Saturday, February 25, 2017

5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring A Social Media Consultant

One thing we always tell our clients is that everybody knows social media, but not everybody knows social media. Social media's ease makes it a business with practically no barriers to entry. Literally anyone with a social media account (with some followers) can claim to be a social media consultant.

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 When we first started in this line close to 10 years ago, there were few so called experts. Nowadays, everyone is an expert and they are trying to earn more from their knowledge. Understandably business owners are confused and don't know who to hire. The following are 5 things you need to know about the social media consultant before hiring their services.
  • Claims to Be An Expert. If any consultant tells you they are an expert in social media and knows everything about it, end your conversation there. The truth of the matter is that no one is can be a true expert in social media because social media is rapidly evolving on a daily basis and it is impossible to know everything. Anyone claiming to be an expert clearly doesn't know social media.
  • Practitioner or Academic. The next thing to ask your potential social media consultant is whether he is an academic (instructor) or a practitioner. Riding on the demand for social media services, many courses have appeared. Unfortunately most of these instructors are what we call academics. They read a lot about social media, and can tell you all the theories. But few of them have actually run a successful social media campaign. While being an academic is not wrong, businesses should hire consultants with real world experiences.
  • Currency and Continual Learning. The third thing you need to consider is whether they are current. Current in terms of whether they are working on clients accounts, and how they continually upgrade their skills and knowledge to remain at the cutting edge. The former is important as a social media company that is not serving a client rapidly becomes obsolete. For the latter, as mentioned earlier, social media continually evolves and a good social media consultancy invests in continual training for their team.
  • How You Found Them. The fourth thing to consider is how you found the consultancy. Of course word of mouth is best, but did you find them via social media. We often find it strange when a social media company advertise via services via main stream media. If they were really good in social media, there would be no need for this.
  • Payment Scheme - FREE. Wow! This offer is indeed too good to be true. And you know what they say about offers that are too good to be true. Being a social media consultant is a business. Businesses need money to survive. If a social media consultant offers to work with your company for free, there must be something really wrong with them. In the same light, good is not cheap. If the market rate is $3,000 per month and the consultant offers to do it for considerably less, we do think you should think again.
Hiring a social media consultant has increasingly become more confusing. While it is possible for businesses to do their own social media marketing, as consultants ourselves, we believe that consultants do bring value to the business owner. Just keep in mind the above 5 things the next time you are thinking of hiring a social media consultant and you should get value for your money.
 

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