My first reaction when someone refers to themselves as a guru is to look around for the snake oil they are tying to sell me. Add that to the trivial, redundant and annoying nature that social media can often have, and you have a match made in hell. This is not to say that every SMM (social media management) practitioner will waste your time and money, but in my experience most will.
But every business needs a strong social media presence, right? Well that all depends on your type of business, and how engaged your business will actually be in the process. Hiring an agency to provide a complete social media presence is often a waste of valuable resources that would better be focused elsewhere.
Do you sell consumer goods and services? If so, social media is an indispensable path to exposure over your customers’ social networks. Restaurants, Car Washes, Christmas Tree Farms and the like can all get great exposure naturally from social media. If you don’t deal in these kinds of products or services however, the ROI of reaching a potential customer may not be there. For instance it may not make sense for lawyers and doctors, (depending on their specialty) to put a lot of effort into social networking to gain potential clients. Be sure to research before you invest.
- Social media is a horrible lead generation tool, but a great branding tool. Don’t divert your Adwords budget to hiring someone to post a clever saying on Facebook every day.
- If you don’t have a well defined brand identity, don’t let your social media guru define one for you. It is likely to be a disaster.
- Don’t let your SMM agency use you to further their own business agenda. I have a client who hired an agency, and the first thing they did was built a second website on their own domain and pointed all activity to that site, rather than my client’s website. Talk about some confusing search results, and a sabotaged SEO program…
- Be results oriented, and demand accountability. As I alluded to before, for most businesses social media activity is not going to add to your bottom line. If you just want to polish your image, that’s great, but if you are looking to bring in new clients or sell products, your money is better spent elsewhere.