9 Useful Tips For Finding The Right Social Media Consultant
It’s no more news that the world has moved online and most businesses along with it. Businesses have never had it this good given the opportunity to trade on a global scale. There’re several valuable opportunities online, especially on social media, for any business that is willing to take the bull by the horns.
However, the world of social media can be very tasking for many businesses. This is especially true for small businesses. As a small business owner, I remember struggling for months to get my social media strategy right but try as I might, I just couldn’t get past having an average social media presence.
All that changed after I asked myself some vital questions. I discovered there was no way I could realistically, come up with regular vibrant, original contents needed for social media, implement a solid social media marketing plan and still take on the job of managing my small business. After I realized that I had to delegate my social media management, the next question was “How do I find the perfect social media consultant?”
It took me some time of trial, error and frustration but I did end up finding the perfect social media consulting firm. Hiring a social media manager or consultant can be a herculean task if not properly undertaken. Doing it right however, can be very rewarding. These days, I try to recommend social media delegation to other small business owners. Like me, their first reaction is often “Why on earth do I need a social media consultant when I have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account?” Well here are some reasons:
Reasons Why You Should Hire A Social Media Consultant
Social Media Strategy: If you’re serious about the social presence of your brand, then you must know that making an impact on social media is beyond just typing words and uploading pictures. All brands with great social media presence have a strategy. It will take an expert to study your brand and come up with a social media strategy that is just right for your brand.
Social Media Budget Management: It’s so easy to waste money on social media. I’ve seen small business naively pour thousands of dollars into social media advertising only to get a few leads and engagement. After wasting a few dollars myself, I learnt fast. Having a social media consultant handle my social media ads leaves me awed at the thousands of leads and engagement generated with only a few bucks.
Social media Content creation: Okay, social media has peculiar contents that go beyond the usual “Lol” and “LMAO” kinda content. Working with a social media expert helped me realize one important feature of social media content and that is “shareability”. Social media consulting would help you go beyond generating everyday content to creating content that literally come alive online.
Analytics: If you’ve ever taken a look at your social media analytics, then you’d know that it takes an expert to make sense of all those lines and numbers. More so, your analytics basically shows the health of your brand online. A consultant would help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of strengthening your brand.
Social Media Management: With so many social media platforms out there, your hands can get full pretty easily. So much so, that you might pay more attention to some platforms than the others. A consultant would play the role of managing your online platforms and ensuring that they’re not just functional, but regularly updated.
Now that you know exactly why it’s vital to hire a social media consultant, here’s my ultimate guide to finding the right social media consulting services. I have highlighted in this guide, several tips that helped me identify the best social media consultant to handle my social media accounts.
Nine Tips For Finding The Right Social Media Consultant
1. Look At Their Work History
This is one of the first and foremost sign I recommend you watch out for when hiring a social media consultant. Look at the brands they’ve handled online and how well those brands are doing on social media platforms. You should also watch out for their conversion rates; that is the difference between when they started handling a social media platform and after they applied their expertise. You should also carefully review the kinds of campaign they’ve done online and how well it fits your social media needs. Their work history will help you know if they have ample experience in social media consultancy.
2. Ask For Stats
Don’t lag on asking for their statistics. Social media is all about conversion. After all, any teenager can open a social media account and run a basic campaign. However, the difference between an amateur and a professional is conversion. If they claim to be experts at social media consultancy, then their statistics should be a proof of their expertise. Granted, they might not provide you with actual numbers of brands they have handled but they can give you verifiable proof of how they’ve helped build the social platforms of other brands.
3. Verify Their Claims
You’d likely come across social media consultancies that make very lofty claims of brands they’ve worked on. Don’t be too quick to believe these claims. Don’t just take their word for it! Go the extra mile by verifying their claims. If they’ve worked on the brands they claim to have worked on, there’ll be evidence of their handiwork across these brands.
4. Test Their Knowledge
You might not be a social media expert but you can come up with a few intelligent questions to test the knowledge of prospective social media consultants. If you’re unsure of what to ask them, here are a few favorites of mine
Questions You Must Ask Prospective Social Media Consultants
- What do you think of my brand’s online presence? (Don’t hire them if they say you’re fine)
- What is the biggest mistake my brand is making on social media platforms? (There’d be a few or you wouldn’t be hiring a consultant)
- How would you handle a social media crisis? (They should have a clear protocol for this)
- How do you track your efforts? (They should clearly state how you would measure success)
- How would you manage my social media budget? (If they start stuttering, run!)
5. Ask For Evidence Of Professional Training
There are several professional trainings available for social media consultants. Some of the popular certifications include Market Motive, OMI, Mediabistro and HootSuite. While the agency you’re considering might not have any of the mentioned certifications, they should have at least one recognized certification in social media consultancy. The reason for this is to ensure that you’re handing your social media accounts to a professional and not some random agency online.
6. Watch Out For Rapport
I‘ve learned from experience that rapport is key to having a thriving relationship with your social media consultant. Imagine trying to explain your ideas to your social media expert and they aren’t even close to grasping your point. It can get pretty frustrating. When hiring a social media expert, you should look out for people you can easily communicate with and explain your ideas. This will come in handy in due time. You can test rapport by discussing one of your ideas and measuring their understanding of your point.
7. Check Out Their Reviews
Reviews don’t just come in handy when you are shopping online; they also go a long way in helping you pick the best social media consultant. When you’re looking at reviews, don’t just look at those shiny stars. Delve in deeper and read what the customers are actually saying. Pay even more attention to in-depth reviews because those will help you identify some pros and cons of hiring a social media consultancy.
8. Watch Out For Uniqueness
In the world of social media, uniqueness is key. So much content is being uploaded on social media every second so for you to be heard, you must stand out from the crowd. Your social media consultant will go a long way in determining if you stand out from the crowd or not. Although it’s pretty easy for prospective consultants to claim they are unique, you can test their claims by running a uniqueness test. You can run a simple test of uniqueness by looking at their blog or website and social media handles. If their online platforms are no different from that of every other person, then I bet you that you wouldn’t get anything different from them.
9. Don’t Be In A Haste
I know you might feel like if you don’t hire a social media consultant now, your business is going to vanish in no time. While that might be true, I want you to know that your business would die faster if you hire the wrong social media consultant. Hastily hiring a consultant could cost you thousands of dollars, your online reputation and eventually, your brand. So, take your time and don’t forget to watch out for these red flags.
Five Red Flags to Watch Out For When Hiring A Social Media Consultant
- When they don’t have any item on their portfolio
- When they have no Online footprint (Website and social media handles)
- When their online presence is bland
- When they don’t have adequate following on social media
- When they offer no clear solution to your social media needs
On A Final Note…
The social media management of your brand is not an activity that should be taken lightly. Your social media activities could make or mar your brand. Therefore, it is vital to find a social media manager that will not just project your brand personality online but also generate leads and engagement for your brand.
If you are as passionate about your brand as I am about mine, then you’d want to hire social media consultants that would deliver. 99DollarSocial has been my goto social media consulting firm after so much trial. The work very hard with businesses to establish a giant social media footprint. They also have packages that fir the financial needs of most small businesses.