Social media expert or phony? Online marketing companies abound these days; and, with business owners having to attend to their company affairs, it’s only reasonable to farm-out the workload to an “expert”. After all, it’s pragmatic. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to tend to business and learn search optimization–not to mention all the incidentals that come with it, like social media marketing.
But how is it you know that your self-proclaimed professional is the real deal? Aside from testimonials on their website from other customers, what can you use to qualify a social media expert? Especially before your business commits to a long term marketing contract?
What Makes a Social Media Expert
Aside from the obvious definition, a social media expert is a person or team who are intimately familiar with not only social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Facebook, but who can readily identify and target certain demographics for maximum optimization. It’s simply not enough to just know how to customize a profile, but how to build an audience, and that’s the ultimate goal of a social media expert: a person or team who builds a loyal following around a brand.
Social media is just another facet of marketing and customer service. Say it with me. Repeat it until you know it by heart. Bind it as a sign upon your hands and upon thy gates. Social media, by itself, will not help you. —Business Insider
In fact, this person or team ought to be successful enough with social that it becomes a significant metric in your analytics or what is known as “referral traffic”. It’s the proof that people are finding and following your business from social media optimization.
Social Media Expert Qualifications
When trying to find an individual or firm which offers social marketing, there are certain red flags you should look for. Some of them are patently obvious, while others are a bit more subtle. Here are some things you ought to take notice of when hiring a marketing firm:
- The “social media expert” has little to no following of his or her own.
- He or she likes to use buzz words but never really explains what they mean. Failure to break down esoteric language and not taking time to discuss the ins-and-outs of social media optimization is a big red flag.
- Their Twitter and Facebook pages are littered with “auto links”. These are easy to identify because they will appear on the profile with just a link. Conspicuously absence will be discussions and replies.
- There isn’t a concerted effort to tag social media with other metrics or incorporate it into calls to action. If a supposed social media expert treats social platforms as islands in the breeze, it’s a bad sign.
- The social media marketing firm doesn’t understand or explain how it will incorporate social media into other marketing endeavors like webinars, television, print and radio advertising, email and live events.
Another warning sign is when he or she can’t integrate social media training into your company’s employee learning procedures. If you’re striving for a large audience, there’s just no way one so-called professional can handle it alone.