I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it many, MANY more times:
“If you are hiring someone, make sure they are walking the walk.”
What do I mean by that? Well, if you’re going to hire someone to renovate your house you’d check out some of their work first, wouldn’t you? When you looked into web designers for your upstart business, you looked at their portfolios, right? So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE if you are hiring a social media consultant make sure they are taking care of their own social media in a manner you think is appropriate for such an “expert”.
Things that SHOULD make you go “hmmm”
- Your Twitter expert has few followers (yes, that is subjective) and tweets once a month, or worse, hasn’t tweeted in months;
- Your blogging expert doesn’t have share buttons on their blog, their blog hasn’t been updated in months and the comments are unanswered;
- Your online marketing expert isn’t taking advantage of social media to promote their own business;
- Clients listed in their CURRENT portfolio have outdated pages or accounts (if they are past clients, their website should specify that or it looks like they’re not doing a very good job);
- Blog posts don’t provide real value and feel more like an aggregation of information for you to research on your own;
- The “expert” takes more than a couple of days to respond to questions on your chosen medium (unless you can tell they are away, but most of us are so addicted we take our social media on vacation, too);
- Someone promises to get you 10,000 followers or fans but has less than that on his/her own account;
- Someone promises to get you 10,000 followers (insert sarcastic grin);
- His accounts are active, but all the posts/tweets come flooding in all at once;
- Her posts, or her client’s posts go at strange times (like midnight or 2 am when they are not the local bar or pizza joint);
- His posts are scheduled every half hour to the minute (a sign of obvious auto-tweeting)
- She is running contests on Facebook that contravene Facebook’s Terms of Service (Check out this post on running Facebook contests by Facebook Guru Mari Smith).
Some of this may seem like common sense, but I cannot tell you how many so-called “experts” are not walking the walk. They say they can help you with your social media, but they seem to be in a shambles themselves. How can you be sure they know what they are talking about?
Social networking, social media, social marketing…whatever you choose to call it, is about building relationships, just like in-person networking. If you are going to outsource your social media, make sure your “expert” is able to build relationships for him/herself because if they can’t do it for themselves how are they going to do it for you?
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