When looking for hire a freelance contractor, or firm to handle your Social Media efforts such as Twitter, Facebook, or Blog avoid these 5 common mistakes.

1) They don’t know your industry.
Hire someone who has a similar industry background, ask them industry related questions and test their knowledge. Having someone who does not understand your industry can be more damaging then not having a Social Media presence to begin with.

2) Your accounts are automated.
Social Media must be organic conversation, if a firm offers you a “too good to be true” price, its because its automated. Stay away from this practice, it will destroy your reputation.

3) Twitter, and Facebook are connected.
Sounds like a great idea, two birds with one stone. Wrong! Twitter and Facebook are very different; if the firm, or freelancer suggests linking the accounts, find someone new pronto!

4) No goals, or targets are set.
Would you hire a sales person without goals, or targets? Create specific goals for both Twitter, and Facebook. This can be engagement, new fans/followers, and mentions.  Otherwise you’re just wasting money.

5) Zero owner interaction.
Social Media is about personal connections. As an owner you absolutely must spend 5 minutes each day to make connections, find vendors, and clients. Insist on training from your contractor on the use of Social Media. Don’t miss any opportunities presented from Social Media connections.

Leap of the Week:

Find a freelance contractor who is comfortable with your industry, someone that shows an interest in your field, and will stay connected. It’s also very important to find someone who insists on explaining the process, and involving you in each step. When setting goals and targets ensure its written down in a contract, providing a roadmap for success. Request monthly in-depth reports that provide insight, and result metrics. Social Media is about providing value to the market place; focus on the needs of your customers, not your products. Last but not least; Remember, you cannot automate Social Media.