We are looking to increase our social media presence and have been introduced to someone who calls himself a ‘social media expert’. I’m a bit sceptical about this. Do such people actually exist? And, if so, do we need to pay them to do things we could do in-house?
Social media experts do exist. But people who call themselves ‘social media experts’ should be treated with caution.
You’ve said here that you are looking to increase your “social media presence”. If by that you mean you want to set up a Facebook and Twitter account, then I’d say you’re wasting your time.
You don’t need social media and you don’t need the expert. I can tell you now the world doesn’t need another bland corporate Facebook page.
However, if you have a specific business goal in mind then there may be some applications of social media that will help you achieve it.
As I see it, there are six main uses for social media:
- To sell things to people.
- To provide customer service.
- To broadcast messages to people.
- To listen to what people are saying about you.
- To foster a community around your product or service.
- To show your company’s personality (or at least to show you are human).
If you want to achieve one of these things, ask the ‘social media expert’ how they would go about helping you. Ask them what they’ve worked on before and check for yourself to see the results.
You can do many of these things in-house – most of it just comes down to being open, consistent and honest in your communications with people.
But it will take time and if your time’s better spent working on a different part of your business then bringing in outside help can make good sense.