I have had several prompts to write on this particular topic over the last week. The first instance came when I was referred to an Indianapolis area organization who was seeking a part-time social media manager to work 25 hours per week. I read the job description and discovered that this person would essentially be responsible for managing the company’s brand reputation online, including the day-to-day activities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc., in addition to social media strategies and social monitoring. Wow, I thought. These are all of the things I currently do for clients as part of my social media marketing packages. Maybe they’d be interested in outsourcing this work. Then I glanced at the salary offered: $12 per hour. Double wow. That’s barely above minimum wage. In fact, just this same week, I learned of all of the fast-food strikes in Indianapolis, where workers pushed to double the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15. So as a company, you’re telling me that you value your brand reputation at only $12 per hour ?
I contacted the company and gave them an alternative: Hire AimFire Marketing for the same monthly amount (or less), and receive daily social media posts, plus a monthly newsletter and weekly blog post. Instead of hiring someone with little to no experience, the company’s blogging and social media would instead be handled by someone with 15 years of marketing experience. Yet the company responded that they preferred to hire internally for this position (at a rate of $12/hour).
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should hire a social media marketer for $12/hour.
There are so many reasons I have a problem with the notion of paying a marketing person only $12 or $15 per hour, but let me explain. I know it’s easy for a company to hire someone (anyone) to post on social media or blog for their company. I understand that it’s not rocket science, but that doesn’t mean anyone can do it (or do it effectively). Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t hire a marketing person for $12/hour:
- Your reputation is worth more: When you say that you can only afford to spend $12/hour on something that impacts your company’s visibility, reputation and sales impact, this says something about your organization. Your clients, partners and the public will sense this too.
- You get what you pay for: When you hire someone who is willing to work for pennies, you often don’t get the best quality of applicants. These individuals often come with little experience, require additional training / hand-holding, and will move on to bigger and better things once they find a position that pays more. In addition, can your company afford to deal with issues like typos and grammatical errors?
- Degrees and experience matter: While anyone can figure out how to post on social media or type a blog post, will they necessarily perform the job with your company’s best interests in mind? Someone with a marketing, public relations or communications degree and years of experience handling a company’s marketing program is naturally better-equipped to represent a company, formulate a successful strategy, and communicate in writing more effectively.
When my Indianapolis clients hire me to handle their blogging and social media marketing, they can be sure that they won’t have to edit much of the content before it’s ready to post. They won’t have to train me on how to update their blog or social media pages in order to present their brand in the best light. If they’re willing to pay a little extra per hour (but at the same overall price), they’ll get the power of an experienced marketing professional, and receive a better result for their business. In addition, they’ll have someone on their side who can get the job done without the training and overhead of an employee, saving them time to devote to running the business.