A little less conversation and a little more action baby. Man, I have always loved that song from Elvis Presley. Have you ever heard the remix of it… oh yes. Love it!!

In this modern day land grab to present oneself as a social media guru and one fully capable of morphing into you and your business DNA, I am perplexed.

As a former businessman who oversaw hundreds of employees and millions of dollars in annual revenue, how are we deciding between who to trust with our social media reputation?

I once did a google search on social media consultants and was blown away at the millions of posts that showed up. Who do you trust in this day and age when every point of margin counts?

For me, I guess I am a little old school in my approach to determining who I would choose to manage my campaigns, messages, and reputation.

I would first look to see how they personally were using the tools. Quite frankly, it really isn’t any different from how I decide to follow someone back on Twitter. I look at a few key things to help me decide if I want to engage.

1. I read their short bio. Do we have any shared DNA.

2. I look at the content they are sharing. Is it relevant to me? How much of it is their own content versus shared content? (* To see a great balance of organic versus shared content, see @fondalo and his Bundlepost platform)

3. I look at their posts. Do they engage or are they just broadcasting their message?

For me, if I were a businessman with only so many pennies on the dollar to spend on using social media, these three questions are critical. For my personal use, they are my litmus test.

Now, one could use the excuse that they are so busy running all of their clients social media profiles that they don’t have time to run their own, but…. sorry, I see that as a cop out.

For some of the larger businesses that employ several different account managers, I would want to know all about the person running my account. I would interview them like I was interviewing someone to work on my payroll.

Why? They represent you and when time comes to engage beyond the content, can they be you?

If this were me, I would line up 5-7 questions for the account manager to ensure we had a match. Remember, this is your business, not the social media companies business. They are here to support you.

How do you know they have the same standards?

Too often, it is way to easy to feel overwhelmed and desperate to get on board the social media train that we fail to ask the right questions of those who claim to be the conductor of the train.

TIP: Don’t let the hype-cycle effect surrounding social media force you to hire the wrong people just because you have to. This isn’t a sprint, but a marathon.

Here are five questions off the top of my head for the account manager…

1. How long have you used social media?

2. How important is listening to others in the world of social media?

3. How important is it to engage others in social media?

4. What can you tell me about my business?

5. How do you use social media and why? (* Submitted by reader CJ Deguara)

If you know what you are doing in business, you are going to ask questions that will determine if you have the right person or not. In this, you will be able to spot them a mile away. And trust me, when you only have pennies on the dollar to spend, there is not a lot of margin to work with. And, with the ability of social media to go viral really quick…. you’d better make your pennies count.

What questions do you have for why you need a social media business to run your social media profiles?

What should I look for in a bid for my business? Of course, hopefully by now you will have already passed the “What have they actually done?” part of the process. Otherwise, what good what a bid do anybody anyway?

1. Does the bid from the social media company look like a cut and paste? In others words, one size fits all. I saw one like this recently and I was shocked. It said everything I needed to know about ethic.

2. Based on their research of your business, do they recommend certain social networking platforms over others?

3. Bottom line, how effective were they at personalizing the bid catering to your business objectives? (See question #1.) Am I just part of the cattle call of others they are seeking to land a contract with? Darn it, just once I want someone to stand out to me with out all the pitchy cool and sexy stuff. Don’t sell me something… solve me something!!!

Again, just a few questions off the top of my head that I would ask myself regarding receiving a bid from a social media business.

Of course, the best thing you could do if deciding on whether you need a business like this to handle all of your social media accounts would be to do your homework.

Chances are, you are making this decision because you do not have the time or personnel to do it right or even do it at all.

So, before seeking out a “social media professional” to manage your account, find clarity on your own reasons why you need them:

1. Why do I need to have my business using social media?

2. Why do I need to hire outside of my company for someone to manage my social media profiles?

3. What do I want people to know about my business?

4. How will I measure results?

5. How can I weave the knowledge of and use of social media into the DNA of my business? What do I need to do?

6. Is having someone outside of my company running my social media profiles a necessity or a luxury?

As Marcus Buckingham states in One thing You Need to Know, clarity is the antidote to anxiety. The more clarity you have on your needs, the less anxiety you will have when making the right decisions.

Again, in this day and age, I want someone who understands me. Someone who understands that I have only so many pennies on the dollar. Someone who understands that much of business these days hangs in the balance of a few margin points from either success or failure.

I don’t need another someone giving me a pitch as to why I need them. I want someone who understands why they need me. My business is not about them.

Why is all of this important? You know why it is. The modern day land grab is underway and in it…. needs to be a little less conversation and a little more action…. baby.

Besides, how many pennies do you have left to spend?

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3 responses »

  1. CJ Deguara says:

    Absolutely love your article, if only the landscape had more potential clients with your qualities our industry would be forced to excel. I thank you for the advice given to other business owners and executives. The power of social media is it goes well beyond advertising and strongly into marketing on a very personal level with clients. I totally agree that since we are service providers it should be about what we can do for our clients, after all it is what we are paid to do.

    On another note, do keep in mind that our industry is a service based industry with the ability to serve a limited amount of clients at any given time, 200,000 followers or fans is not necessarily a good sign of effective social media use for ourselves. A good example is the following, I manage social media for clients mainly in retail, I have had the pleasure of taking clients from zero to a very strong online presence in their respective markets with over 70% online brand connections for their target geographic demographic with a solid conversion to sales. However if you were to analyze my personal social media presence you would find I have a select number of useful connections on Linked In (solid no junk connection policy); a decent personal network of friends on facebook and a mediocre presence on twitter; why? Well it is this mix that works for me and my business giving me the best return on investment time wise and financially.

    So all I would ask that you add to your list of questions to a social media professional is: How do you use social media and why? This may give a better insight then a self evaluation and will allow you to understand what makes your potential social media professional tick.

    • @gunnarsimonsen says:

      All very good points!! First off, thank you for stopping by to read and then to post a very well thought out response. Secondly, I took your advice, look for that 5th question. Thanks!!!

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