Considering hiring a social media consultant to get your tweeting, Facebook posting and YouTubing ramped up, but don’t know where to start? Just because someone calls themselves an expert doesn’t mean they really are the best choice for you. So let’s look at
a few things that your potential social media consultant likely won’t tell you:
- Don’t always start with Facebook. Just because everyone and their mom is on Facebook doesn’t mean your company should be there. It doesn’t mean it SHOULDN’T be there, either. After all, many of your competitors and much of your potential market are hanging out there. But depending on your strategy and goals, perhaps Facebook isn’t the place to start. Perhaps LinkedIn is. Or Twitter. Or a good set of information videos packed with keywords on YouTube is more appropriate for your business. Truth be told, a good social media consultant will help you examine your market, identify potential target areas, solidify social media goals and then move into the implementation phase – whatever that may be.
- Look to connect, not to promote. Even big companies spend a lot of time answering questions on their blogs, replying to tweets and responding to comments and questions on Facebook. Promotions are okay – and in fact if done right can be a big boost for your bottom line. But you should plan on spending a majority of your time simply engaging with those that follow you.
- Setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest are not ‘embracing social media.’ Building a big list on Twitter is not social media engagement. Sending hundreds of people to ‘like’ you on Facebook is not social media engagement. Oh, sure, it’s good to have people that are connected with you – but unless you are giving them some sort of value on a regular basis you’re wasting your time and theirs. It’s all about the content you share and the conversations you start (and continue).
- High-level social media engagement doesn’t require high-level expertise. No, it doesn’t. It really requires common sense and continual work. Everyone is capable of working and understanding social media. And if someone tells you they’re too old for social media, you’re free to steal my line (which I’m sure I borrowed): “No, you’re not too old. You’re too lazy.”
- There is no such thing as a “social media expert.” Anyone can hang a shingle and call themselves “experts.” However, a true student of social media recognizes that expertise is gained through hard work, constant education, and yes, learning how to do things right by first doing them wrong. Which means that no matter how much they know, there’s always something new to learn….which means that being an “expert” is really impossible.
- While a social media consultant can help you get started, ultimately it’s up to you and your company. Which means that not only will you and your marketing team have to learn and understand all of the nuances of social media engagement, your whole company will ultimately become involved. Not everyone in a company should be representing your company online, but every department should have a representative that engages with your social media outlets. Someone up the ladder must also take the lead and the responsibility for leading the effort.
- Social media is really just another aspect of doing the same things you’ve always been doing: generating revenue through great marketing and excellent customer service. You know, the way you’ve been trying to do since the company began. Social media is just a different avenue for executing those plans, generating leads, giving great customer service and touching those people where they live.