Lots of people out there are calling themselves "social media experts" and are taking advantage of small business owners.
Some are what we call the Clueless Scammers. They honestly believe that they're experts just because they set up a Facebook business page for themselves and got 200 friends to like it. Some are what we call the Evil Scammers, and they actively go after the not-so-tech-savvy business owners, hoping for a quick buck.
There are, of course, the legitimate Marketing Experts who can help integrate social media into a business's overall marketing strategy. And they can do wonders for your business. They know that Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and youtube are great when used properly. They also know that none of them is a magic bullet, and that having a social media presence will do NOTHING for your business if you don't keep your page updated frequently and monitored daily. In fact, it can hurt your business. Which brings us to our three tips:
1. DO NOT PAY ANYONE EVEN A PENNY TO "SET UP" YOUR BUSINESS PAGE unless you plan to keep it updated/monitored (or plan to pay someone to keep it updated/monitored). This is what will happen: Someone will stumble upon your Facebook page, for example, and post a comment, perhaps a question about a certain product. If no one is monitoring the page, no one will answer the question. Or someone is checking in once a week, and responds days after the question was posted. You lost a customer right there. Social Media is about quick access, quick responses. We're in the Age of Low Attention Spans, and want answers in three minutes, not three days.
2. CREATE YOUR OWN BUSINESS PAGE so you can have administrative access to everything. Creating a page takes 30 seconds. Click here for the link and follow the simple steps. Uploading all the content -- photos, videos, informative articles -- is time-consuming, though, so set aside a few hours for this, or consider paying someone else to do it.
3. KEEP PAGE UPDATED & MONITORED. If you're not going to do this yourself, you can add someone else as an admin and have them handle it. Make sure you know exactly what you're paying for, though. If it's just daily updates/monitoring of your Facebook page, for example, that shouldn't take more than 10 minutes a day and it doesn't require an "expert," so pay accordingly.
* * If you're looking to truly incorporate social media into your marketing plan, ask business friends for referrals on marketing people. Check what work they have done, talk with former and current clients. A legitimate social media expert/marketing company will give you plan that details exactly what they will provide, and the frequency. For example, a package could include one e-newsletter a month, one blog a week, daily update of Facebook and Twitter, etc. Know what you're paying for. * *
That's how much of a social media expert I am...I was logged in as my client's account when I posted that message below. Just for clarity sake...that comment was from ME from Limelight. Oh, did I mention we do social media?
YES! Everybody thinks they're a social media expert these days and they take advantage of business owners. There's a strategy to social media and it can be completely overwhelming to an entrepreneur and business owner. Your social media expert should be able to teach you how to use it and let you take the reigns, when you're ready. It's all about the conversation and you should be a part of it! Thanks for posting LS1!