No one wants an amateur to run their social media campaign, but with everyone and their dog claiming to be an expert these days, how can you tell who is legit?
1. They are active on social networking sites. No one can be an expert if they aren’t actually using social media, so perform a little check and see where your consultant is active. Chances are they will be on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, at the very least. However, remember that social media is not about social networking sites only.
2. They have good reviews. Check out other clients and find out what they have to say about the service. Did they feel the consultant got good results? Were they pleased with the service? Testimonials from happy customers can tell you a lot.
3. They explain their latest projects. If they can’t describe it to you or give you an example of how they used social media to draw attention to their client, you should probably look elsewhere.
4. They share their expertise elsewhere. Anyone can set up a blog and start writing posts on social media, but a true expert will not just be on their own blog. They will have guest posts, podcast interviews and even text interviews on other people’s sites and blogs. This is a very good sign that your expert really is an expert, when others trust them to share information.
5. They maintain an active blog. It’s important that anyone you are looking to hire is actually keeping up with their blog and putting out quality content on a regular basis. This is very easy to check but doesn’t mean they need to be posting several times a day, about twice a week is more than enough.
6. They talk about more than just Facebook and Twitter. A good social media expert should be able to guide you through many social media categories (i.e., crowdsourcing, podcasting, blogging, livecasting, etc.) without a problem. If they are stuck on just a few tools and sites, you may have an issue. You need to look for someone who has a comprehensive understanding of social media, and knows how each piece of the puzzle fits together.
7. Their strategies include a range of categories. An expert in social media will want to know what your goals are for social media and then work with you to create a strategy to accomplish those goals. This could include market research, marketing, advertising and customer service, just to name a few.
Not everyone online is an expert in social media. Just because they have a blog and a Twitter account with thousands of followers, it doesn’t mean someone should be considered a guru. Be careful when finding a consultant and check to make sure that they really are living the life of an expert and have the experience to back them up.
You will be able to find people who have approximately five years experience with social media. However, it will be a while for anyone to be considered a “True” expert since we are all learning from each other. I learn from my clients as much as they learn from me!
How do you define a social media expert?