5 things you should bear in mind before hiring someone for your social team

Job Search 2

Job Search 2

I recently received an awkward notification. A woman I had blocked on Facebook wanted to connect with me on LinkedIn. I had blocked her because, after a second meeting, I had realised that she was loopier than a theme park ride, and I felt a little suffocated at the 23rd missed call in the hour-long status meeting I had.

This was nearly two and a half years prior to the notification that exploded in my inbox with the tactless indecency of an attention-seeking comedian hanging on the strings of a lost career. So then I obviously looked at her profile.

I noticed that she had social media experience. Other than being a model/actor/race-car driver, she was also a social media ninja (expletives are welcome.) Now, I know a lot can change in two and a half years.

As confident as I am that I will swear at someone on my drive home tonight, I am pretty certain she knows as much about social media as I know about the inner workings of my mobile phone. Interestingly something I tried to work out on my own — I failed. Even if I managed to put it together with some masking tape, super-glue and love so that it may look okay. It’s not fixed. Even if I did this, I wouldn’t state that I have cellular phone repair experience or call my cell a mobile technician.

So few people understand exactly what social media actually is. It is very easy to be baffled by marketing jargon that will spin you into spending a lot of money on someone as useful as the comb in Macy Gray’s vanity bag and leave you hiring social media’s Scatman John instead of communication’s answer to Eddie Vedder.

Here are things to look at before you hire the help of a social media consultant.


An architect is, to my knowledge, someone who studies a hell of a long time to advise people on the design of their house. A ninja is someone who trains his entire life learning to be invisible. If someone is calling themselves any of these, you have permission to flip over the table like you are being cheated at a poker game — it is the same thing.

A social footprint

Googling someone’s name takes just a couple of seconds. You will get a good idea of what digital footprint this person has. Someone who plays in the digital space should have a couple of places where you can look in to them. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn might be a nice place to start. They may even have a blog. If a person has a good digital footprint searching for them should be no problem — unless that person’s name is Harry Smith or Paul Kruger.

Following vs followers

It’s well documented that following should not matter. However, if your social media’s answer to world hunger is not active in the social media space, there is a good chance he isn’t all that he says he is. Faf Du Plessis didn’t make his breakthrough into international test cricket at 29 because he played cricket every now and then in his backyard.


I want to tell you that LinkedIn endorsements are as trustworthy as the quality of the Ray-Bans you just bought on the side of the road. LinkedIn is a useful resource, but I doubt the endorsement of people who know as much about the subject as the person that they are endorsing. For instance, a mate of mine, who is a fairly handy plumber, endorsing me as an accountant has very little value.

Mutual friends

The digital realm is that small town so many of us grew up in. Everybody knows everybody and if they don’t, they know how to find out. Would you buy a car without researching the opinion of someone in the know? Find out about the person that is promising you the following of a cult. You will know someone who knows this person.

“Hey Bill?”

“Yeah, Mike!”

“Bill, I had this Dale Ferreira oke in my office the other day promising me more online swag than Ghandi. Do you know this oke?”

“Mike, I haven’t heard of him.”

“But Bill, he said he is a very important man in his field.”

“He is talking kak, Mike”

He is talking kak, Mike.



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