If you own a business, you've probably been told how important it is to get started with social media and content marketing as a means of promotion. Maybe you're comfortable with your personal social media accounts (or maybe not), but when it comes to your business accounts you're left feeling a little lost and overwhelmed.
The good news is, there isn't any shortage of people offering their help and advice. The bad news is, there isn't any shortage of people offering their help and advice.
Nearly everyone has a social media account of some sort, often many, so that has created a flooded field of people claiming to be experts in how to use it. But having active personal social accounts does not necessarily translate into understanding how they function in the business world. In fact, there is often little correlation.
So how do you know who to go with? Well, there are a few things you want to consider before you pull the trigger on a new hire or contracted service.
Truthfully, anyone can create an account and call themselves an expert (and many do). But do they have real world experience? Can they point to successful business campaigns? Satisfied clients? Professional tenure? Paid media experience? Do they understand that viral is an outcome, not a strategy?
They might be enthusiastic and well-intentioned, but if the only things they can point to when you pose these questions are their own personal accounts...you might want to keep looking. Understanding functionality and understanding how to use that functionality as part of a larger business strategy are not the same thing. You want the person who doesn't just have fun with socials, but also sees the big picture.
Look at their content. All of it. Do they have a website? Do you like what they put out on their socials? Do they have thousands of followers but zero engagement? Does their information make sense? Is it current? Is it accurate? If you don't like how they present themselves, then maybe they're not the right fit for you.
Sometimes to get good help you have to do your homework in advance. What is it you need? Once you know that, it's up to you to ask the questions to make sure they can deliver. It's always possible they know more about what you need than you do (that's why you're hiring them, right?), but they should still be able to explain why they are suggesting something else in place of what you wanted. If they refuse to offer context or a better understanding of what they're recommending, keep on looking.
Do you mesh? It may seem a trivial point if the work is good, but when people are advising you on how to best present yourself, well, you kind of want to make sure they get you. Are they willing to work with you? Do they take the time to listen to your goals? Are they patient with your questions? Do they explain things in a way you understand? Are they open to an exchange of ideas?
You want to feel comfortable with who you work with since they're representing your brand. Your business goals, tone, budget, and priorities should all be up for discussion before you ever sign a contract. If you're not comfortable with how the conversation is going, you owe it to yourself to continue the search.