With the strong emergence of social media in the internet marketing world, every Tom, Dick and Harry has come out saying they are social media experts. They are feeding on the desires of entrepreneurs who do not have time to dedicate to developing their social media presence effectively. If you do not ask the right questions you may wind up spending thousands of dollars and get no results. That’s why I created this guide to help you choose the best social media consultant for your company.
5 Questions You Must Ask Before You Hire Your Next Social Media Consultant
1. When engaging in social media marketing will you keep my targeted audience in mind?
Most social media companies will focus on making the connection. They do not care whatsoever who that connection is. What good is having thousands of connections if they do not become prospects, new clients, referral sources or possible JV partners. When I help my LinkedIn clients, I focus on their target audience. I research each individual potential connection to see if they could be a future prospect, referral source or joint venture opportunity. I focus on the quality of the connection, not the quantity because my clients do not care how many people I connect with them. They care more about how much money they are making from LinkedIn and their social media efforts.
2. Do you create a system to take the online conversation offline?
Many consultants do not take the most crucial step of any online social media connection — They fail to take the online conversation offline. If you think you are going to sell high-end products and services just by having a social media presence, then I have a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you. You need to have a system in place that consistently gets your website and information in front of your prospects. You need to engage with them on many levels. And, you need to find ways that you can get them to take the next step in your relationship – and have a phone conversation with you.
3. How engaged are you in social media conversations?
Anyone can post content to groups – a five year old can even do that if you show them how. If your social media consultant does not understand direct response copywriting techniques that encourages conversation, then it’s time to move on. If your social media consultant does not regularly monitor the conversations that’s happening online every day, then move on. The person you choose to handle your social media needs to know how to assess the conversations and find ways you can contribute. I spend time every day, scanning the LinkedIn Q & A boards and the different groups that my clients belong to. I look for opportunities that my clients can add value. I look for ways to spark healthy debates. That’s what effective social media marketing is all about.
4. When focusing on social media profiles do you focus strictly on keyword optimization and being found first for you niche?
If you go to LinkedIn and do a search on internet marketing, you will see the number one person has only 145 connections and the number 2 person has 154 connections. Now internet marketing is a popular key phrase. In fact, the search gets 487,100 results for that phrase. So imagine how many people check out their profiles. One has to wonder why they get so few connections. It is because the person who handles their profile forgot, if you want to create a connection, you need to have prospect focused copy within the profile. You cannot just have it stuffed with keywords. Your profile has to show me why I want to connect or do business with you.
5. How can you ensure that my social media messaging stays consistent with my branding?
One of my clients, Adam Hommey, Founder of Help My Website Sell, started to create content that dealt with how to work effectively with your website team. How does that relate to a brand that is heavily focused on increasing website conversions? Most companies would have distributed his article on their social networks without any concern. But I pushed backed and told him that this did not match his brand and this should not be sent out. I asked him point blank, how does this relate to website conversions and how will this persuade legal firms, management consulting firms and corporation (his target audience) to want to connect with him? You need someone who will keep your brand in check and work to reinforce it through social media.
By asking these 5 questions, you will avoid the mistake of hiring the wrong social media consultant or company.
Recommended Books on How to Choose the Right Social Media Consultant:
- 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More!
- Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success
- The Social Media Strategist: Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out
- Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans, with a foreword by Kathy Sierra
- Social Media for Business: The Small Business Guide to Online Marketing