the same sentence—and were serious. Nothing good will ever come from buying Twitter followers or Facebook fans. The only exception is if your target audience is Hungarian porn star bots, and in that case, best of luck to you. 3. They only talk about Twitter and Facebook. Yes, Twitter and Facebook are the big social media sites right now, but they are by no means the only ones. They aren’t always the right place for your business’s target audience. 4. They can’t name five social media sites outside of Twitter and Facebook. Youtube, Foursquare, Ning communities, Instagram, Flickr, Vimeo . . . the list goes on. You shouldn’t cast these sites aside until you have done your research. 5. They think ROI stands for “Really Overrated Idea.” Just like any marketing or communications effort, you need to measure social media. The ROI will vary from campaign to campaign, but having some kind of data is crucial to understand whether the campaign was a success or flop. 6. They have never written a case study. A company’s marketing campaign and strategy should include managing online and offline communities. Case studies are common way to show how successful a campaign was. It’s a major red flag if someone doesn’t have experience writing case studies. 7. They don’t know how to define a successful campaign. There are two things every campaign needs: a strategy and metrics/data. Metrics are crucial to understand what worked and didn’t work in a specific campaign. 8. Their online presence is practically non-existent. If you are in the social media realm, it would be fair to assume you tend to your personal brand online. At the minimum, you probably have a Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin account. Most also have a Foursquare, Youtube, professional website/blog, etc. If you can’t find even one of these, there’s a good chance your “social media guru” has no clue what he or she is doing. Jessica Malnik is a PR/marketing coordinator, social media specialist and videographer. She writes on her personal blog , where a version of this article originally ran.


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