Everyone is an “expert” in social media these days, and when looking for someone to support you with your business’ social, your first instinct may well be to go to a millennial with thousands of followers, because they know what they’re doing, right?
Building an audience on social media as an individual is entirely different to building an audience as a business. An influencer isn’t selling; they are just gathering followers because of the content they share – they may well get them to read their blog or sign up for their newsletter, but this is very different to encouraging followers to buy their products or shop in their store.
When choosing someone to support you with your social media, you need to ask the following questions:
This is really important; you need to know that they understand social media is more than just building a community through sharing content and that you need to see some return on investment (ROI). When a client asks me this question, I can rattle off clients I have worked with since I started my business, but most importantly I began my social media business journey managing the social channels for Swarovski, where social media was used to build brand awareness and encourage our followers into our boutiques. You’re looking for similar examples to help qualify them for the job.
I would never, for example, offer to coach a financial services provider. I have no experience in this area and wouldn’t know the protocol or legislation around selling in this market. I do however know retail, inside out! Fifteen years working in retail in a variety of positions means that I know customer service and how to sell – skills required for social selling and brand building. Don’t be afraid to question your social media expert before hiring; they may not be able to give you specifics such as “I increased X’s click-throughs by X” because their client might not want that information shared, but they should be able to talk knowledgeably about the industry and previous successes. If they are just one person but offering to service all types and sizes of businesses, I’d be concerned. Would you hire a Jack-of-all-trades to build you a house? You’ll be able to tell quite quickly if something isn’t quite right.
My Dad always said to me, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. As a small business, your budget will be tight, but if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably going to cost you twice as much undoing the mess this social media “expert” is going to get you in.
I’ve seen social media managers offering to manage social media accounts for as a little as £99 a month. You need to question what you’re going to be getting for that fee, just as you would if they were going to charge £2,000 a month.
In-depth analytic software costs around £99 a month for one account, if they’re managing multiple accounts the monthly fee will be much higher, you need to question what reporting is going to be offered to you regularly and how thorough and accurate it is. Ask what software they use and what the reporting will look like and will they send a summary as well as the numbers, as these figures might not mean a great deal to you if you’re not familiar with social media analytics.
Hiring a social media manager is a long-term investment, month after month you will be paying out a fee – you need to ask yourself how sustainable this is? As a small business owner, you might feel like you’re spinning a thousand plate, but is this a plate you can afford to give to someone else?
I believe much more in mentoring and supporting SBO’s to take charge of their social media.
The reason for this is as follows:
Ultimately go with your gut, you’ll know if they’re a good match for you and your business and if your gut says it isn’t right, walk away because replacing that broken plate is going to cost you.
I’d love to know your thoughts on today’s blog post, connect with me on Instagram @samburgessuk or join in the conversation over in the Facebook Community. If you’d like to learn even more ways to use Instagram to target your customer, you can click here.
If you’re finding you need help building a community and shaping up a marketing strategy then get in touch. I work with product business owners and retailers to create a marketing and social media strategy that increases sales. You can find out more about my mentoring programmes here.
Sam is the founder of Small and Mighty Co. A transformational coaching business and marketing consultancy specialising in supporting small and mighty creatives grow with confidence and achieve their dreams, in business and beyond.
An accredited NLP Practitioner Sam’s specialities include mindset, motivation, marketing and modern-day consumer behaviour and is well known across the small business industry for her savvy straight-talking advice; with regular speaking appearances at major events across the UK and features on the BBC and Channel 5 News.