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Can You Hire Somebody to Grow Your Twitter Profile for You?

Posted by on October 26th, 2016

Yes! What you’re thinking of is a social media specialist, a social manager, or a Twitter manager. They come by many names, but the concept is the same; someone who has experience with Twitter marketing and who can manage and grow your Twitter presence without your direct overview.

Before you get into posting a job opening, though, there’s a lot you need to consider.

Do You Really Need a Twitter Manager?

Twitter really only takes one thing in order to make it a success: time. If you have the time to pay attention to it, you can grow your presence and your brand on the microblog platform. You can use free tools to make it easier, customize settings, and set up habits for success, all of which will take a little learning and a little experimentation, but at the end of the day all it takes is time.

So, do you really need a Twitter manager? The answer depends entirely on whether or not you could be doing more valuable things with your time. As with all outsourcing, you’re saving your own time by spending money to buy the time of someone else. You’re buying their knowledge and experience as well, which saves you the time of having to learn on your own. The question you need to ask yourself, then, is “is my time more valuable spent elsewhere?” There are a lot of people who can manage Twitter for a fee, and there are a lot of people who can do other business things for a similar fee. What are you best at, and where do you save the most time for your money?

Twitter Content Calendar

Always consider that there are aspects of business that, though you can do them, you may not be good at them. These are areas you can outsource, if you have the money. Twitter may be on that list, and that’s fine. The critical question is whether there are more business-critical functions you’re equally bad at, that have a steeper learning curve or more room for failure. In other words, the experience of the person you hire becomes more valuable. You might want to suck it up and manage your own Twitter in exchange for having these more important functions handled by someone with experience.

What Do You Want Out of Twitter?

Twitter is good at three things, primarily. The first is building brand awareness via spreading your website content throughout the web to your followers. Any social media platform is good at this, though, so if that’s your only purpose, you might consider that you’re not getting the most out of Twitter to begin with. Brand awareness is good, but it’s not valuable enough on its own to warrant hiring a Twitter manager.

The second is networking with influential members of your industry and community. These are the people who are big names in the business. For SEO, this might be people like Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, or Kristi Hines. People whose presence and following can give you a solid burst of traffic and conversions if they were to share your content. It also means people who follow you and have sizable followings of their own, for the same purpose. This networking can also be done on most social networks, but it’s easiest on Twitter. Influencer marketing, as it’s called, is the next big wave of online marketing, and it’s becoming increasingly important. Of course, the old-school among you might point out that it’s always been important. After all, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, regardless of industry or situation.

The third area Twitter excels at is customer service.

Customer Service on Twitter

You often see brands creating secondary profiles specifically to handle customer service concerns. It’s a great mixture between real time support and long-form support. You have the benefit of nearly real-time communication between customer and brand, with the added layer of vague blackmail because tweets are public. Not answering a public CS request gives your brand a bad name, and that’s the implied threat of all Twitter customer service requests. At the same time, you have the luxury of interacting with web resources like your help center or a blog, unlike a phone support call, which will find it hard to convey URLs and the like.

If you’re shooting for maximum utilization of Twitter for your business, you need to be able to handle all three of these simultaneously and with as little overt automation as possible. If you can’t manage that on your own, hiring a Twitter manager is a good idea.

Are You Present on Multiple Social Networks?

Managing Twitter on its own can be quite time consuming. So can managing Facebook. Add on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, and all the other social communities you might want to be a part of, and you quickly find yourself running out of time in the day.

Multiple Social Networks

The more networks you’re operating on, the more time and energy you need to have available to devote to them. You need to keep them active or you might as well not use them, and you need consistency between them so you can’t simply delegate one network each to different employees as side tasks.

In this case, it can be very beneficial to hire a general social media manager. They won’t just work with Twitter, but will handle your entire presence. Some more advanced – and expensive – media marketing companies will even handle your blog as well. Some companies do in fact outsource their entire web presence, from blog to customer service.

Do You Have the Budget to Hire a Twitter Manager?

As I mentioned, what you’re doing when you’re hiring a Twitter manager is spending money to save time. The time and experience of a good social manager isn’t going to come cheap. How much will it cost, though? As you might expect, it varies wildly.

