August 23, 2017

10 Things the Trump Administration Can Teach You About Hiring a Social Media Pro


Tips for Hiring Social Media Professionals

President Donald Trump has gotten a lot of attention for his social media strategy. But there’s another man behind that strategy — director of social media Dan Scavino.

Whatever you think of Trump’s messages, his social media channels have certainly proved to be an effective outlet for communication and sharing. If you’d like to create a similarly effective social media strategy, check out some of these do’s and don’ts for hiring a social media professional. You can learn from the story of Scavino.

Tips for Hiring Social Media Professionals

DON’T Limit Yourself to “Social Media Experts”

Scavino didn’t start out as a social media professional. He actually served as Trump’s golf caddy when he was a teenager. Then he went onto manage one of Trump’s golf courses before moving up to serve as director of social media.

Since social media is so accessible to everyone, you don’t have to limit your search to those who have specific social media work on their resumes. You can find someone who simply has experience building their own social media presence or has some of the essential communication skills required to run your social media strategy.

DO Find Someone You Trust

Because of Scavino’s history with Trump, it seems that he has the full trust of the President. This makes it easy for them to work together and focus on the communication strategy that they’ve developed together. For your business, this might mean trying out an existing employee on your social media channels or finding someone through personal referrals from trusted advisors.

DON’T Stick with a “Yes” Person

Though Scavino says he rarely says no to Trump’s tweets or talking points, he has had to temper those messages from time to time. And as a business owner, you should hire a social media pro who will add their own input as an expert, even when it’s not something you particularly want to hear.



DO Find Someone Who Shares Your Authentic Message

But overall, people on social media want to follow authentic people and brands. So you don’t want to hire someone who will only ever post generic marketing messages and not let you show off your business’s personality at all. Find someone who understands the value of authenticity and (sometimes) unfiltered messages.

DON’T Stick with Just One Platform

Trump gets a lot of attention for his tweets. But Scavino is also active on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook. And your business should probably have a strategy that integrates more than one platform as well. So find someone who has expertise with each of the platforms that might be able to benefit your business.

DO Find Someone Who Will Dedicate a Lot of Time

Scavino is constantly following Trump, taking video and transcribing his thoughts to turn into social media posts. Running social media accounts for a business is also a time-consuming job. So you need to find someone who is willing and able to dedicate the time needed to make your social media strategy a success.

DON’T Discount How They Fit with Your Team

Because of that time requirement to make your social media strategy successful, your social media pro is going to spend a lot of time with you and your team. So if they don’t fit in with your team or mess with the chemistry of your office, it’s not going to be a good hire.

DO Look for Great Listening Skills

You also need to find someone who demonstrates great listening skills. Scavino often drafts tweets based on things Trump dictates to him throughout the day. So if you can find someone who listens carefully and can turn your authentic thoughts into tweets or posts, that’s a great step for your business.

DON’T Model Your Strategy After Others

When Mitt Romney was running his presidential campaign, he had a team of more than 20 people who signed off on each tweet. Trump has just one person. You can argue the merits of both sides. But different candidates (and businesses) have different styles. So you need to find the one that’s right for you rather than just doing what your predecessors or competitors have done.

DO Find Someone Who Knows the Rules

Scavino’s tenure as social media director hasn’t been all rosy. He’s also been reprimanded for violating the Hatch Act, a rule that prohibits executive branch officials from attempting to influence election outcomes, when he called for the defeat of a Michigan House Representative in a tweet.

This specific rule might not apply to your business. But you likely have other internal and external rules and policies to consider when it comes to social media. So make sure that your new hire is someone who is going to be able to follow the relevant rules in regards to your social media strategy.

Trump’s Twitter Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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