There are three kinds of Nigerian companies on social media: the ones who are confidently lost (adrift like a ship without a rudder) and don’t care, the ones who think they know what they’re doing (but look like crap) and the ones who are willing to learn.
This guide is for the ones in the last group, because they’re the most easy to save from shame.
- Hire a content writer who can actually write.
Because every brand has a story that needs to be told with good grammar.
Look out for:
– University-level writing
In this age of ‘half-baked graduates’, this may not mean much, but you’ll know it when you see it (if you’re not totally hopeless yourselves). It’s okay to ask for an essay as proof, preferably written on the spot.
+ If you’re totally hopeless at the English language, get someone who isn’t to read the essay. Someone like me.
– Copywriting chops
If you’re going to entrust someone with the huge responsibility of telling your brand story right, that person must know how to spin it interestingly. That’s what good copywriters do.
+ Ask for a portfolio of copywriting work.
Turnover time is nearly as important as the quality of the writing being done. You don’t need someone who will take an entire week to deliver a 400-word article.
+ You also don’t need someone who writes quickly but doesn’t pay attention to detail. Hiring an editor is an extra cost that can be avoided.
2. Hire a dedicated community manager
Because your business depends on people and someone has to take care of them.
Look out for:
– A good conversationalist
The ideal person for this role must enjoy chatting, answering questions and asking them. People who write the way they speak are the best fit.
– An obvious social media addiction
It’s not enough to know that social networks exist and own accounts on one or two of them. The person you’re looking for should have an evident fear of missing out that makes them check their social media timelines and post updates regularly.
+ Be biased towards a person who is engaging and influential in their social media circles (no matter how small).
– A natural ability and zeal for customer service
Basically: emotional intelligence + patience + empathy + attention to detail + excellent communication skills
+ Anyone who hates to explain things shouldn’t bother applying.
3. Hire a graphic designer who listens
Because a large part of brand storytelling is visual.
Look out for:
– Proven design skills
Ask for a portfolio, “I can do it” is not convincing enough. And that portfolio had better not be scanty.
+ A portfolio that has too many identical designs is not a good sign. You’re going to need variety.
+ Corel Draw has its uses, but demonstrable Photoshop skills are a must-have in 2015 and beyond.
Again, turnover time is nearly as important as the quality of work. You need a designer who can do a good job and still meet reasonable deadlines. Test this with a one-off paid commission before committing to a full-time hire.
+ Graphic design, like a lot of things in life, should not be done on short notice. Plan well ahead so the designer has sufficient time to do an excellent job.
– A good listener
Like most creatives, graphic designers have a reputation for being self-assured and fiercely independent (read: hard-headed) where their work is concerned. You need one who is open enough to listen to your brand story, because listening is key to understanding and a graphic designer who doesn’t understand your brand story cannot translate it into meaningful visuals.
– Scale this list based on your organisation’s needs i.e it’s okay to make multiple hires for each role. A team of the right people built around each role should be your goal anyway.
– You may be pressed for time, but your hiring should never be driven by desperation. Resist the often disastrous temptation to hire an ill-suited temp as a stop-gap measure. Take your time to find the ideal person for each role instead.
– If you’re keen on hiring the right people and you’d like help with that, let me know. My contact details are at the bottom of this article.
– This is not a one-off. Over the next few weeks, I’ll publish more articles covering social media and content strategy, the best social media tools for your organisation and how to measure social media success.
All the best.
Content Strategist & Copywriter