Everyone has heard at least one story of a well-known company or prominent person committing a social media gaffe or two. From investment banks whose plans to have an open Q&A on Twitter backfired spectacularly, to food companies badly misunderstanding the context behind a hashtag, there are endless examples of businesses, celebrities and even ordinary folk facing the backlash of poorly thought-out posts, tweets and blogs.
If your company is currently active on social media, or is considering stepping up its game and taking full advantage of the multitude of marketing opportunities it offers, it may be time to consider calling in the professionals. But why hire a social media consultant? Surely it can all be done in-house? Yes and no. Of course you can have a dedicated employee or team that does nothing but handle your social media accounts, but we highly recommend making sure those people are, in fact, experts who can handle all the associated tasks, for the same reasons as you would hire a social media marketing expert consultancy. If you want to know if it’s time to bring in a social media marketing agency, you need to ask yourself if you want these things done:
What does a social media consultant do? That’s really the first question to ask. Do they simply sit around thinking up clever posts and tweeting them while drinking over-priced coffee? Not exactly. When you engage social media consulting services, the first thing these experts are going to do is create a working social media strategy, so that your company SM marketing follows a consistent, planned path.
Next on their duty roster is creating interesting, exciting, accurate and relevant content that fits in with the strategy. When you hire someone to do social media for you, you need to make sure they know what they’re doing in terms of content – this means they need to know what content works, how to create it, and have at least some provable background of work that has been successful in generating the kind of interest you want. Content includes posts, tweets, articles and blogs at a minimum, and they will not only create it, but post it at the appropriate time.
Professional social media consultant companies aren’t simply going to post a bunch of stuff and leave it there. They will continuously monitor engagement and feedback, and analyze what’s working and what isn’t. They will be happy to adjust the strategy if it isn’t working the way they anticipated, and will also keep up to date with trends and changes in the way things are working.
Social media is not a stagnant thing. What’s funny and relevant today is an out-of-date meme tomorrow, and your social media consultant will be up-to-date with what’s happening and, when it makes sense, will jump in on what’s trending and leverage it to bring you brand awareness. At the same time, they will be aware of the potential for disaster, like we mentioned above, and will do their best to avoid it.
5. Disaster management
Even the best planning and most careful monitoring can occasionally let through an offensive tweet, a post that makes you look out of touch, or even an employee accidentally using your business username to post their very unpopular personal opinion. Social media consulting services are better set up to handle this disaster than you are, purely because they’ve more than likely got at least some form of contingency plan in place. They have writers who can compose sincere apologies, and enough distance from the situation to avoid lashing out with inappropriate comments.
Should you hire a social media consultant? Unless you have time to constantly monitor, create, post and respond to social media, the answer should be “yes”. It’s in your interest to make sure your social media doesn’t cause you to be next on a list of fails.
Want to know where to find a social media manager? Leave us any questions in the comments and we’ll get you the answers you need.
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