Deciding that you are ready to integrate social media into your marketing mix is an exciting and big step. After making the decision that you are moving in the direction of social media, you need to decide whether you are able to handle the work or if you are going to hire someone to help you. The one thing that is neat about social media is that you have options on who handles the work and how it’s done. So, to start moving in the direction of including social media marketing you need to decide on the following:
- Are you going to dive headfirst and create your own campaigns and strategies?
- Do you need a social media plan developed for you so you can jump in and implement?
- Do you need someone to coach you through the steps of set up through integration?
- Or are you looking for someone to consult with and then have them take charge of your social media program?
If you decide that yes, indeed you are going to need some assistance from an expert, there are some things that you should consider when you start the research and then hiring process of an expert or company. Here are a few things to take into consideration:
- Always start with Google!
- They need to be a social media user; not just have a social presence. Does this mean that they need to be active on every single social media platform? No, not at all. Not every social media site makes sense for everyone’s business and this includes social media experts and companies too. Just because you don’t see them using all of the platforms personally doesn’t mean that they don’t use these platforms for their other clients.
- They should be well-versed within social media. When talking to someone about social media, make sure that they have had experience past Facebook and Twitter. Ask them for examples of work they have done on Flickr, Google+, Foursquare, Tumblr; especially if these are platforms that you think you are going to want to use to market yourself and your business.
- I’ve already covered that they should be a social media user and now I want to qualify what I consider to be a ‘social media user.’ Your potential expert or company should have active social media accounts on at least three social media platforms and should lead by an interactive example. They should not only be posting information, but sharing others information and interacting with others and their profiles should have current, up-to-date information.
- I’ve always said quality in your followers trumps quantity, but I do believe that someone that is heavily involved in social media, should have a moderate amount of followers, fans and connections.
- The last thing is check out what others are saying. Reviews and recommendations can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, everywhere! Check out what others are saying.
What do you think? What other things have you or would you take into consideration before hiring a social media consultant?