This article is Part 4 in the series How to Choose a Social Media Consultant.
A social media consultant will help you find the answers you need on social media. But to get to the right answers, you need to ask the right questions.
In this article, I give you an overview of the questions you should ask a social media consultant before you hire them.
Asking these questions will ensure you hire the right consultant for your brand.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Before you approach anyone to ask about their consulting services, you need to be clear with yourself about why you want help with social media. Joining Twitter or Facebook because they’re the latest trend is not a good answer.
- Why do you need a social media consultant?
- What do you expect them do for your brand?
- What stage are you at with social media? Do you need help setting up a blog, Twitter account and Facebook page? Or have you done this, and found yourself baffled at how to build a following?
- How much could you do in-house? Could you send your marketing manager on social media training rather than hiring a consultant?
Observations About Them
When it’s clear in your mind you need a social media consultant, start looking around at your options.
These are questions you can ask by checking out their website, or after a quick Skype call with them.
- Do they offer free advice (e.g. on a blog, over the phone)? Do you find it helpful? If their free advice is sound, that’s a solid foundation for a good working relationship.
- How do they behave on their personal social media account? How many followers do they have? Do they engage with their followers? Take a look to see if they practice what they preach.
- Did they ask about your business strategy, why you want to use social media, and what you expect to get out of it? They should want to know about this, and be willing to guide you in putting together a strategy.
- Do they make you feel good? Do they make you laugh? If they know how to make you happy, they’ll likely know how to make your customers happy too. Being good at social marketing is all about making people feel good.
Questions to Ask Them
Once you’ve narrowed down a shortlist of contenders, you’re ready to set up interviews with your favorites. Here are the questions you should be asking.
- Do they have a marketing background? They might know all about Twitter and Facebook, but unless they can use their knowledge to help you sell more product, they won’t be much use to your business. A good social media consultant will have a strong marketing background, and be willing to work alongside your marketing manager.
- What are their previous successes? Ask for examples of what’s gone right. Also ask about when things haven’t gone so well. If they’re willing to admit their failures – yet they have a track record of success – that’s a good sign they’ll be a positive influence.
- What can they do for your business? They should be believable in their predictions. If they guarantee they can take your brand viral, walk away. No one can be certain of doing that. Going viral is a happening, not an outcome.
- Ask them about an up and coming social network (a good example right now would be Pinterest). Have they heard of it? Or does it catch them off guard? Social media changes fast, and they should be on top of the most recent technology.
- Have they worked with brands in your sector before? That’s a good sign that they’ll understand your business.
- How do you measure ROI? If they don’t have an answer, ask how they’ll show you what you’re getting for your money. Any social media consultant worth their salt will be willing to provide solid metrics.
Over to You
What questions would you ask before hiring a social media consultant?
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