Thought of the day: “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.”
Social media can be an excellent way for businesses to connect with potential and current customers. However, social media can also be overwhelming and extremely challenging for a business to understand. If you want to utilize social media to market your company but aren’t sure about the best way to get started, a consultant can help. The same is true if you’ve already attempted some marketing through social media but haven’t gotten the results you expected.
While a quality consultant can provide a ton of value to your business, that doesn’t mean you want to hire just anyone. If you hire a consultant who’s better at marketing themselves than getting results for their clients, the best case scenario is they’re going to end up wasting your time and money. The worst case scenario is they’ll give you bad advice that will result in your social media efforts having a negative effect on your business.
In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, here are several questions you’ll want to ask when interviewing a potential consultant:
How Long Have You Been Using Social Media?
This is a useful question for two reasons. First, someone with five years of experience is almost always going to be a better choice than someone with eighteen months. Second, since almost all social media profiles show when the person joined that network, you can verify a candidate’s answers to ensure they’re truthful. If you find out they lied, that’s an easy way to eliminate them from your pool of possibilities.
How Many Followers Can You Get for My Business?
If a potential consultant guarantees they can secure a specific number of followers, that should come off as a red flag. Unless someone is buying followers that are bots instead of real people, there’s simply no way to know exactly how many followers you can accumulate or how quickly. On the other hand, if a consultant can show you the growth rate they’ve had for other clients, that shows they’re honest and very serious about what they do.
Do You Publish Content for Your Consulting Business?
A very simple but effective way to evaluate a consultant is by reading what they’ve published online. So if a potential consultant can point you towards their blog and an ebook they’ve written, it shouldn’t take much reading for you to confirm if they actually know what they’re talking about. You can also ask for traffic and social media referral stats for their content.
Hiring a consultant for your social media marketing is a very smart investment in avoiding a potentially costly mistake. Blindly trying to navigate social media can result in a business making a mistake that significantly tarnishes their reputation. Having access to a consultant can ensure that your organization doesn’t make this type of blunder. Additionally, working with a consultant means you won’t put months into executing a strategy, only to realize that it was doomed from the beginning.
Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency focused on Franchise Marketing. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree however with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day.
She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location and more. Just let her know how she can help!