Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you considering hiring someone to raise your brand awareness, lead traffic to your website and boost your bottom line through Social Media? You will be entrusting them with vital information and an expectancy to keep your company’s reputation top priority. You are hiring them to be your company’s eyes, ears and voice online. Be prepared to ask beneficial questions and to do a little homework, before you take the leap. Do you do intensive interviews and background checks when you hire in house staff? Are you doing the same with your contracted outsourcing?

First, check out their website, Facebook, Linkedin, Pintrest,etc. Are people interacting on their social media sites? It’s important to know how actively engaged consultants are in their own personal and professional networks. If they can’t effectively market themselves, they probably can’t do it for you either.  Do they promptly and appropriately reply to people who engage with them and regularly share valuable content? Also, look out for red flags: such as postings that you find offensive

Ask where you can find examples of their work? Request links to some of their current online accounts. Do you like what you see?

Does the consultant company Blog? Has the agency written any significant white papers, case studies, articles or blog posts. Is it original material? Are they sourcing and not creating original material? Are they identifying themselves as an expert?

Does the company utilize email marketing?  Sign up for their e-newsletter, how often do they reach out? Is it newsworthy? Does it speak to you or leave you empty?

Is the consultant/company willing to share strategies? How do they plan on getting you more traffic and increasing sales? Will you have regular marketing strategy meetings?  Make sure that things are happening legitimately and organically. Paid likes will not help build your social status. Can they give you statistics and measurement more than likes and followers? You are looking for quality contacts and personal interaction.

Are they connected to key influencers? To find out how well connected consultants are, check out their list of followers and people they are following. Scan their social pages to see who has connected with their agency. Are they involved in the Community at large? Do they interact with key influencers?

Verify their contract terms or even if they offer a contract. Are they insured? You are entrusting a lot to them. Reputable consultants/companies carry appropriate insurances, registrations, LLC, licenses, credentials, etc.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Protect yourself, your company’s reputation and your overall investment.  Professional integrity goes a long way for both parties. Hire the best consultant/company for your overall success and when in doubt “go with your gut”.

Penny Jones, is a blogger and social media content writer at WebWorld Advantage.
Candy Jones-Guerin is a marketing innovator and owner of WebWorld Advantage. 
WebWorld Advantage, is a company dedicated to innovation in Social Media, Email Marketing, Marketing Consulting, Training and Education in Livingston County, serving Michigan and beyond.

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