How to Find a Good Social Media Consultant
If you're a small business owner, outsourcing to social media is a great idea. For one, social media consultants know what they're doing (assuming they're good). They're great to go to advice for because they'll know whether or not viral videos or right for you and exactly how to use social networking channels the right way and they can come up with strategies that will help your business expand further than it normally would.
However, finding a good social media consultant isn't always the easiest thing to do. I've come up with some great tips on how you can find a good consultant for your small business.
The first thing you need to do is look at your budget. Will you be able to hire an entire online ad agency or just an individual with SEO experience? The price people typically charge, for the most part, reflects quality. In other words: The more you spend, the better return. It's a good idea to be careful, though. There are some people that will overcharge you for a bad-quality service. These people are best avoided (obviously). If you're tight on budget, it's all about value and getting the best bang for your buck. That's why you have to be able to identify good social media consultants and bad ones.
If you've been interviewing various potential consultants, ask to see a sample of their work. It's up to you to decide whether or not their work meets your expectations. A good consultant would get right down to business and show you exactly what he/she has done. You want someone who does this, and if the quality of his/her work meets or passes your expectations, then that's great. It typically shows experience. I'm not saying this applies 100% of the time, but it's definitely a great indicator.
Another skill that is absolutely necessary, and severely underrated, is the ability to detect liars. Tons and tons of social media consultants will claim to be professionals who are extremely good at their work. There is absolutely no reason to believe anyone who says this without backing it up by providing some sort of evidence, especially on the internet. It goes into what I was saying before; Make sure you can see a sample of their work to eliminate the chance that they're doing it for the first time.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an essential skill for any truly experienced social media consultant. When interviewing clients, ask them how they use SEO. If they say they have no idea what that is, drop them. Some people will claim to use it, but make sure they actually do. Good consultants will actually have “tricks” they do to raise their rank. This is where the bread and butter is. If you want a truly good consultant, make sure they're experienced with SEO.
In a field of work so large, good social media consultants can definitely be hard to come by. Using these tips, though, you shouldn't have a problem identifying the weak from the strong. Even on a low budget, I would still suggest putting a little extra money toward this part of your small business, considering consultants can either make or break your business. Always strive to be ahead of the curve.