Filed Under Social Marketing
Many entrepreneurs don’t have the time needed to really invest in a social media marketing strategy. It takes a lot of time and patience to make it a success for your business. That is why so many seek the help of a social media consultant.
A social media consultant can be the online voice of your company. They are a person who can be fully engaged with your social networks, raise awareness of your brand and, drive traffic to your website that will increase sales.
You need to choose your consultant carefully. Here are the ten questions you need to ask before you join with an outsider to be the representative of your company through social media.
What success do you see in your own social networks?
You want to know that your potential consultant has a healthy and active level of online engagement on both their professional and personal networks. If you don’t see them marketing themselves very well, why would they do a better job with your business?
Look at the consultants’ social networking pages. Are they responding promptly to people who are interacting with them? Do they share valuable, quality content? Do their tweets or status updates contain offensive language or images? These are things you want to know before asking a consultant to be your representative.
Do you understand my niche market?
There are consultants that understand a wide variety of markets and others who focus solely on only one or two. You need to make sure that the person you choose has a good grasp on what your market is, what your target audience will want and how to meet your needs. Look at any articles or, blog posts they may have written about market trends.
What connections do you have to leaders in my industry?
You want to find a consultant who has some connections in the industry in order to help build more awareness of your products. You can see who is following them on Twitter, who they’re following, who “likes” them on Facebook, and what other people and businesses they are connected to on LinkedIn.
Can you tell me who some of your clients are?
You want to know who a consultant’s past and present clients are. It is good to email them to find out what they have to say about the consultant’s services. It is better to get an outside perspective on how well they performed for each client so that you can know what to expect if you choose to use their services.
Can I see some samples of your work?
Request that the consultant provide you with links that will take you to some examples of their work, both current and previous. Look at past campaigns and see if they resulted in increased brand exposure and leads. Would those samples work well with your own audience?
What are your go-to tools for measuring ROI?
Metrics and analytics are an important part of validating the work of a social media consultant. You want to know more than just how many followers, fans and likes you get from each campaign. You need to see conversion rates and lead generation.
What do they do to monitor EdgeRank on Facebook and retweet rates on Twitter? Do they use popular tools like Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Klout? Do they have their own custom way of tracking their results?
What are some ideas you have for my business?
You can’t expect a potential candidate to lay all the cards on the table for free, but they should be willing to give you a glimpse into what strategies they see for your business. They can point out ways to boost interaction, create Facebook Ads, Twitter campaigns or Pinterest contests. You want to know that they are already churning out ideas.
What type of social media do you think of as your specialty?
Social media is constantly growing, with new sites coming into success every day. If you are wanting to spend more time on creating a strong Pinterest presence, then you don’t want to hire someone who only has experience in setting up Facebook accounts.
What would you do in a social media crisis?
Unexpected crises can come up at any time during your social media campaign. You want to be confident that the person you choose will be able to handle anything that comes up, plus how they would avoid it happening in the first place. How would they respond to negative posts, tweets and comments about your business?
What are your rates and can we negotiate?
Does the consultant charge by the hour? By the project? Do they require a retainer before providing services? Find out what the payment schedule is- monthly, quarterly, weekly? Do they charge late fees or interest on past-due payments? Do they offer referral incentives? Is there a minimum contract period?
Have you considered hiring a social media consultant? What questions would you ask?