One thing I’ve noticed managing several social media accounts over the past few years is that the more freedom you give your social media/community manager, the better the results. Your reach with fans goes so much further than if they are micro-managed.

I know, it’s difficult to give up control. After all, these are not personal sites where you talk about what you had for dinner or how your child made the honor roll (though in some cases, you could certainly talk about them!). These sites represent your business- your bread and butter- and you want it to be the best reflection of your product or service as possible. In that respect, yes, it is personal. Your business is your baby.

So how do you do it? How do you give someone the power to be your voice, and trust that they are going to post the things that will generate interest? How do you not check every 5 minutes to make sure they haven’t said something out of context, posted a NSFW photo, or created some controversy that will only leave a negative mark?

How do you let it go, and put your faith in a social media manager (SMM), whether it’s to work exclusively in your company, or you bring in someone freelance? Here are some ideas!

1. Check their social media. If they are in the business of social media management, then they have accounts. That also means they should have a public Facebook/Twitter page (or more) for their business. That is your first window to see how they would run yours. Bonus- if they have other client accounts, check those out too.

2. Be casual. Social media is casual. It’s a conversation. It’s coffee or lunch with friends, but still talking about things that relate to your brand. If your prospective SMM can’t engage you offline, you can’t expect them to engage others online. Go and have coffee with them. Ask them a few of these questions, too!

3. Make sure they believe in your product or service. Heck, make sure they know what your product is! While having that coffee, ask them what they think of your product. Why do they want to help you? If you aren’t getting any passion from them, it’s not going to show up online. I mean real passion and excitement. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell.

4. If it’s a freelance situation, make sure there’s a contract. READ that contract. Make sure their breakdown of duties includes how they are going to represent not just your business, but themselves. For instance, I have included in my contracts that I will maintain a professional and high-quality profile, and will not use any accounts for personal use. If there is something additional you want added, make sure it is in there. Hopefully everything will be in place after having coffee with them! This is probably the most important item. Although it is not a 100% guarantee, it’s a huge sign that your SMM wants to do everything they can to make sure you are happy. After all, it’s their business too, and they want to best reflect their services as well.

5. Make sure they are in the know. If your SMM is good- they will arrange meetings or check in to find out any new events or items that need to be added to the rotation. However, it’s always good to let them know when new things arise in-between!

6. Check in on your sites. No, you don’t have to check all the time, and at the beginning it most likely will be more than less. It’s a relationship, and everyone is nervous as they get to know each other. Ask questions if you’re wondering why something was posted. Check your Insights and stats. If you’re not sure how to read them, your SMM should know and can show you.

I’m sure there are many more things to add, but these have come to mind as I’ve been working with a wide variety of businesses. What would you add to the list? I’d love to know!

About The Author

I provide social media management for small businesses, with a focus on community-building. It’s about connecting with your customers on a personal level. It means listening to their wants and needs, and responding to them directly. I also have experience in podcasting, audio editing and writing. Ask me how I can make your business stand out from the rest!

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