Here are 8 critical areas you should use to evaluate the competency of your social media marketing consultant, agency or team before hiring. Avoid making a costly mistake by understanding the necessary skills to build an effective social media program.
1. They have a blog – We know this seems basic, but if they are going to build an effective blog for your company, they need to have built and run one successfully themselves. Most seasoned social media marketers who can prove ROI understand how to build your program with the blog as the engine. An experienced consultant will have been blogging and building blogs since 2006 or 2007.
2. Search results – When you Google their name, what do you see? A seasoned social media marketer should have pages of search results for their company and themselves personally. How are you going to trust your online reputation to them, if they have not created their own?
3. Social networking sites – If your social media consultant believes in social networking. . . shouldn’t they actually use the sites? You should find pages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Trulia, ActiveRain, YouTube, GoogleProfiles and MANY other sites that are fully built-out, active and years worth of content.
4. Strategy – A competent social media marketer can build a strategy that works for your team. Social media marketing is not one size fits all. Your goals will most likely be very different than the goals of even your closest competitor. Your strategy should be part of an overall marketing plan.
5. Training – Your consultant can train your team to use the various sites and tools. They have developed training materials and can answer your questions and/or know where to find the answers.
6. Search Engine Optimization – The ultimate success of a sound social media program is the ability to increase traffic to your blog and website and capture leads. Understanding SEO and SMO (social media optimization) is HUGE. Look to see if the social media firm you are shopping is using the proper tools to optimize their own presence on the Web. You can rate them with a quick glance at the title tags on their website and/or blog.
7. Connectivity – We like to call it Netweaving. The ability to interconnect all of your sites increases their effectiveness exponentially. Ask for examples of clients with “netweaved” social media sites.
8. Tracking & Reporting – What is your Return on Investment (ROI)? Can you track and measure it? Does your consultant provide you with reporting. . . or at least tell you what metrics you should measure? Can they tell you what is working and what isn’t? Again, it is critical to know what works and what does not to avoid costly mistakes.
Effective social media and search engine marketing starts with strategy and drives through implementation. You would not trust your identity and the four "P's" of marketing to someone new to your industry, why would you trust your online brand image to someone without a proven online history and track record? Contact the team at mRELEVANCE to find out how we can create an effective social media marketing strategy that results in proven ROI. mRELEVANCE campaigns operate at the intersection of Social and Search (that's social media and search engine marketing). Our campaigns have resulted in increased website traffic ranging from 50 to 200 - percent. Call me direct at 770-383-3360 to schedule a call.