Everyday more and more businesses are putting some part of their marketing efforts into social media marketing. Everyday business owners are finding out that they cannot handle their social media marketing all on their own.
Social media marketing is more than just posting status updates on a Facebook page or tweeting an occasional tweet. Social media marketing encompasses figuring out the who, what, when and why. Who do you want to reach? What do I need to do to reach them? Where are they the most active? Why do I want to use social media as part of my marketing efforts? Businesses are finding that, no matter their size, outsourcing or hiring someone to handle their social media is becoming an important part of using social media for marketing.
Honestly, social media managers are a dime a dozen. A search on LinkedIn for social media managers in the USA pulled up 2 million people. There are a lot of really, really good social media managers out there, but there are also a lot of really, really bad ones. How do you weed through to find the good ones? The good ones know their stuff - they stay up on the latest changes and trends. They are not embarrassed to show you their current clients' accounts. They understand what it takes to be successful on social media.
Here are 8 questions to ask your potential social media manager and how they should answer (in no particular order)...
1. Knowing my business, what platform(s) do you recommend for us?
The answer to this question will immediately tell you if they know anything about your business at all. Any good social media manager will have looked up your business before coming to a meeting. Just like going to a job interview, they should do their homework on the business. How can they discuss or recommend if they come in clueless?
2. What is Edgerank?
Social media managers that know their stuff will be able to tell you and probably give you some sort of opinion on it. Edgerank is really what runs Facebook posts. It determines who sees what and when and how often - often to the dismay of social media professionals.
3. Do I have to be on every platform?
Someone who has done their research on your business will know, or at least have an idea of, your target audience. Depending on the business the answer could be yes or no. How this is answered is the key. You *could* do all of them but honestly they wouldn't be done well. Pick where your audience it and do those well.
4. Can you show me some of the clients you are currently working with?
Any reputable social media manager will show you their client accounts. Some will probably be doing better than others - it depends on what they are doing with each. If they will not or cannot show you anything, then it almost leads you to think they are hiding something. Those doing it right and doing it well will have no problem giving you links to look at.
5. Is Google+ worth using?
This will tell you the Google+ knowledge your potential manager has. Google indexes Google+ content faster than content posted anywhere else. It's a platform that is growing crazy fast and doing a great job of keeping up with everyone else. Google+ can be used for any business, just make sure your target audience is there.
6. Can I do a "Like & Share to Win" Contest on Facebook?
If they do not know that you cannot do this, move on. You want someone who knows the rules and will not have your business in violation of any Terms of Service. FYI - on Facebook, you have to use a third-party app to host the contest and cannot use the Like Button, Share Button or require a comment in order to be entered to win. Read more here.
7. How do you define social media ROI?
Despite with the majority says, you can measure ROI for social media. It's all in perspective. What was your goal in using social media? Was that achieved? If so, then you had a positive ROI. Did using social media help your business in any way, shape or form? If it did, then you were successful. Social media ROI is not always tied to sales and profit.
8. Why should I hire you to handle my social media?
Honestly, I hate this question but I think it should be asked. They need to show you how valuable they can be and what makes them different. And of course, people love to brag on themselves.
I know there are more questions that could be asked. This is social media and it is huge. Hopefully asking these questions will help you weed the savvy from the novice.
What questions would you add to this list?
I do want to thank Laurie Hurley from the Social Navigator for sharing her question article with me and inspiring this post. It made for a great discussion in my Google+ community.