Whether you are biting the bullet and just starting to use social media in your operations or, you have been using social media for awhile, you would be wise to find the right consultant. But the question is, how do you know when your consultant is feeding you the wrong information? Well, there are signs and here are 3 clues that your social media consultant is clueless:
1. Recommending that You Be Present & Active in ALL Social Media
If your consultant advises you that you need to be present and active in every social media channel known to mankind, you should not only raise an eyebrow, you should raise a lot of questions.
I recently started working with a client who was having significant challenges with her marketing initiatives. In fact, she was not getting any results what so ever. She had previously engaged a consultant that advised her to be active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and four others. She was further advised that she needed to be posting at least 10 times a day every day. As a small business she had to manage all of this activity herself. She was following the recommendations of the consultant to the letter. The problem was that she was consumed with social media. She didn’t have much time to actually run her business and to boot, she was getting zero results.
Essentially all of this advice was wrong for her. After auditing her program, I recommended significant changes. She is now active in two channels. I also provided her with a plan on how often to post and during what times of the day. In just three weeks she has seen a substantial increase in qualified leads and enquiries.
2. No Listening and Engagement Program
When your consultant speaks to your about your needs and objectives, one of the first things that needs to be considered and discussed by your consultant should be about setting up your listening and engagement program. If your consultant fails to recommend, or at the very least discuss it with you, this should be an alarm bell. This is always the first step in leveraging social media. Failing to discuss this with you demonstrates that your consultant is not grasping the fact that social media is about a relationship and two-way dialogue.
Another client I was working with did not have a listening and engagement program. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t getting any conversations going. He wasn’t listening to his clients and he certainly wasn’t engaging with them where they were conversing. He was advised by his consultant that all he had to do was issue push communications. In other words, he was told that just putting out your message was the way to go.
I worked with him to get a listening and engaging tool and developed a Playbook for how to engage with his customers and prospects. In just one week he is seeing conversations develop.
3. You Should Only Focus on Social Media – It is all You need.
Social media is still a relatively new concept for many. Even practitioners continue to develop and hone their skills. Despite this however, really qualified practitioners will never advise you to look at your social media efforts in isolation. Instead, they will look at your overall marketing and operational plans and objectives. They will work with you to develop strategies and tactics that will help you meet those objectives. They will also help you determine the necessary metrics and align them to your Key Performance Indicators.
Working with another larger organization I have helped them identify all key components of their overall marketing strategy and how they all work together. Each piece supports the other and there is a consistent message. The result, customers and prospects see a solid and consistent approach. They are seeing a story unfold versus disparate and confusing information.
Social media doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be done with the right approach. These 3 tips should help you ask the right questions when working with consultants. And most importantly don’t be afraid to pause and reflect on what is being offered. This is an important component of your brand, identity and bottom line, getting a second opinion might not also be a bad idea.
Want to learn more? Check out “Best Practices – Social Media Listening and Engaging”. This free resource will help you start your own program.