I read a fascinating feature on Mariah Carey this morning in the Sun newspaper by Dan Wootton on her journey from ‘one of the most successful women in pop’ to a ‘laughing stock.’
As a Mariah fan from back in 1990 when she did Vision Of Love, I’m fascinated by her and her recent antics seem to show her as being pretty troubled.
In there was an amazing nugget – that Mariah allows her manager Stella Bulochnikov’s 12-year-old daughter Mishka run her social media.
I took a quick look at her Instagram and found some jaw-dropping shots of Mariah posing like a glamour model in skimpy tops and flashing her bum on a treadmill while wearing high heels and fishnets.
As I’ve said, I’m a massive fan and at 46 and a mum of twins, she looks amazing. But is this really how she should be portraying herself?
When I ask people about their social media and even their websites, a lot of people say, ‘Oh, I just got a student to do it,’ or ‘Yeah, my 15-year-old niece looks after it.’
In the digital world, your website and social media channels act as your shop window. The first impression many people get of your brand.
Shouldn’t it be something to invest in and spend time on? Something to be proud of rather than cobbled together as an afterthought?
Loads of social media companies out there offer training at a really reasonable rate (I’d highly recommend Alex McCann from Altrincham HQ) and if you’re a small business, I believe the best person to run your social account is you.
But if you do outsource, I’d suggest making sure the person you choose has the following…
- Common Sense: Seriously, I spoke to a friend who works in PR for a council. They were supporting a ‘youth’ event and the social media team shared many posts about one of the acts coming along, a YouTuber. Turns out he’d been accused of serious sex offences and wasn’t the ideal fit for a family gig and had to be swiftly cancelled and the posts deleted. No-one had thought to check his record beforehand. Ideally, employ someone with a background in PR, marketing or journalism with an understanding of Copyright and the law because you are a publisher and there are guidelines you must follow.
- Writing Skills: How often do you see social media posts that are littered with spelling and grammatical errors? If you outsource, it’s a good idea to sit down with the person you’re working with and go through each post to make sure you are happy with the content and that it fits with your business. It takes time but it’s only fair to give as much guidance as possible if you want them to do the best they can, and it’s worth it in the long run.
- Understanding of how you want to be portrayed: Tone of voice is really important on social media and it should be consistent across all your channels, from your website to newsletters to leaflets and brochures. That’s why it can be beneficial to have one person taking care of it rather than lots of different voices.
- Customer Service Skills: They are representing your brand online and whatever they do, good or bad, reflects on you. It’s just like Public Relations. Do they know how to react in a crisis? Are they able to manage a difficult situation and take it offline? These skills come with life experience and maturity – not something we generally have aged 12!
- Creativity: Can they come up with ideas? Create images and graphics? Ideally, you will have a lot of input into your campaigns, but will they pick up on what is happening in the world and how it could be relevant to your audience? Just like this post which is a newshack on a story about Mariah, your social media manager should always be on the lookout for ways to make your brand stand out.