This quote couldn’t be more true than with social media experts today, it seems everybody is one – just ask them.
Seven Questions To Consider Before Hiring A Social Media Expert
I recently received an e-mail from a fellow entrepreneur, the CEO of Fanminder, Paul Rosenfeld about a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “ Firms Get a Hand With Twitter, Facebook, Entrepreneurs Hire Consultants to Promote Business on Social-Media Sites, but the Extra Cost Is Big Question”.
After reading the article which was written by Sarah Needleman, I decided to also read the comments section. The comment section is filled with people who are doing social media consulting for others and individuals who feel that entrepreneurs and business owners should approach social media as a DIY.
Two Sides to Every Story
I believe there are to sides to the story for this to make sense. Both are entirely correct. First, no one knows your business more than you do. So when it comes to connecting and engaging customers. The owner or manager you come out on top not a consultant. But what do you do when you do not know what to write, post or tweet. That is why you need some help. Either through an experienced coach, training of some sort or hire someone to get you up and running and then take it from there.
On the other hand if time ( which is something we all don’t have ) to commit to social media marketing is what you don’t have, then you need to hire someone to help you with it. The biggest cost of doing social media is time needed to get things going. In order words time you have to spend to tweet, post, engage and talk with people. That time can be better spent managing your business.
In the same article, many things were said about whether it makes sense for small businesses to hire a consultant/agency to help with starting a social media marketing campaign.
It All Depends on Two Things
1. Do you have the time to do it yourself ? If the answer is no. Then you can consider using a marketing company to help you. The help can either be to train you on how to do it or be an extension of your in-house employee/service.
2. Do you have employees who can do social media for you? If yes, you don’t need to hire anyone to help you do anything. May only need to ask for helping you with training. and showing how to do it. Ask for a customized workbook to follow.
You see the biggest expense in social media marketing apart from the know how is the time needed to do it right.
Where to Start?
I work for a restaurant marketing company that provides social media and mobile marketing services to restaurants, franchise businesses and small businesses. The number one question we get from operators is what do I even write and how do I start it without making people upset . The second question is we know many of our traditional media is no longer working right or delivering results.
What should we expect in terms of results (ROI or foot traffic ) with this social media program . Thirdly what is the cost? This is the most important question.
Many have unlimited questions and are afraid to loose money to many so called social media marketing experts out there. Everyone, agency, and my cousin is now a social media guru because they read mashable.com, follow Chris Brogan and read a recent social media book by Tim Oreilly.
So as a small business owner, you need some real world common sense approach to this .
Ask These Simple Questions of the so Called Consultant
1. What is your track record in doing this social media and how long have you been doing it
2. What should success or result look to you?
3. What have you done in the past that I can see? Verifiable clients. Not just on the brochure.
4. Do you have references I can check?
5. How much and for how long are we going to use your service? Is there any retainer?
6. What guarantees should you give me? Some people will take your money and run…
7. If you are going to hire an expert…Ask others who they are presently using and why?
My two cents..
Disclaimer, our company mobile dialog does social media marketing for several clients as well. But with an integrated approach. I am not by any means opposed to companies who are now experts in social media overnight. All I am saying there should be a measuring stick to determine those who are genuinely out to help entrepreneurs or just helping their pocket only.
Dr Ola Ayeni is the Chief Idea Officer of Mobile Dialog, a new media marketing and consulting company in, Naperville , Illinois that helps restaurants and small businesses increase revenue and engage their customers using mobile and social media tools.
Be our next guest author…click here for details.
Photo Credit: Phillie Casablanca
For exclusive Small Biz Bee content and offers, sign up for our free newsletter: