Social Media or Scam-Media?
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Posted by  in Business Fundamentals

Author: Darlene Hull

Ok, this is a bit of an awkward post to write, but I feel so strongly that it needs to be written, that I’m going to take the risk.

Because I do social media management/strategy/training I often meet people who say “I tried that and it didn’t work”.  The truth is, they did, and it didn’t, and it usually cost them a fortune to give it a try.

For example. I know of someone who spent $30,000 on a website and is paying $3,000/month for social media.  They’ve been paying for 6 months and have not gotten a single lead.

I know someone else who paid $3500/month for a website and social media and after 7 months there was nothing to show for it.

Person number 3 paid $1500 month for over a year to have someone do their blogging and social media and it was so poor as to be non-functional.

I’ve also just seen with my own eyes social media that’s been done for a fairly hefty fee that is completely useless – and, in fact, bad enough that it’s probably even detrimental.

Now, it’s true that some of the blame lies with those who did the hiring, as they didn’t have specific accountabilities in place.  The truth is, many business owners have no idea how to even know if something is working or not, or how long it should take, and there are plenty of marketers out there happy enough to take them for a ride.  There are also social media managers out there who have hardly ever used social media, but they took an online course, and now consider themselves experts without ever having run their own social media accounts before, not even sure how they work.  They’ve done nothing to  further their training, keep up with the changes, nor have they been watching or testing their own analytics.

Now understand me clearly – there are EXCELLENT social media people out there.  The trick is knowing who’s worth your time and money, and who isn’t!  Here are some guidelines:

  1. Check their own social media:
    1.  is there reasonable engagement?  Do people comment/like/share their posts? Does the owner also get involved in the conversation?
    2. is there variety in their posts – some personal (except on LinkedIn) , some professional?  Some questions, some articles, some tips, etc. or is it the same thing over and over?
    3. does the owner post “live” or is everything posted through automation?
    4. does the owner post the same thing at the same time on all platforms, or does the owner post different things to different platforms (some cross-over is fine.  Shouldn’t be across the board, though!)
    5. is their social media interesting and engaging for YOU?  If you find their pages boring, your followers will probably find the same if they take on your social media.
  2. Check the metrics: can the owner show you that they’ve not only increased followers organically but also increased engagement organically?  I emphasize “organically” because you can buy followers and engagement either by having your own team that follows and engages or by simply buying likes, shares, and follows from a site like fiverr.com.  In the beginning, it’s fine for the manager to invite their own friends and team to like and engage to get the energy started, but if they can’t increase it organically over time, there are problems.
  3. Check the reporting: will there be regular reports coming to you that show growth and engagement?  Having ups and downs is fine, but there should be more ups than downs, and there should be a slow and steady increase in everything if your manager is doing things well.  Note that it often takes about 3 months to see real results with social media.  Keep that in mind when you get started.
  4. Does your manager understand your audience and your business goals, and can they speak them back to you?  If your manager simply has packages they do, and all packages work basically in the same way, there might be trouble.  Social media is very personal thing and it must work for your audience and your business goals.  Not every pre-designed package is going to be right.  If they’re not able to tweak and adjust their packages for your needs, move on.
  5. Has your social media manager developed a strategy with you for attracting your ideal clients?  Do you understand it?  Does it make sense to you?  How long will it take before you know it’s working, and what will happen if it’s not working?  Are you aware of alternate strategies that your manager will try as well?
  6. Does your social media manager care about the other marketing you have in place?  Or do they even care that there IS other marketing.  If all your eggs are in the social media basket, you’re probably heading for trouble.  You need social media to be a PART of your overall strategy.
  7. Is the manager creating interesting and engaging content that your followers actually like?  Is activity happening on your page?  Are you involved in it?  If you’re a solo-preneur, author, speaker, or public figure, you should be personally involved in some of the posting and you should know what kinds of things to post, when to post, and how to post.
  8. Do you understand the reports you’re getting?  Can you tell if your social media is working or not?  Can you tell by the reports what kinds of changes need to be made and how?  Do you notice your social media manager making those changes?
  9. Is your social media manager familiar with the rules and regulations about social media?  Some contests are illegal on Facebook, for example, and Facebook is also particular about what can and cannot be on page headers (covers).
  10. If they’re using graphics, are they using copyright free graphics or are they stealing graphics from Google without permission?  Make sure they can prove the graphics are theirs to use, otherwise you could be in big trouble.
  11. Also, is your social media manager friendly, open to answering what you feel are perhaps stupid questions without making you feel stupid, and are they willing to discuss different directions, corrections, and changes to what they’re doing?

Those are some great guidelines for getting started with a social media manager.  This isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list, but if these things are in place, you’re in pretty good hands!

Is there something I missed that you’d like to share?  An experience you want us all to be aware of?  I’d love to have you post it below!
Darlene

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