With the success of social media web sites, “Social Media Marketers” have popped up everywhere. The internet is flooded with marketing companies who make promises to triple your business’s profit in just 2 short months. Many claim to hold the keys to success on Facebook and without their help your business will get left in the dust of the ever-changing internet. While social media is important and has proven to be a vital tool in modern marketing, with the wrong approach, or money hungry “experts,” your social media campaign will fail before it even begins.
Finding a good and effective company in this social media frenzy can be challenging. Here are 4 tips and questions to ask when looking for your social media marketer.
1) What is your experience in social media marketing?
When asked this question, a marketing rep may answer in a number of ways. Be wary of the ones who call themselves social media experts, gurus, magicians, developers, and so on. These high profile titles are overused by people who are worried about the future of their business, not yours. The truth is, social media changes every day. Every second one of the thousands of online social networking sites make a change that has the potential to affect the other networks. Social media is a massive online storm, but with the right guidance it can be harnessed providing your business with unlimited potential.
Look for the marketers who tell you they are familiar with many of the social media networks and are constantly researching changes and patterns within those networks. These people will have a more realistic view of how to use social media effectively and which sites are a best fit for your business. Despite what many say, your business does not need to be on every social network on the internet. Using too many social media sites is inefficient and a waste of your time and hard earned dollars.
2) How do you measure ROI for social media campaigns?
There are many different ways to measure social media. There are a number of great analytic sites dedicated to reporting number of page views, fans, responses, comments, and more. This information is important, but not necessarily all you may need. A social media marketing campaign should be measured by one main thing: Do you see an increase in profit? If you have 10,000 friends on Facebook, but your bank account is still at $10, is all of your effort really worth it?
Look for the marketers who say they measure ROI by the interaction of your current and potential customers, which then may lead to new sales. Interaction leads to a business relationship, a relationship leads to sales, and sales lead to the beach house you have always wanted.
3) What social media networks do you recommend?
This question may seem pretty simple, and you’re right, it is. More often than not, the social media marketer you are “interviewing” will say Facebook right away. There is nothing wrong with this. Facebook is a valuable asset in the social media arsenal and will probably be included in almost any social media campaign.
Look out for the “experts” who tell you they are going to get your business involved in every kind of social media network they can. The more they flood the internet with your business, the better. This is only partially true. You should flood the internet with your business, but not by using 25 different outlets to do so. Can you imagine trying to keep up with 25 different social media sites, all with its own unique market. I have a hard time keeping up with just 10 usernames and passwords, let alone 10 sites all with a different purpose.
What you need to listen for is the person who tells you they are going to find the social media outlets that best fit your business and flood the internet with those. Spreading yourself over to many sites will only result in disconnected thoughts and half-hearted marketing attempts. Narrowing down the marketing outlets will give your campaign a focus, allowing you to be successful in a few areas, instead of getting mediocre results over a broad spectrum.
4) Does your social media marketer actually use social media for themselves?
This is not really a question you need to ask your marketer, but one you should investigate yourself. It may seem like a ridiculous question to ask, but look at it this way. Who would you trust to give you medical advice, someone who has read multiple books on medicine, or a doctor?
Before deciding what company or individual you are going to use to build your social media campaign, see if they are actually using social media for themselves! Check and see if they have a Facebook page with updates and not just a post from when they first built their profile. If they claim to have the best blog on the internet, check it out and decide for yourself. This last question is not meant to insult anyone’s intelligence. There are unfortunately people out there trying to make a quick buck and will take advantage of anyone they can.
These are just some of the questions we recommend to ask a social media marketer before you decide to work with them. They have probably researched your business before your first meeting, it will help to research them before your second.