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social media consultant

This article is part 1 in the series How to Choose a Social Media Consultant. 
Part 2: Why Your Social Media Consultant Must Have High Emotional Intelligence
Part 3: What You Can (And Can’t) Expect From A Social Media Consultant

 

Social media has re-routed the path to marketing success, forever.

If you’re still following your old marketing maps, you’ll get lost pretty quickly.

The new maps are still being drawn-up, so right now those who want to navigate social media sure-footedly will need to hire a guide.

But since everyone (including my Grandma) knows how to use Facebook, why do you need a guide?

Let’s go back in time 30 years. It’s 1982, and thanks to a healthy profit the previous year, your brand is about to run its first ever TV ad campaign.

This is your big break opportunity to enter the major leagues.

You’re at a turning point, a moment that could rocket-launch or ruin your business.

What’s your next step?

You’re going to hire the best TV director your money can buy. Someone with the experience and skills to catapult your brand into the hearts and minds of every TV viewer.

Assuming that anyone with a Facebook account makes a good social media consultant is like assuming anyone who knows how to use a TV remote can direct a TV ad.

A New Tipping Point

Newsflash: It’s no longer 1982.

Today, we’re at a different tipping point. Not TV, but social media.

The old marketing rules are quickly being rewritten. The new rules have heralded two major changes:

  1. Everyone’s a creator. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can be a blogger, a video director, a business success. Social media has a low barrier to entry, which means anyone can enter the major leagues, if they get it right. That’s not to say success is easy – just that anyone can give it a try. With more competition, you must try harder and be more flexible than ever to stay ahead of the game.
  2. Everyone has a voice. Old marketing was a monologue: the media (including marketers) spoke, everyone else listened. Thanks to social media, marketing is now a conversation. Consumers can talk back, and if they like you, they’ll talk about you to their friends. Get everyone talking, and you’l go viral. That’s a big opportunity for marketers. However, it’s also a threat if people decide to bad-mouth your brand.

What A Social Media Consultant Can Do For Your Brand

Hiring a social media consultant can completely transform your brand. Social media has the potential to put you out there in an even bigger way than TV, for the whole darn world to see.

It’s crunch time – and you need to choose the right social media consultant for your brand.

That’s a tricky decision. It’s a decision that could change your business, and your life, forever.

Here’s what a social media consultant will do for your business:

  • Point you to the right social networks for your business, where your customers hang out (there are many more than Twitter and Facebook)
  • Help you engage with the influencers in your niche, and show you how to work with these influencers to promote your products
  • Make social networking integral to your website and other relevant marketing materials
  • Put together strategies for driving leads, engaging your target market, and going viral on social media
  • Show you how to use social media in a time effective way, and integrate social media into your daily work flow
  • Offer you bespoke social media advice that’s a perfect fit for your business goals

Seriously, this is big. Businesses who get social media right can increase sales by up to 1000% – that’s ten times more sales. (Want proof? Check out this article in the Guardian newspaper)

How to Choose a Social Media Consultant

Through a series of articles, I’m going to help guide you through the process of hiring the right social media consultant for you. I’ll show you:

Next week: Why your Social Media Consultant must have high emotional intelligence.

 

#1 All Followers Are Not Created Equal (most are a waste of time)

Most of us have learned the hard way “size matters” (I simply couldn’t resist – pun intended!)

But seriously, do you know who you’re engaging with?

Do you know who you SHOULD be talking to?

Yes there are uncovered gems out there – of course there are! But let them find YOU because you are in the right places doing the write things.  Including, asking questions, actually reading the posts you retweet with helpful comment and responding to legitimate inquiries from your followers.

Just spraying and praying for the best is probably the #1 most newbies make when on Twitter.

A great service for this is MarketMeSuite, which Jeff Bullas says at his blog, “It boasts a ton of great features that make it well worth giving a go. You can create reply campaigns, pull in RSS feeds and compare the Klout score of the users you are interacting with you. On top, you can also collaborate with other’s through the App’s multiple user setting.”

Social Media Consultant, Twitter infographic

Image originally posted on Bit Rebels

[This Infographic was put together by designer Michael Neff.]

Read more…

That’s when I started to look around.  There are some rather interesting numbers being thrown around, especially those that are whispering about the number of followers people have.  If you follow someone, you at some point expect them to follow you back.  That has become the moral sense of the whole thing.  However, there is a little secret hiding behind that Twitter curtain that you will be quite surprised about when revealed.  According to the data provided byPureWire, Twitter has a dirty secret for you.   

#2 Twitter Done Right Can Have More Impact On Your Brand Than Facebook

One of the things Shannon Downey who wrote a compelling guest blogger the Bruce Clay blog is the power of the TweetUp.

[NOTE: I do NOT participate in these at all. And it's a MISTAKE.]

Your goal for 2012 should be to find the best tweet up you could join and participate in each it every single week.  This allows you to establish more of a one on one rapport with your peers.

I’m going to do my best to do this starting this month, if you want to join me send me a tweet with hashtag #socialcaffeine with best time of day and let’s make it happen!

