Since the rise of social media as a marketing channel over the last few years, many ordinary folk has transformed their own personal success into a business. Such is the entrepreneurial spirit of the internet. But popularity and expertise are not quite the same thing. If you are in the market for a social media expert, try to ensure that the person you choose is an actual expert. Not sure what to look for…well read on and I will tell you.
Social media experts will rarely ever sell you numbers
If your social media professional tries to sell you followers and fans as the goal of your campaign then you probably should look elsewhere. While it does look quite glamorous to have thousand of fans, thousands of fans does not necessarily lead to business success. Large number of followers and fans appears to benefit social experts selling their services more than it benefits their clients, since numbers suggests authority and expertise.
However if you are in a different business especially if your business is brick and mortar, then not only the numbers but also where your fans are geographically is of paramount importance to you.
I ran an audit on a potential client social media footprint and was amazed at the large percentage of fans who were living in Asia. Considering these “fans” were living over 4000 miles away…it seemed an almost impossible commute for those individuals to visit the client’s brick & mortar store no matter how much they “love” the brand.
Broad fan bases representing many countries across the world is more beneficial for online businesses or businesses that have a global presence that it does for a mom and pop with one location.
Social media experts actually create content
Check your social media professional’s own social channels and see the kind of content that they are creating if in fact they are creating content. Content peddlers are not necessarily experts, content peddlers are person’s whose own channels are dominated by other persons content with very little if any original content being created. When they do create content is is usually along the lines of dime a dozen howto lists that are written for the sole purpose of getting clicks and fans rather than contributing anything meaningful to a discussion.
Many of these “lists” are not much different from the trolls who spam your website’s comment section with “nice post” comments that are there solely to justify the link they included with the comment.
Experts usually have a library of writings on their particular niche that contains value and insight. If you know a topic well then it greatly heightens your ability to engage in meaningful discussion about that topic.
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Check your experts Twitter page
Experts usually have more followers than persons whom they follow. Persons with thousands of followers who are following thousands of others in turn usually suggests that followers were garnered from reciprocity rather than perceived expertise. May persons feel the need to automatically follow people who follow them regardless of location, interests or any other binding factor. Followers of such individuals tend to be varied across a very wide geographical location, interests and even language. Followers are picked willy-nilly on the basis of reciprocity. Incredibly these users will even un-follow those who do not reciprocate.
Social engagement not generating leads
If your social media strategy is not generating qualified leads then you might want to shop around for a different provider. The goal of most small businesses online is not to amass fans and followers, but rather to increase qualified leads and their customer base. Spending money to amass and communicate with fans and followers who will or can never become customers is a pointless exercise. It is better to have 100 paying customers than 1 million non-paying followers or fans.
Experts understand other platforms and forms of marketing
If your provider does not cover the relationship of social marketing to other platforms, metrics and marketing tactics that should be a red flag. Remember at heart a social media marketing expert is a marketer who specializes in social platforms not one who only understands social platforms. Online marketing is a complexity of relationships between many different platforms, offline and online. Having at least an understanding of how all those factors work together is essential to pass on an individuals personal success to a client.
Like almost everything else under the sun, there are always exceptions to a rule, however when money is short and time is even shorter it is not practical to find out that you have chosen a hack to manage an integral part of your marketing campaign after time and money has been wasted. How do you assess a social media expert.