Several times in the last week I’ve observed signs, napkins and place mats that all say “Follow me[us] on Twitter[Facebook].” While I think this is great, I find it both amusing and alarming that more than half these messages do not contain the handle or URL to follow/connect with. The image above shows that whoever is advising Horny Goat Brewing did so the right way.
Who is advising these other businesses?
As far as social media goes, I’m simply an experienced practitioner who has learned the ins and outs mostly in the school of hard knocks. I’ve made more than a few mistakes along the way but none I paid a “professional” to make for me. What’s the point of putting a Facebook or Twitter icon on your coaster if you don’t include information on the account to follow? Better yet, include a QR Code with a link to a mobile friendly website that allows the client to connect to you without having to type in the account names and URLs.
Who you hire matters
There are plenty of folks passing themselves off as experts in the interactive, digital and social media space. The trick is to separate the professionals from the out-of-work freelancer more interested in finding another full-time gig than being a social media consultant. The problem is they will pass themselves off as a social media consultant to pay the rent this month. The bigger problem is you will end up with thousands of coasters that have fancy Facebook and Twitter icons, but no account names and URLs.
Ask for references and a portfolio
Before I hired Shelby Sapusek of Panoramic Interactive, I learned as much about her and her business approach as I could. I watched her behavior and interaction on Twitter. I attended events she helped plan. I looked at print and digital work she created. Then, after all that, I gave her a small pilot project. She rocked that project and met the deadlines.
The big traditional ad agency or PR firm you have used in the past may not know a thing about digital and social media. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Evaluating new young firms may take a little more time but I think it’s worth it. For example, Shelby grew up in the digital age. All things interactive, digital and social media are truly second nature to her. Of course, in her case, you get to add the decade and a half as a professional journalist. She gets communication.
And it’s all communication. So, find and hire someone who will inform folks how to follow you, the right way.