(I’ve heard that Google+ hangouts are equally as powerful and less crowded.)

social media consultant | twitter infographics

Image originally posted on Blue Clay

Read More

Twitter users understand the game and we want to reward people and brands who play by the rules and go above and beyond. Check out these statistics from ExactTarget:

  • 17 percent of Facebook users are more likely to purchase from a brand after “liking” it.
  • 21 percent of Facebook users are more likely to recommend a brand after “liking” their page.
  • 37 percent of Twitter users are more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a follower.
  • 33 percent of Twitter users are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a follower.

#3 Twitter Is Dangerous: Look Before Your Click

Please don’t click on random links from random followers.  In fact there is a service Parrot Fish that is free where you can see a preview of the link and Jeff Bullas recommends it on his blog here.

I make it a policy to NEVER click on a link from a DM even if I know a person because people’s accounts have been hijacked. I first DM them back to see if this was sent by them.

Secondly, I almost NEVER click on a link from an untrusted source in my Twitter feed, period.

social media consultant | twitter spam

Source: TweetSmarter

#4 Twitter Is The Lazy Way To Blog (That’s why I love it!)

Ok, so you might not be lazy – you could just be BUSY.  And that’s ok. As long as you’re consistent, follow the rules and are kind to the people who engage with you, it’s better than doing nothing.

When I first started in Twitter back in 2008, I had NO BLOG. But I was a voracious reader. So I picked a topic I felt I could add value to and stayed focus. Nothing about where I ate, who I dated or how my life was going.  Just relevant and helpful tips to get you started in social media.

Pick a topic – ONE. Find obscure tips or give original short ideas and be consistent. Retweeting Mashable, Problogger or Social Media Examiner, while admirable to support the blogs (and you should do it – if you read it and use it – shout it!) is better than nothing. But it won’t get you much.

Add a thought. No matter how short. Just add value.

social media consultant | why I love Twitter

Image originally posted: Tweeterism 

[NOTE:  It's now a go daddy landing page and no longer live.]

#5 Twitter Is The New Google

Ok, maybe not quite. But do this.

1. Do a search on your company name and Google and see what happens.

2. Do one at Social Mention, http://socialmention.com

3. Heck for fun, search Lori R Taylor. Even though I have hundreds of articles at my blog, what comes up includes content from Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The point is, you can’t ignore your customers opinions, you can’t beat or delete them (that’s another whole post – but just ask brands on Facebook who have tried this – bad, very bad) so you might as well join them.

Plus with the new Google search parameters weighing social so heavily, how can you afford NOT to?

social media consultant | twitter statistics

Image originally posted on Zengage, The Zendesk Blog

Note to use this image they ask you to use embed code, but I couldn’t get that to work, so I created link from it. In addition, in return for using this image, I’d like to give the service at Zen Desk a huge shout out by saying they are highly recommended by several 7 figure earners online (that I know personally).

So if you need help managing your business online., Zen Desk has great customer service packages you can buy so you don’t have to handle that inside!!

It’s very affordable and really frees you up to do what you do best – your core business! They are big Twitter fans, and have a nice article to support this wonderful infographic…

The brilliance of “140 characters or less” is now being shared by more than 100 million users. Say anything you want, and you automatically “BCC” the World. And more and more of us are choosing to say things that are directly relevant to businesses and to the relationships that they foster with their customers. If you want to learn about products, you are among the 42% of all Twitter users. If you provide opinions about brands and services, you fit in yet another 41%. If you are looking to buy an ERP, or a movie ticket for that matter, you are among 21% of us all! The takeaway is clear – the conversation is on – and whether or not you as a business take an active part in it, is up to you.

Read More…

If you want to do more infographics, I highly recommend checking out some of the provides at Fiverr.com who will do this for you for $5.00. It’s your job to provide them with the stats you think matter and write a blog post to support it – but if you suck at graphic design this is a quick fix.

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Ah another “latest and greatest”… the social media marketing holy grail – the QR code.

There are hundreds of posts telling you how to use yet another tool and you just KNOW it could solve ALL your problems (cough, cough).

But how are you going to use it for your social media campaign?

Winning at social media isn’t about putting a fancy code on your site or direct mail piece – it’s about the experience you deliver using a new tool. Tools are a dime a dozen and mean nothing if you don’t use them to optimize your funnel.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the latest shiny penny syndrome searching the latest and greatest…

But until you are optimizing the tools you have NOW, a new tool is just a way to put more crap in a leaky bucket.

This video from Fiat is EXACTLY what people want – it even has a gaming aspect to it, which as Mafia Wars, Farmville and Angry Birds have proven people LOVE!

The marketing geniuses used QR technology to recognize street signs and then based on what type of sign you are at, they show you how the car performs at stop signs, parallel parking, even caution signs and how well it handles tight curves.

Talk about a grand slam!

The possibilities for YOUR business are ENDLESS…

If you had a gym you could load up images of your equipment and using their phone your customers could see how to use the equipment. A personal trainer in your pocket, right?

If you owned a restaurant, show a video of your featured specials being made – it’s one thing to have a menu – it’s a GREAT way to sexify your food by showing them a view of it being prepared. Or have testimonials from your fans saying what their favorite dish is and why your restaurant is the best in the whole wide world.

Hair salons could ROCK this by taking photos of finished hair styles and give them a quick how to on an up do.

Watch this super awesome video from Fiat and tell me how YOU could use it for you business – I’d love to hear your ideas.