I know, I know – as a small business owner, it can be incredibly difficult to keep up with social media. If your social media activity is not working for you, it might be best to outsource to a consultant who can deliver results.
Before you start setting up meetings with potential social media consultants, though, there are seven things you should do ensure you are prepared for handing over the reins:
Determine how social media fits into your marketing strategy
If you look at all the elements of your marketing strategy – online ads, email marketing, blogging, loyalty program, contests, and promotions – how does your use of social media fit in and contribute to the success of those other elements? On the flip side, how do those elements support social media?
Assess how you are currently using social media
Make a list of the accounts you currently have – are your profiles complete? What sort of content are you sharing on each? How do you engage with your fans and followers? How are you growing the size of your fans and followers?
Think about your goals
Break your goals down into 2 parts: What do you want to accomplish using social media? Drive people to your blog, e-commerce site, or reservations page? Grow a community around a topic? Increase brand awareness?
Secondly, what do you want a social media consultant to bring to the table? How do you envision working together? How often do you want to meet? How often do you want to receive a report from your consultant?
Decide on your target numbers
Any social media consultant will be impressed that you thought about this. Based on what you want to achieve via social media, what kind of results will you be happy with? (Be realistic!)
Look for an engagement expert
Not all social media consultants are created equal. You want someone who can not only tweak your accounts to make them better, but who is an expert at maximizing the social aspect of social media. Ask for examples of how they have successfully increased engagement for other clients.
Ensure your consultant has access to content and info
Your social media consultant will need access to content, information, and other resources in order to share the messages, news, content, contests, and promotions you are using or planning. Make sure you can keep he or she in the loop on anything marketing-related.
Understand that social media is a long-term project
I mentioned the need to be realistic in #4 above, and it’s especially true as you wait for results to kick in. Social media is about building relationships, and it takes weeks and months to build deep, solid, and trusting relationships – just like in the “real” world. Be patient as you remind yourself that social media is a long-term project.