reading time: 3 minutes You’re looking for a “social media marketer,” but aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for. Yep, the quotations are there for a reason. As we learned last year, over 181,000 people consider themselves “social media gurus” on Twitter. Self- proclaimed—yes. Legit—not always. I know you’re busy. The last thing you need is someone claiming results and ultimately fails to deliver. Let me help you weed out a few of your potential candidates by clarifying exactly what you should be looking for: Great Writing Skills In my opinion, this is the most important quality that is often overlooked. A person can claim to be an effective writer all day long, but until they send you some samples you really have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Not only should their technical skills be on point, they should also understand how to channel a voice that compliments the sentiments of your brand. A Thorough Understanding of Social Strategy At this point, a lot of people know how to throw some words together to create a blog post or a tweet—but without a solid understanding of the strategy behind the words, you have nothing. Great social media marketers tell a story. They understand that each post should be contributing to a greater whole. They also understand how to utilize that content to generate leads. In other words, their words better pack a punch. They turn your fans into paying, loyal customers. Over time, you’ll see monetary reward for the efforts they put forth. They “Get” Content Marketing Great social media marketers know that their job is not just social media. The way people are looking for information is changing. Consumers are getting smarter about how to weed through content. There is so much competition out there, and whoever is in charge of your company’s online presence should know how to set your content apart from the rest. For example, a recent study showed that a picture with a story behind it (versus just a picture with a brief description) has the ability to skyrocket user sentiment. Find a person who takes the time to be the best at what they do. Goal/Action Oriented Great social media marketers don’t promise things that are unrealistic. They listen to your needs, create actionable items, and check those items off their list. Look for people who track their results and are constantly changing their approach based on what works and what doesn’t. They stay current in the ever-changing social landscape. In the world of technology, nothing is static. Things are constantly changing, and you need to find someone with a passion for staying AHEAD of your competition. Look for people who have proven to embrace emerging social trends and are creative enough to remain flexible. And if they promise you 1000 Facebook “likes” by Friday, run! They don’t get it. I hope this helps you in your search. As always, feel free to comment or ask a question. I would love to hear from you!