One of the questions I have run across frequently in my daily surf through the internet ocean has to do with whether or not a business or organization really needs a Social Media Consultant on the payroll. The upfront answer is yes you do and it is one of the best decisions you can make for your business and brand. Here’s why. Previously on the internet the conversations taking place between businesses and customers was pretty much non-existent. Advertisers told us consumers what they wanted us to hear and told us when, how, and where to buy… NOW. Right now…as in ‘turn your car around and head into the store RIGHT NOW for this great and amazing new widget!!’ We consumers just did as we were told and turned our cars around and went into the store and left with an amazing new widget.
Fast forward a few years to the advent of social media and of buying sites like amazon.com that solicit reviews from their consumers, and you will see that the tables have done a complete turnaround putting the consumer in the advertising drivers seat. Consumers now have the power to make or break a product or service just based upon reviews. Reviews by real people are personal and more honest than believing an advertising agency whose only directive is selling ad space for their agency. Any business, any brand cannot do without social media to be successful. If you think this isn’t true I’d like to hear about it.
Now, enter your social media consultant. Why do you need one? Every business should hire a social media consultant for at LEAST the duration of 7-9 months. This person can then help you train a team of your own current employees to understand and get better use out of social media. They can then help you determine which social media platforms to use and show you or your team how to use them efficiently. The Social Media Consultant can also come in and help owners understand the measurable data that social media provides and give consult on which products you can buy to measure your own progress or which ones are available for use online.
Why not just hire someone social savvy? Well here are my thoughts on that. If you already have a great group of employees and a great company culture where people actually LIKE to go work for you and your brand, then why wouldn’t you want to invest in their future? Help them help make you become a positive force in the market. Social media is simple, cost-effective and emotion driven. If you aren’t posting or replying in a timely manner the public will notice. To ignore the public gives off an air of arrogance and they begin to think ‘why should I give this guy/girl my money if they can’t even reply to my question?’ Now, you can hire someone to manage your newly deigned team and keep the momentum going but that adds another person to your payroll. It’s far more cost effective to hire a Social Media Consultant until you are ready to take on your own social media head on.
So hiring a social media consultant can help you set up everything and handle the bumps along the way even after the contract has ended. Keep them as your go to source for questions, special campaigns or new social media insights that you may have heard about and want to implement into your current social media strategy. By doing so you will not only put forth a great showing in social media circles for your brand, but you will also gain the knowledge and TRUST needed to compete in this ever changing social landscape. People talk. Let a social media consultant show you how to listen.