HIRING A BUSINESS CONSULTANT: 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE HIRING A SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT
So you have finally decided it is time to take social media seriously, and you are thinking about hiring a consultant to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Before you get too invested with a social media consultant, first you should really assess a few aspects of your business and digital presence currently.
Starting with your brand, as this is going to be the foundation everything else is built upon. Then you’ll want to set some goals for engagement with your audience, and how your website will support this engagement while preparing to handle the data that comes with your social media efforts. Lastly once you are confident in these areas, you will want to develop a system for sharing information across your business that effectively produces the content you will need to run a successful social media account and start.
Do you have a solid foundation of your brand? A consistent voice, vernacular, images, videos, articles & graphic elements that can be used to create content? Remember, a brand is not necessarily how you perceive yourself (although this is important in determining your direction), but a brand is all about how your audience perceives your business. The key is creating consistency across every touchpoint a stakeholder and possible customer comes in contact with.
When you start the process of hiring a business consultant, make sure you get to know the person and feel confident that they understand your company vision and can they effectively represent it through your social media channels. Ask to see what other companies they have worked for and examples of their work. This will give you a good indication of the quality of their work.
2. SETTING GOALS FOR DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT
Goals, goals & goals. Without them, we are aimlessly walking through the fog of life. Ask your team what you are trying to achieve from your social media platforms. Obviously creating awareness, and engagement. But what specific actions are you looking for people to take? These goals should be similar to your business goals when dealing with a customer in real life. Social media is just an extension of these efforts that works every day!
Sign up to learn more about your business? Download your guide to evaluating decisions relative to your industry? Donate to your cause? Purchase your product or service? These are important questions to answer before hiring someone. Later we will develop a schedule for promoting these goals and content that is there to entertain your audience as well.
A good idea would be to check out what the competition is doing, take inspiration from some of their ideas, and develop some of your own to differentiate you from the competition.
Make sure you take the time to ensure your potential business consultant has a handle on what these goals are? Also, ask them how they will utilize the different channels of your business to achieve results! Different platforms are great for different reasons and your goals should affect how they are utilized.
3. WEBSITE INTERACTION
Some businesses have run their digital marketing specifically off a strong social media presence, but the best ones have a great interaction between their social channels and their website. The goals that we set earlier for engagement, should ultimately bring people back to your website, and into a funnel that is designed to help achieve this goal. Which is usually getting them interested in buying your product or service.
Some tools that help would be landing pages, creating downloadable content on your website, split testing copywriting, and creating a compelling sign up form that qualified users register for access so you can follow up.
A great social media consultant will help you manage a content schedule that fits into your website’s lead generation funnels to get potential customers taking action.
4. DATA & ANALYTICS
This is one of the most important tools accessible to digital marketers. A lot of articles on the internet would leave this to the last point of an article, but it deserves to be highlighted for its true importance. The numbers tell the real truth. You can conjure up the best ideas for content, publish them and find that they are not effective at creating the engagement you are looking for. This is especially key for advertising, as it allows us marketers to spilt test different strategies and refocus our adspend and efforts on the high performers, while hedging our losses on the poor performers.
It is important to get a good understanding of how your business consultant will allocate capital for advertising, how intimate they are with the numbers behind your contents results (and the time they will invest in this aspect of your social media strategy). It is crucial to any successful businesses ability to pivot and focus on winning strategies.
Every business uses different systems for sharing information and this is paramount to building an effective social media strategy. Unless one person is responsible for creating everything.
Work with your Social Media Consultant to design an efficient process for transferring information to create content. This can be done through cloud storage, internal networks or a really effective email system.