Are you looking to hire a social media consultant for your business, but are not sure what to look for?
When hiring a social media consultant, do qualifications matter? Or do you just focus on results? Will hiring a Facebook expert work better than hiring someone with more general knowledge?
In this article, I outline 7 qualities to look for when hiring a social media consultant.
- 1. Overall Knowledge Of Social Media Marketing
- 2. Ability To Align With Your Business Goals
- 3. Proven Ability To Get Results
- 4. Willingness To Learn New Things
- 5. Willingness To Adapt Quickly
- 6. Passion for Their Work
- 7. Understanding Of Your Industry
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1. Overall Knowledge Of Social Media Marketing
Your social media consultant must have a basic understanding of the most important social media networks and how they work, so they can advise you on which ones to best focus your efforts on.
For instance, a good social media consultant would tell a B2B company to focus their efforts on Twitter and LinkedIn, because these two networks have worked best for B2B companies, while a B2C company would be better off focusing on Twitter and Facebook.
If you want someone who is going to help you with your business, it’s not enough for them to be an expert in just one network, except if it’s the only one you want to focus on. You can’t possibly hire different consultants to handle your marketing on different networks.
You need a social media consultant with an overall understanding of all the biggest social networks and some knowledge of the new ones as well, if you want them to help you get the results you need.
2. Ability To Align With Your Business Goals
Social media marketing is not just about getting more followers and posting content on different networks. It’s also about how all this ties into your business goals and objectives. Your social media consultant should be able to spend some time understanding your unique business goals and objectives before recommending a social media strategy and plan that fits your business.
They should be able to recommend different strategies for different goals. For instance, strategically using Facebook ads to get leads instead of just posting content and hoping it does well. Depending on whether you’re just looking to brand yourself, get leads or make sales, their repertoire of social media tactics should include ones that can get the results you’re looking for.
If they have a one-size-fits-all approach to their clients, they may not be able to leverage social media in unique ways to match your business goals. An ability to be flexible and to create a unique package that works for your business is an important quality to have in a social media consultant.
3. Proven Ability To Get Results
“Never trust a social media expert who has fewer followers than you!” declared Guy Kawasaki in a recent HubSpot webinar. He should know what he’s talking about. He has over 7 million followers on all his platforms.
There are lots of so-called social media ‘experts’ out there with just a few hundred Twitter followers. How can you trust someone to build a large Twitter following for you when they can’t even do it for themselves?
The best way to know if your social media consultant is who they say they are is to Google them. If they’re not easy to find on Google, they don’t know what it means to create a brand or visibility for themselves.
A good social media consultant’s bio and profiles will be easy to find on Google. They will have a significant online presence, a good number of followers on most of the important social networks and have been online for a number of years, so that they have an understanding of how the internet has grown and changed.
They should also have a well-written and regularly updated blog with a good amount of industry information and insights. It’s even better if their blog posts have a few hundred shares, because if they know how to create engagement for themselves, they’re more likely to be able to do it for you.
They must also have a number of clients for whom they have created results. A few case studies wouldn’t hurt either. Never trust a consultant with no proven ability to create visibility on search and social media, either for themselves or for their clients. A social media expert with fewer followers than you is bad news indeed.
4. Willingness To Learn New Things
Social media is an ever-changing field, with new networks and apps being created almost every day. Your social media consultant must have a desire to learn about the newest networks and suggest them to you, if they’re appropriate for your business.
There’s a great advantage to being an early adopter in social media. The companies that learn how to use new technology faster than the competition are the ones that will have an unbeatable advantage.
If your social media consultant is reluctant to learn new things and adopt new technologies as they are released, they will get quickly outdated and your business will suffer.
Do they read industry blogs and publications? Do they stay updated with social media news and developments? Do they write about them on their blog? Are they using social media to share about new developments and educate their potential clients?
When looking for a social media consultant, also check if they have any industry certifications in social media or digital marketing. It’s not essential to have certifications to be a good consultant, but if they do, it shows that they’re willing to put in the time and effort required to learn new things – a quality that will benefit your business in the long run.
5. Willingness To Adapt Quickly
The internet changes very quickly. Every day there are updates, changes and new features on social media channels. Growth and change are an essential part of the internet world and social media consultants are not immune to it.
If your social media consultant is not willing or able to adapt quickly to the latest changes that social networks make – from Twitter introducing Twitter cards, to Facebook Video becoming a big deal, to learning how to use LinkedIn Publishing to boost visibility, they’re not the right person for you (or anyone else for that matter).
6. Passion for Their Work
When someone is passionate about their work, it shows in the results that they manage to achieve. If your social media consultant is it in just for the money, they’re not likely to do whatever it takes to help you get the results you need. Passion can make all the difference between getting mediocre results and great results.
7. Understanding Of Your Industry
Nowadays the field of social media is so crowded, that specialization is becoming more and more common. Today there are social media consultants for nonprofits, for authors, ones that specialize in real estate, small business, corporate, C-suite, local businesses, sports teams, luxury brands and more.
The most important thing is that they should have an understanding of how your industry works and how to adapt your marketing strategy to the networks where your audience is the most active.
Did you find our social media consultant description useful? Did it help make your social media consultant’s qualifications clearer in your mind? Let us know in the comments below.
© Priya Florence Shah
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