"If you don't have trust inside your company, then you can't transfer it to your customers." --Roger Staubach
It might come as a shock to you that I am writing an article about not trusting every social media expert, especially since I categorize myself as one. As a digital and social media marketing specialist, I see multiple individuals who claim they understand digital and social media marketing and charge their clients a ridiculous amount to build a strategy. In this article, I want to walk you through how to catch the red flags and find an expert you can trust that can really build a strategy based on your company’s goals and objectives.
1. Do your research. This is your opportunity to put your CSI skills to the test. If you already do social media stalking on your friends, ex-boyfriends, and colleagues, then use this same skill set for people that you are employing. If the individual your hiring says they are a social media expert, then they should have a strong presence on the following social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Take a moment to review the experts LinkedIn profile. A few items that recruiters often look for when analyzing a candidates LinkedIn presence are whether or not the profile is complete if they have a professional business headshot, a high number of connections, strong work experience, and if they share industry related articles. “Nearly every industry uses LinkedIn to find and vet job candidates, and over 90% of recruiters rely on the site, according to data from the Society of Human Resource Management,” to utilize this platform to double check your potential social media expert’s professional background.
2. Check for red flags. You just did a thorough background check, and they have each social media platform, but now what? Having a presence on social media does not mean that you are an expert. Make sure to look out for some red flags when you are hiring a digital agency or third party company to oversee your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and social media marketing. Communication is such a crucial element of building a brand presence and making sure your company goals are being heard. If the agency has poor communication and lack of transparency, you know that there is going to be an issue with the relationship even before it starts.
3. Ask for a competitive analysis. Most social media experts should do their due diligence when locking in a client. They should create a thorough competitive research that showcases your competitor’s landscape with recommendations on how to stand out and reach your goals accordingly. If the expert or agency, skips over this element, then they are not providing you with all the necessary elements you need to build a succe
ssful social and digital marketing strategy. If they do provide you with a competitive analysis, do not be surprised if it comes with a price. The reasoning behind why there’s a price tag associated with a competitive analysis is because it takes quite a while to composite and thoroughly research your target audience, competitors, and the industry landscape. My recommendation is to pay them for the competitive analysis prior to locking in their services; therefore, it can be a test to see if they really know what they are talking about.
The sole purpose of this article is not to scare you from hiring a social media expert, on the contrary, I want to educate you on how to wean out the individuals who are saying they know more than they really do. Make sure you take the time to do your research and really understand whom you are hiring. You want someone who takes the time to understand your company’s brand and effectively communicates your mission across social media to better meet your goals and objectives.
Have any questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more!