Social Media Consultant: Why You Need to Hire One

Small business owners all over are hiring social networking/media consultants, have you? Everyone’s noticed the popularity of social networking sites for businesses. Most businesses have created an account, yet they don’t know what, when, where, why or who they are connecting with. Most of them fail to set up their social networking presence to connect with their present and future customers!

Right now, as you read this, many of your customers are cruising the international super highway we call the internet. They are reading and writing reviews, articles, comments and opinions on your business. They’re checking in and posting to their friends (and to the rest of the social networking world) about their latest visit, experience, and even about you or your employees.

With social networking sites, the world is your oyster. While most of you have already jumped on the social networking super highway, you are stuck in the slow lane, too afraid to merge into traffic. Social networking sites are a way for you to find out what your customers are saying, effectively converse back with them, hear first hand about their experiences, and provide customer service to them after they leave.

If you’re not already on social networking sites, there is no excuse! To continually grow your business and be successful every year, then you need to get social. Most importantly, you need to have a strategic plan so your competitors don’t leave you behind!

Still don’t think you need a social networking/media consultant, here are the five most important reason you do:

1. Contrary to popular belief, just because your 14 year old has a Facebook account that doesn’t that doesn’t mean they should manage yourbusiness’ fan page. Hire a professional, if your 14 year old could balance a checkbook, would you hire them to do your books? Probably not, so why would you hire them to manage your social network/media? Your goal should be to have a better website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et cetera than your competitors. Since social networking is constantly evolving hiring a professional with extensive knowledge will keep you up to speed with the latest tools, platforms, & strategies will benefit your business enormously.

2. You must have a well thought out social networking/media strategy if you want to succeed. Zig Ziglar once said, “People often complain about lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.” Much like a business plan, a social networking/media plan will provide you with a much-needed road map for you so you don’t get lost along the way. It’s good to review your plan every 18 to 24 months, social media changes, so should your plan. Your plan should address consistency in content and most importantly, making sure your content is *valuable*.

3. Just because your already on social networking/media platforms, that doesn’t mean you are using them correctly. Most businesses have a Facebook account; however, way too many of them unknowingly violate Facebook’s terms of service and have a profile, not a fan page. A social networking/media consultant will know how to fix the situation without losing your friends or your profile information. What’s worse than having they wrong type of account? We’ve all seen Facebook and Twitter accounts that go months without any activity, have irrelevant posts and go unresponsive. It’s because business owners update Facebook and Twitter “every now and then” when they find the time… A BIG NO-NO in the world of social media. Having a social network and NOT using it consistently or effectively is just as bad as not having one at all.

4. You need someone to remind you -NOT- to just post. With the click of the mouse someone can “hide,” “unlike” or “un friend” you on Facebook or “unfollow” you on Twitter. The goal is to add more fans and followers not lose them. Unlike the businesses that posts when they have time, some businesses post too much. You wouldn’t run just any TV, radio or newspaper ad for your business. Likewise, you shouldn’t post anything on social media just to post something. It’s called social media for a reason. A well thought out and developed strategy that provides engaging and valuable content is important. When you have a good strategy your media helps you network with people by getting them to reading and share your posts and feel comfortable enough to join in on the conversation. All of the sudden, your customers become fans, and your fans become long time loyal friends.

5. Having a social networking/media manager saves you, the business owner, time -your most valuable and rarest asset. Creating and maintaining a solid social networking/media presence takes significant time and energy away from day-to-day operations that most small business owners just don’t have to give. While having a social networking/media consultant won’t leave you hands off, it will undoubtedly save you time. A social networking/media consultant will work with you to provide a road map and content strategy that should make it easy for you to distinguish what is considered good and bad content. They also should manage comments and update content regularly on all platforms take away the burden of you having to log onto your computer when you have time. A good social networking/media consultant should do all that for you, and more leaving you more time to concentrate on your livelihood… your business!

While many companies have ventured into the world of social networking/media, many still haven’t. If you’ve already hopped on the social superhighway, did you do it right? Do you have a plan? Are you getting what you expected? If you haven’t jumped in yet, what’s stopping you & what are you waiting for?

Michael Babowal, is the President and CEO of ROICOM Consulting, LLC. He has a BA in Political Science and brings over a decade of experience in public and government relations to ROICOM. Michael’s career accomplishments include being a Chief of Staff and a Field Representative for California State Assembly Members and Director of Government Affairs for California’s 10th largest chamber of commerce. He is a veteran of several campaigns ranging from statewide races such as Gubernatorial and Attorney General races to Congressional, state Senate and Assembly races, local candidate and ballot initiatives. He has done social networking management for political campaigns and corporate clients since 2007. Michael provides a plethora of knowledge and experience in public affairs, public/community relations, grassroots advocacy, campaign management and has extensive contacts with government officials, their staff and agencies.

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