Giving the kids the keys to social media is a recipe for marketing disaster

Social media can be one of the most powerful marketing tools we have in small business. So why are we handing the keys to the Ferrari over to the learner driver in reception or finance to steer? The practice of getting just anyone to handle social media has reached such epidemic proportions that it has become subject to systematic ridicule. Urban Dictionary, for example, describes a social media guru as: "generally some no-talent d***bag who slummed their way into social media without any knowledge of how to use it for anything other than gaining followers for themselves, attending events, and generally w***ing themselves out, because they're 22 and don't know how to business." Does that sound like your enterprise? You are not alone.

What an actual expert is Just because someone is young and savvy, doesn't make them a social media expert. What defines an expert? Generally speaking, to reach that status you need to have dedicated 10,000 hours to a specific area. That equates to five years of intensive training, assuming one has spent 38 hours a week, 52 weeks a year applying themselves to it. Now we are sure that fresh-out-of-university John or Jane is quite adept at Snapchatting, but that far from positions themselves as experts. This is not only a weakness in your enterprise, it is an outright liability.

The importance of social media in business Marketing doyens Hubspot did a bit of research on social media and its applications for business. They found that 92 per cent of marketers recognised that social media was important for business and a further 80 per cent recognised that their efforts drove traffic to their websites - read: gathered them customers. You wouldn't send the new kid into the boardroom to close a major deal, you wouldn't let them develop marketing strategies for traditional media and you most certainly wouldn't let them position themselves as the face of the company without them even having time to scan over your office handbooks. So don't hand them the keys to your social media, you don't want some d***bag crashing your Ferrari.

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