With the online and social media world getting busier by the minute, staying on top of the game can be overwhelming. That’s where social media consultants come in, but there’s a few things you need to know first.
Gone are the days when you could set up a social media page and expect to build an online community and achieve success for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Periscope, Linkedin, Instagram page… whatever your channels, users are savvy and the rules are constantly changing.
Social media and digital marketing success takes research, knowledge, an understanding of your competition and how you fit within your industry and niche
It’s no wonder that business of all types and sizes turn to social and digital media and marketing agencies to help them find their way, develop social media strategies and execute campaigns.
“As a social media and digital marketer, consultant and mentor, I’m inspired by people in my field from around the world, and I’ve listened to a stack of podcasts, read loads of articles and watched many international speakers talk on the subject of how to appoint a social media or digital marketing consultant, so I thought I’d share some thoughts with you,” Newstyle Media’s Mikyla Gilbert says.
If you’re thinking of hiring a social media consultant, here’s some questions you should be asking first about your own business, team and goals. By knowing the answers to these questions, you could save thousands of dollars, valuable time and resources.
What are your goals and objectives?
What are you trying to achieve with your business? You will need to align your social media and digital marketing goals with your business goals.
What are your business strengths and weaknesses when it comes to social media?
What are your individual team members’ greatest assets when it comes to digital marketing? Basically, what are your constraints? Time, skill, knowledge or even care factor all play a part in how you manage your social media marketing commitments.
Do you have a clear understanding of what resources, talent, time and budget you have available to commit to digital marketing?
Do you have in-house staff who will be working on social media or are you planning on outsourcing all or some social media? If so, which parts? Do you need training on particular platforms? You must have an idea of budget, even if it’s $100 a week, a $1000 a month or $20,000 a year; it’s critical that you know your parameters.
Who are you wanting to connect with online?
Who is your ideal customer? Not broad like 18 to 65 but specific like, the perfect customer for our business is a 30-something male, blue-collar worker and home owner. Or a 60-something female, empty-nester, high disposable income, interested in luxury home interiors. Or an 18 to 20-year-old university student, girl/guy about town, into fashion and health conscious.
The more specific, the better. This doesn’t mean your business doesn’t attract anyone else, but it’s a way of ensuring when you embark on social media campaigns you are focused on the ideal customer for your products or service.
Do you know what your audience wants from you?
What questions are you being asked by your customers? What are they searching for when they go online when it comes to your products and/or services?
What is your current digital presence online?
Do you have a website, and most importantly, is it mobile-responsive and does it have a blog or news section? What accounts, platforms, websites and content assets (videos, blogs, images etc) do you have? Have your account names, usernames, passwords and links ready to provide a social media consultant.
Is organic ranking on Google search an important part of your strategy?
Do you know where you business ranks against your competitor’s when searching on Google?
Do you know what is working for you right now on social media?
What analytics, if any, do you have?
Are you ready to be honest about the state of your business online with a digital agency or social media consultant?
The more open you are, the quicker a good social media consultant will be able to do a successful digital audit of your brand and help you move forward towards your goals.
Now, don’t panic if you don’t have all of these answers. A social media consultant or digital agency worth their salt will guide you through all of the dot points above.
The better you can understand your business, your ‘ideal customer’, your overall market and competition, the better a consultant or agency can help you with your social and digital marketing.
Your goal is to work closely with a consultant or agency to develop a strategy and use tactics that will help you connect with your ideal customer and audience in a human and authentic way. The end goal must be to earn trust and bring people closer to your brand, resulting in increased revenue.
So breathe, do your research and then find a social media or digital agency that gets you and your business and truly wants to understand and align your digital marketing to your individual business goals.
And remember, say no thanks to cookie cutter packages! You and your business deserve better.