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Choosing Someone to “Do” Your Social Media

I had a meeting with my business advisor today. He helps small, independently-owned businesses get off the ground. He’s been highly successful in his ventures for 30 years. In short, when it comes to starting & running a business, he knows what he’s doing.

The reason he wanted to meet, though, was because he had heard about my Social Media workshops. SoMe is a buzzword nowadays, and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. He gets cold calls all day long from companies claiming to “do Social Media.”

He can start and run a business, but knows almost nothing about what I do. That’s great. That’s why we have accountants, lawyers and receptionists. Nobody can do it all (at least for very long).
He asked me “How do I know if they’re going to do it correctly? How do I know if they’re not just going to rip off me or my clients?”

Here are a few tips to ask a company or person who claims to “do Social Media” before actually hiring them:

1. What’s their Klout score?
Those of us in the SoMe field are pretty much over Klout, but it’s also a necessary evil that we have to keep up with. Klout is your internet grade. If that SoMe “pro” has a score lower than 50, doesn’t know their score, or, heck, isn’t even ON Klout, find someone else.

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2. If they offer Twitter as a service, ask them what their engagement percentage is.
If they don’t have an answer to that, find someone else. There are companies who post a lot on Twitter, but they don’t ENGAGE. Remember, this is SOCIAL MEDIA, which begins with the word SOCIAL. You can post about yourself…20% of the time. The rest should be actively jumping into conversations and engaging with others, even if they are not your target audience.

3. Ask them what times of day posts on Facebook get the most traction.
If they don’t know what that means, well, you know what I’m going to say. But, different industries need posts at different times of day. I have a client whose product is for babies. Stay-at-home moms are online during the day. That’s the best time to post. My other clients, though, have a target audience of working people. I don’t post for them until after dinner. That’s when people are home, settling in to play Farmville, and generally have the time to do more than just check messages.

4. ALWAYS ask for links to pages/accounts they manage.
If they’re afraid to give that up, they’re hiding something. Transparency will take someone way farther than keeping everything on the DL. When a potential client asks me for help, the FIRST thing I do is check their accounts. No likes or comments? No engagement? Only posting on Twitter? Only a handful of followers or following only a few people? Or, the WORST: cross-posting. GOLD MINE. That’s the stuff that excites me, because seeing it done so poorly or incorrectly, and KNOWING I can do better, gets my juices flowing.

5. Ask them if they know who @Unmarketing or @garyvee are.
Seriously. If they don’t, take their card and kindly tell them you’ll be in touch.

(By the way, my Klout score is 68.)

Comments on this Article: 4

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  1. I read about 150 “articles” like yours per day and I normally don’t respond when i disagree, but you are wrong on so may counts that I felt that it might benefit your client and other readers to respond. I may be a little harsh in my response, but advice like yours is so dangerous to actual Social Media success that I am going to be totally blunt.

    I have some advice for the guy that came to talk to you, ignore your advice.

    Why?

    #1 – You put Klout score as your number one determination of whether a social media pro knows what they are doing.

    Klout means absolutely zero. Nothing. Nada. Ignore it completely. Any time spent even looking at Klout, let alone spending time trying to raise your score or game the system (and yes it is very prone to being gamed) is time you should have spent finding and engaging with your customers.

    If you are in the business of building Social Media accounts for your clients many, if not all of your customers are NOT going to have a high Klout score so engaging with then is not going to raise your Klout score.

    Regardless of whether your goal with social media is to drive visitors to the site or customer service, Klout means nothing to the ultimate success of a campaign or in measuring social media skills.

    If driving sales is your goal then ALL that matters is how many site visitors is that social media company driving, how many of those convert, and how many sales are made from leads from visitors driven by social media.

    If your goal is customer service then what matters is how well are you listening to your CUSTOMERS and how successful are you at getting them to converse with you on social media.

    If you want something you can see online that may give you at least a small amount of clue as to their social media skills, look at the number of times they are listed. This means people thought enough of their information that they added them to a list. Its not foolproof, but is certainly more reliable than Klout, Kred, PeerIndex or any of the so called social media influence scores.

    #2 – You actually believe that there is a time of day that gets more traction without even knowing the goal of the campaign or what type of company you are talking about. Here is a clue, its ALWAYS different for different companies and types of social media engagement. Averages are just that, averages. Instead you should be advising your clients to test and then test again.

    #3 – You actually believe that just knowing who @unmarketing and @garyvee are means you know something about social media. Its not who you know, its what you do that counts.

    There are far too many people that will follow your advice because it was posted here and will hire some social media schmuck that gamed their Klout score, read some study about post timing that has nothing to do with the the company that hired them and who can mention the names of the social media intelligentsia, but that couldn’t drive sales or customer service satisfaction of their lives depended on it.

    The only advice you gave that is correct is to get the names of their accounts. More than that I want to see a history and the results of those campaigns.

  2. James says:

    Richard, we could not agree with you more. #4 was the only good piece of advise she gave!

  3. Amy Donohue says:

    I completely agree that Klout is garbage. The algorithms change all the time. But, it’s a necessary evil. The person doing SM needs to have a decent score. It shows they are up on trends. I prefer Kred, actually.
    Of COURSE each company/type of business have different times of day to post. It takes a while to figure out what works best for each industry, but once you figure out which gets the most traction, the rest of the posts are golden. I manage several different industries, and the engagement differs a lot between them.
    Do you honestly think engagement isn’t important?

  4. Amy, There is nothing necessary about Klout. I have seen accounts this week with 6 followers and a 60 Klout score. I know people with 100k ++ followers and who are actually influential in driving traffic and they have Klout scores in the 30s. One of my clients drives more traffic with from social media than all other sources (about 100 highly targeted parties in an industry with an average sales $ volume of more than $50,000 per sale) in a highly competitive industry and he has a Klout of 43 today.

    Klout is a game, not a measure of social media success.

    It depends on what you mean by engagement. If you are engaging by talking about kittens or Justin Bieber or what you had for lunch with your followers then you may be wasting your time. If what you are posting is getting people to respond with comments and questions about your service or you are “listening” to your target market and responding to their posts with relevant information that points them to your website then you are effectively engaging in a way that drives sales.

    I do want to apologize. I took out my frustration with the plethora of articles I have read recently that advise businesses to take a path in social media that almost guarantees failure.

    I wish you all the best in your business.

    Richard Burns

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