Social Media & Web Marketing - Ask The Right QuestionsWorking as I do across online and traditional marketing, social media and the web, I deal with many customers who have had varying degrees of success with their business – and in particular with service providers.  From those who are thrilled to pieces with their marketer or web developer to those who have spent a fortune and really don’t feel they’ve got anything to show for it.

So, from today we’re going to run a series of posts on what you need to consider when you are outsourcing an area of your marketing, social media or web.

Learning To Ask The Right Questions In Social Media

Everybody’s doing it – businesses and service providers – but are they doing it “right”?

Well, in truth there is no “right” way to do social media as it’s not a mathematical equation with ultimately one answer or even one platform.  What you need to assess is whether the person you’re discussing your social media plans with  it is the “right” person for you, even if they list themselves in their twitter bio as a “Guru”!

So, if you’re looking at social media you’re probably looking at;

  • Deciding which platform to use
  • Best practice
  • Administration
  • Learning where to source content
  • Design
  • Management
  • Training
  • Marketing campaigns or promotions
  • A long term strategy
There are no barriers to entry in social media i.e. you don’t need to have experience or training in order to set up.  As a result there are hugely varying degrees of competency in this field so you should be prepared to shop around and ask questions about the fit for your supplier in your business.
As a guide, here are a couple of situations I’ve come across which are not the right fit for any business;
  • A company offering social media as added value alongside other services who suggested their clients might be interested in a three year old post with handy social media advice. This includes the suggestion that new subscribers to facebook should consider whether they wish to allocate their company name to their profile or page – despite the fact that profiles are not permitted for business!  And surely there are posts on the web with more accurate and up to date information since 2009?
  • Multiple profiles created in the name of a business with the express purpose of driving likes to a page – again in breach of terms and conditions – provided as a service by another company who will walk away if their paying customer is pulled up by facebook.
  • A social media consultant who decided to start a business because “I like facebook” – so does your average teenager but would you trust them with your business?
  • A “facebook expert” with branded business cards which could well lead the inexperienced to believe they might in fact be an employee of the company or have been designated some sort of authority on the topic.

I could go on as there are numerous examples of companies who don’t really get that creating a marketing strategy for a business in social media is not just about putting up 4-5 posts on facebook a week with an auto-feed leading to twitter.  Your business is as individual as you and you need somebody who can provide a service that is tailored to suit your business and your industry.

Social media is not a stand alone part of the marketing efforts.  It can be outsourced as one component if a business doesn’t have the resources or experience in-house to manage it, but the social media manager should always be kept abreast of the latest special offers or new products / services, so that they can deliver the optimum service for your brand.  There should be guidelines as to what is / isn’t acceptable by both parties, not to mention an outline plan so that both parties know ultimately what the overall deal is.

And we’re suggesting that you ask for a contract – we’re not talking pages of legal jargon, simply an outline of the expectations on both parties so that both sides are fully clear on where they stand going forward.


And, if you’ve enjoyed this post why not subscribe to our feed, sign up for our newsletter, like our facebook page or follow us on twitter to ensure that you don’t miss out on the next in the series which will also take in Google, Email Marketing, PPC and many more hot topics for business.




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