Everyone Should Hire 'Social Media Experts'
The over abundance of media hype and talk about social media has many turning their heads away with the hope to avoid "more marketing". On the other hand, partnerships and friendships are formed around the world daily over great distances due to the power of social media. While Peter Shankman says he will never, ever hire a social media expert, there is another point of view.
Rand Fishkin is the CEO and Co-Founder of SEOMoz. If you have not yet heard of SEOMoz or Rand, then you are not yet hanging in the right circles. Instead of listening to whoever has the ability to jam an email into your inbox, cancel the garage Internet marketing inbox sales pitches and subscribe to SEOMoz blog. (... the Hubspot blog as well.)
Rand Fishkin's recent SEOMox blog article about social media marketing has facts and figures which shows the trend of companies making an attempt to harness the new marketing tools as they hire social media experts.
How do you know if the social media service has experts on their team? If your final decision is to move your business forward by including social media marketing in the plan, who can be trusted? How is "social media expert" defined?
- The expert who is most helpful might be only ten steps ahead, able to point at obstacles as a warning and give helpful tips where to step.
- The more advanced expert may speak in gibberish to the entrepreneur who does not yet understand the language of the new virtual world.
Fortunately, Mr. Fishkin has done much of the hard work already for you. If you take his Spheres of Social Media Expertise Chart highlighting some of the critical knowledge areas in social media, you will find it can turn into a questionaire when interviewing a social media expert. (Or use it for your own business as an evaluation.)
Possible questions to ask a "social media expert":
Question #1 - Platforms
- What is the list of platforms and applications do you use for social media marketing?
- What is your experience and expertise with Quora, HARO, StackOverflow, Fark and Hacker News?
Question #2 - Tactical
- What are the tactics you use to build a presence, contribute to the conversation and make connections?
- What is your experience and expertise with profiles, images and headshots to increase engagement?
Question #3 - Psychology
- How do you measure behavior and responses via social media and how do you encourage the right behaviors and deal with bad behaviors?
- What is your experience and expertise with very focused niches such as women-centric networks such as Etsy?
Question #4 - Creative
- Give examples of the content, contests, messaging, branding, graphics, media, etc. that will be well received for my business.
- What is your experience and expertise with embedding videos from Youtube and using XML sitemaps to get GG rich snippets?
Question #5 - Analytics
- What measures of success do you used, what metrics do you use and which metrics are to be ignored? How often do you monitor the metrics and how do you use the data to improve the processes?
- What is your experience and expertise with using rel=canonical + landing page code to help track specific CTA's + campaigns?
Question #6 - Tools
- What tools do you use to track important metrics, improve productivity and reduce unmeasured data?
- What is your experience and expertise with Statdash, Trunk.ly, Rowfeeder?
(These questions are based on the information in Rand Fishkin's Spheres of Social Media Expertise Chart.)
- Follow Rand Fishkin
- Subscribe to SEOMoz blog
- Use the Spheres of Social Media Expertise Chart as a test for those who claim they are "social media experts".
The answer about whether to hire social media experts or not is up to you.
Read "The Reality of ROI & Social Media Marketing"