January 29, 2015 By Suzanne Robertson

Many small businesses need to elevate their online profile. A clear digital presence – with realistic expectations – can significantly support company goals.

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If you’ve made the decision to embrace social media, the next steps can be daunting. What’s the best way to get started and maintain robust online activity? Do you have the know-how and the time needed to devote to social media activity? If the answer is “no”, it might be time to look for outside help. Bringing on a consultant can be the best and most affordable option. We’ve outlined some basic information below to help you find the right professional to start your small business social media journey off on the right foot.

Social Media Professional Qualifications

There are lots of people out there that have “social media” on their resume. However, a person with thousands of Instagram followers isn’t automatically the right choice for your small business. Consider the qualifications below when vetting possible social media contractors.

Experience in your specific industry

  • If you own a hair salon, look for someone with experience in the beauty industry. If you run an e-commerce sight, a candidate with only restaurant experience probably isn’t the best fit. Check out professional organizations in your industry. There might be a job board that attracts those with the specific background you need.

Excellent communication skills

  • Make sure the person in charge of your social media can write! If the cover letter isn’t clearly written, there’s a problem. Look for a candidate with writing samples that go beyond short media posts – blogs, feature articles or video scripts show strong writing chops. Grammatical mistakes can make your company look bad on social media.

A good eye for design

  • You won’t need a graphic designer, but make sure the person you hire has a good eye for images, cover photos and featured art. An image can be as powerful as words.

Customer service experience

  • The social media point person will be interacting with your core clientele online and might have to address questions, concerns or problems. Give your candidate some specific examples that might arise and make sure they can handle it.

Analytical skills

  • While it vital to create and post great content, understanding what’s working and what isn’t is important. Ask how numbers and metric measurements have been used in the past to gauge the effectiveness of a social media campaign.

Best of luck finding the perfect fit for your small business. We’re actively posting and tweeting great small business information so please like SmartBiz on Facebook and follow @SmartBizLoans on Twitter)

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