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Do You Need Social Media Consulting? The Consultant Conundrum
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or all three? Online engagement, social media monitoring, or both? When it comes to using social media for small businesses, decision makers can feel a bit like a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal. Will the door you choose lead to something beyond your wildest dreams? Or will you end up with a goat?
If you don’t have the answer yet, you’re not alone.
An OfficeArrow/Social Strategy1 survey found that many small businesses are overwhelmed by social media, often because entrepreneurs and decision makers suffer from information overload and have too many sites to manage. In fact, 31% reported they didn’t know where to start when it came to utilizing social media!
One solution for small businesses and start-ups struggling with social media is to hire a social media consulting firm. Here are guidelines to help determine if tapping outside help is the right call:
Door #1: Reasons to invest in a social media consulting firm
- You’re new to social media for business and don’t know where to start.*
- You need a targeted plan that will produce measurable results.
- You’re a start-up with limited in-house people power.
- You want help pinpointing new opportunities and trends.
- You need assistance developing corporate governance for social media interactions.
*There’s no shame in admitting you don’t yet know a tweet from a twit. And, yes, it’s worth your time to start learning the basics of social media. But think of the consulting question this way: business pros who don’t know the intricacies of corporate tax law often hire accountants to navigate that part of the business. So if you’re not comfortable tweeting, monitoring, analyzing, etc., why not consider investing in a social media strategy expert who is?
Door #2: Reasons to keep social media in-house
- You have the time, resources, and energy to train in-house staff.
- You or the team will be able to stay up-to-date on the continually evolving social media world.
- You or the team will be comfortable navigating and managing various social media channels in a way that builds a positive online reputation and supports larger corporate goals.
Door #3: The combination strategy
Using a blend of social media consulting and the in-house team can be a smart choice for some small businesses and start-ups. For example, you might hire a social strategy consultant to build a comprehensive social media plan and suggest online marketing tactics, and then use in-house staff to carry out the plan.
Will social media consulting work for your business?
Social media platforms are not magic wands that instantly conjure oodles of business. In fact, be wary if a social media expert promises thousands of followers in X number of days.
As we’re fond of saying over at Social Strategy1, there may be no crystal ball for business…but social media tools and expert analyses are the next best thing! What an effective social media consulting firm will offer is specialized expertise that combines business knowledge with social media passion. Social media consulting firms should be an extension of your team, adding value to your online marketing and profit to your bottom line.
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.