Social media is powerful. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—social media is word of mouth on steroids. It is a fantastic way to connect with potential buyers, build relationships with them, improve your public reputation, and increase sales. But with today’s consumers, perception is reality, and many buyers create their perceptions of your company using social media. That is why it’s critical to have a social media plan in place and build the right team.

DON’T HIRE A 23-YEAR-OLD TO MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA.

There, I said it.

I mean it, too. Sure, a 23-year-old employee is probably a social native. He probably has a profile on every platform and knows which platforms are emerging. He may even know a little about business accounts and how to buy ads. That’s all great, but chances are he doesn’t have any experience in setting a vision, strategically planning, performing market research, or managing social teams that are responsible for tactics.

12 Tips eBook

Too many companies hire graduates fresh out of college and turn them loose on social media, hoping they will be able to connect with prospective customers and produce measurable sales immediately.

If you want to build your reputation and increase sales using social media, you need to hire someone who can think high-level. Your plan should align your social media initiatives with the rest of your organizational efforts. It should include a communication strategy that targets your ideal buyers on the correct platforms using the best language and tone to build authentic relationships, which ultimately moves them to choose your products over your competitors’.

If you are looking to improve your social media presence, start with finding an experienced employee or marketing partner with real experience. This eBook is a good resource to get you started. If social media is essentially word of mouth on steroids, make sure the word about your company is positive.