How to Choose a Social Media Consultant (Part 3)

by David · 0 comments

What you can (and can’t) expect from a social media consultant

This article is part 3 in the series How to Choose a Social Media Consultant

Looking to Facebook and Twitter to rescue your dying business?

Sorry, but social media is not a miracle cure.

Pinterest and Google+ might be a mystery to you, but that doesn’t make them magical. Social media is not a silver bullet, however good you are at it.

If your business is already ailing, whether because of a poor product, shoddy marketing or dire customer service, social media is unlikely to save the day.

Social media makes good businesses better. It doesn’t turn rotten apples ripe.

What You Can’t Expect from Your Social Media Consultant

Your social media consultant can’t promise you any of the following:

  • A Catch-All Solution. Social media is only one element of your marketing and customer service strategy. Alone, it won’t provide every marketing solution you need.
  • Miracles. If your business is performing below par, your social media marketing will follow suit.
  • A Final Answer. Social media is always changing, so while green might be in vogue this year, next year’s fashion could be blue.
  • Millions of Followers. Unless you’re a global celebrity or megabrand, your follower count will be in the hundreds or thousands.

Now that’s the bad news out of the way, let’s look at what a social media consultant can do for your business.

What You Can Expect from Your Social Media Consultant

Any social media worth their salt will give you the following:

  • An engaged audience. A social media consultant will get you talking directly to your customers and prospects. They’ll help you grow an audience of committed followers who care about your brand, and they’ll provide stats to prove how much they’ve expanded your audience.
  • Metrics. They’ll show how much traffic they’re driving to your site, how many extra sales you’re making because of social media, and how far your brand story is traveling because of social media.
  • Strategic thinking on how to integrate social media into your broader marketing, business and customer service aims and objectives. A good social media consultant will have a marketing background, and will understand the broader picture of branding and marketing.
  • Tailored advice. Including the best social networks for your brand, protocols for your employees using social media, and how to manage your time on social media.
  • Coaching on how to use the latest social networks, and the wider principles of conversational marketing. Even as the tools change (and they will, remember MySpace?), conversational marketing is here to stay.

Marketing or Social Media Consultant: Which Should You Hire?

Both. But they can be the same person.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

It’s perfectly okay to expect your marketing consultant to also consult on your social media strategy, as long as they understand conversational marketing.

On the other hand, if you specifically want (or need) to hire a social media consultant, you should only hire someone who understands marketing. That’s because they’ll need to integrate their work into your marketing strategy, and work closely with your marketing manager. If they’re not willing to do this, go elsewhere.

Over to You

Did you discover any surprises in what you can and can’t expect from a social media consultant? What would you expect from your social media consultant?

Next Week: Questions you must ask before you hire a social media consultant.

David is Social Caffeine’s acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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