A single freelancer with a moderate amount of experience might charge you $20-$50 an hour to manage a Twitter account, or your entire Twitter presence if you’re operating more than one account. A dedicated social media manager might charge $50-$200 an hour to operate your social presence across two or three networks, like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. High-tier marketing agencies could charge $1,000-$2,500 per month to manage a Twitter account, or double that to manage your social presence as a whole. You could see charges upwards of $9,000 per month if they’re managing your blog as well, or if you have a huge social presence that requires a lot of attention. For extremely large brands, you can be looking at even larger expenses. There’s really no upper limit.

On the flip side, you can also hire an employee full-time for your own offices. If you do this, be aware that the typical average salary for a social media manager is going to run somewhere north of $50,000 a year. If you’re looking for someone with more experience, you could find yourself spending double that.

Social Media Manager Salary Range

The salary alone isn’t the only expense with a social media manager, though. You also have to consider the costs of the internet connection they need, the licenses for tools they want to use, and the computer hardware they’ll be using. You can require that they bring their own devices and software, but then you’ll have little or no control over it, and you might not want sensitive business information on a device you can’t remotely wipe.

You could, of course, just go with the “make the intern do it” option, but I highly advise against it. Yes, modern millennials know social media, in terms of how to use it as a personal user. However, it takes a special skill set to understand social media from a business perspective, to produce content for it, to monitor analytics and make changes to improve marketing plans, and to remain professional in the face of negative feedback. Besides, you don’t want to give the keys to your public façade to someone you don’t even pay, do you?

You also need to keep in mind that you won’t be able to 100% outsource your social media. You will need to work closely with your chosen Twitter manager or general social manager, in order to maintain brand consistency. They aren’t creating content for your blog, but they need to know what the content is and what upcoming content will be. They need to be able to schedule posts in advance. They will be monitoring analytics, and will be generating reports for you and asking you to make decisions regarding split tests and options. They may also require feedback or a partnership for managing ads, if you don’t want to give them the keys to your entire budget.

Tips for Hiring a Twitter Manager

If, after all of the above, you’ve decided you want to hire a Twitter manager, you need to make sure to vet them properly. You don’t want to hire a lowball bidder simply because they’re cheap, because they might not know what they’re doing, or they might use black hat techniques and wreck your brand. Make sure they know their stuff. I’ve listed here a handful of questions you can ask, though this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Hiring ChecklistAsk them for past clients, and scan them for fake followers. This will give you an idea whether or not they’re using bot techniques to artificially grow a profile. It’s also a sign that they aren’t really sure of what they’re doing. If you find one with significant fakes, ask them to explain. If they deflect, they’re probably lying about how they operate, and you should pass on hiring them.

Ask them how they’re going to match your brand voice. Maintaining a consistent tone for your brand, between your blog and your social media, and across social media platforms, is especially important. Most decent copywriters will have no trouble with doing this, and will talk about how they have a history of doing exactly that and that they’ll read and research your existing content. They may also offer suggestions for gradually improving your brand voice to be more engaging.

Ask them what tools they use, and research those tools. There are two reasons for this question. The first is because it will tell you what sort of tools they use, and whether or not they use any at all. Good marketers will at least use a couple of tools, like a dashboard manager and an analytics suite. The other reason to ask is to make sure they aren’t using tools you wouldn’t want to touch your profiles. TurboFanGenerator3000 might be a powerful tool but you can bet it’s not going to do nice things to your profile. If they deflect and say they use proprietary tools, drop them.

Ask them how they identify and engage with influencers. As I mentioned, influencer marketing is the next big thing in social media. It’s even more important than content marketing in a sense, so your chosen Twitter manager really needs to know how to do it. Also, if they happen to have any industry connections they can leverage to get your foot in the door, all the better for you.

Ask them how often they will provide reports. You can also discuss how working with them would actually work, what kind of input they expect, what kind of input you expect to have, and what your key performance indicators are. This isn’t the sort of question you ask when you’re not sure about them, though. It’s more of a “you probably have the job, but let’s see if our workflows are compatible” sort of question.

Ask them about their experience with ads. This is of critical importance if you want them to be managing your PPC advertising, and it’s a lot less important if you’re keeping that to yourself and just having them manage your organic content. Decide which it is and talk to them about it.

Once you’re satisfied with a Twitter manager, you can negotiate prices and all the rest. From there, ideally, it’s nothing but growth.

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