Regardless of the type of client that you are – a client who wants “the project to be quick and dirty,2 or who wants “to be involved in all the details” or “not involved at all,” or who expects that the project will result in “improving sales by 80%.” – here are 10 Questions you ought to ask a Social Media expert:
1. Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?
I know it sounds obvious doesn’t it? But you need to cover your bases. Start by looking at their profiles. Are they actively involved with their communities? Who do they have conversations with? How often do they use it? A good rule of thumb to keep is: One Tweet/day, One Blog post/week
2. How do you market yourself using social media?
Ask your consultant how they employ their strategies for their own business. Get them to show you how they’ve marketed themselves and ask for measureable results. Ideally you are looking for someone who has knowledge of the entire mix, including online, email, SEO, mobile etc. and who is promoting the business through integration with existing communication channels and new technologies.
3. How do you monitor social media for a client?
4. It’s not possible to measure ROI through social media, is it?
This is a mean question, however, if they agree with you, run! You absolutely can measure ROI from social media. Be prepared, though that it is not always about cash.
Let’s say you want to improve your product development process by launching an e-focus group on FB. You can measure the number of contributions, quality, level and detail of those contributions. You can measure the number of innovations and improvements realised as a result of the e-focus group efforts and you can measure your savings in terms of project management, cost, time and resources.
5. What’s the first step in a successful social media strategy?
The first and most important thing to do is to define your objectives. What is it that you are aiming to achieve? The roadmap that follows will be guided by your objectives.
6. How quickly can you build a massive following?
Social media is NOT about the size of the audience you have – it’s about the relationship and the conversation you’re having with your followers, fans and friends and the quality of those conversations. There are plenty of follow tools on the market that let you follow thousands of people with no value to your business. Beware the social media expert or consultant who can “get you thousands of followers on Twitter within a week”.
7. Can you give me an example of a social media strategy you’ve executed for another company?
If they tell you it’s confidential, it’s because it probably is. You can still ask for examples of how they developed, implemented and integrated social media strategy. Ask what they measured and how they performed against those goals. Ask for client/customer testimonials.
8. How do you build an audience?
“I follow interesting, relevant people and conversations on Twitter, comment on relevant industry blog posts and try to get into the conversation” is the answer you are looking for. You want to hire someone who is able of human engagement – “Auto-follow” anybody can set up.
9. Do you offer a guarantee?
Social Media is about human engagement. As with all good relationships it takes time and effort to develop. So, you are looking for accountability. Someone who will go the extra mile, go above and beyond.
10: How did you learn all this?
You are looking for active answers. You want to hire someone who can give examples of “self-managed learning”, “learning on the job” or “learning from mistakes”.
BONUS Question: How does social media impact my SEO?
One of the most important questions I have left to the last. Yes, it does! SEO has become more and more intertwined with Social Media. Social Media helps with link building efforts and can help establish your business as an expert in your field. Google also shows real-time results from Twitter in the SERP pages.
Hope this has been useful!
- Social Search Factors that Affect SEO (customerthink.com)
- Just Say No: To Spammy Social Media Techniques (businessinsider.com)
- Is Social Media an SEO Strategy? (marketingtechblog.com)
- Jay Baer Explains How to BE Social, not DO Social Media (lockergnome.com)
- 10 Strategies To Engage Fans Through Social Media (attnmag.wordpress.com)