When consulting on a company's Social Media presence, we must first ask some questions of the company itself. Here are the 5 most important questions a Social Media Consultant should ask a client to deliver the best possible service.
1. What does the company want to achieve from their Social Media activity?
Are they looking to increase sales, improve customer services, save money on customer engagement, create an outpost for customers to converse, break in to new markets etc. The objective must first be established so the Social Media Consultant can create a road map to get there.
2. What has the company done up to now?
Do they have an established online community already? Do they have a Facebook with a significant number of fan? Do they have targeted Twitter followers? Do they have a LinkedIn company page and employees active on LinkedIn? Have they actually tried out any Social Media campaigns ir marketing?
3.Where are their customers?
For example I recently provided Social Media consultancy to a large Law firm. They confirmed that all the fee earners of the business had LinkedIn profiles and where active in LinkedIn Groups. I then asked " Are you in the right LinkedIn Groups?" to which the reply" Yes, of course! We are in X Legal Group and Y Legal Group etc" I then asked if they could sell their services to people in these groups to which the answer was catagorically "No". I asked who the firms top clients were and they told me the majority of the income comes from 3 large commercial property companies. So why are the fee earners for this company not taking part in LinkedIn Groups full of commercial property professionals so they can demonstrate their expertise and success in dealing with commercial property law?
Are you dealing with a B2B client or a B2C client? Are there potential customers going to be in Linkedin or in Facebook. Its a good idea to create 2 or 3 "avatars" (fictional profiles of potential customer in different demographics) and analyse with the client how we could engage with these people using Social Media Platforms. Sometimes Social Media Consulting is made so easy by companies who just don't understand the capabilities of Social Media Tools.
4. What Social Media strategies are working or have worked for their competitors or other businesses in the same industry?
Its a good idea to do some research on successful campaigns or strategies implemented by similar businesses and offer an original twist on the idea for your client e.g. If you are consulting for a hospitality bi=usiness like a Hotel, look at what Social Media strategies have worked for the top brands.
5. What resources are they willing to dedicate to their ongoing Social Media activity? Do they plan on taking on a Social Media Manager?
Are they Outsourcing their Social Media activity to a freelance SMM? Do they plan on sharing the tasks amongst their existing employees or adding it to the duties of their marketing department? The Social Media Consultant will need to know this to establish how far the business will be able to go with the SM road map.
Social Media Consultants are now in huge demand. I personally charge $300 for half a day and $600 for a full day. Most charge between $150 - $300 per hour.