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How Do You Know Who To Trust For Social Media Advice?

February 17, 2012

Social Media is great fun, but if you are using it for business, there are just a few tips that can make your life so much easier and help you focus on your business objective.

There is plenty of free advice on the internet. Take a look at Mashable, Social Media Examiner, Mari Smith as just a few examples.

There are also plenty of local people who can give one to one training, workshops, or even run your accounts for you. (I hold my hand up here to say that I am one of them)

If you don’t have the time to read up on social media, and need someone to help you, how do you know who to trust?

Here are a few tips:

 
1. Google their name and see what comes up.

 
2. If they have a LinkedIn profile:

a.  Next to  “websites” does it say “company website” (bad) or does it include keywords in their website description, such as “social media training” (good)

b. How many recommendations do they have?

c. How many connections do they have?

d. Do they have a Company LinkedIn page?
3. If they are on Twitter:

a  How many followers do they have? (but bear in mind that fewer quality followers is better than thousands of duff followers)

b. How often do they tweet?

c. Is there much interaction with other people?

d. Are they tweeting unique content or are they just regurgitating other articles or, worse, sending out constant sales tweets.
4. Facebook

a. Do they have a Business Page? 

If they are using their business name in their personal profile then avoid them like the plague – they are at risk of being kicked out of facebook.

(How do you tell? If you see a business name, and it says “add friend” or “friend” then they are wrongly using a personal profile as a business) 
b. How many fans do they have?

c. How often do they post?

d. Is it original content or just recycled articles from other people.

e. Do they have people liking or commenting on their posts.

 
5. Are they on Google Plus?

a. Do they have a Google Plus business page?

b. Have they filled out the “About Me” section

6. Klout

Although klout can be manipulated and there is some discussion about how good an indication it really is, it’s still worth taking a look at their klout score – 25 is average, so you are looking for a score above this. A score of 35 upwards is good.

There are lots of other things to look for, but these are some tips to get you going.

At the end of the day you are looking for someone who is experienced in the field, who has built up a credible following of their own, and who is getting a lot of interaction with other people.

Although social media is always best done by you personally,  there are occasions when people need someone else to run their account for them. Some people find it hard to chat (and social media is all about being social), some just don’t have the time.

If you do use someone to run your accounts for you, then ask to see an account that they are already running.

I have seen people use their clients accounts to promote themselves, I have seen people tweet the same out of date content constantly and I have seen people send out irrelevant tweets.

Also, make sure that you discuss your business objectives with them and work out your target market. There are clever ways to use social media to target potential customers rather than a scatter- gun approach. Don’t spend money unless you know exactly who you want to target and what you want to achieve.

If someone offers to find you followers, specify the type of followers you want – you need people who are in your target audience. It is no use paying someone to get you 100 followers if they are all in Norwich, Virginia and your target market is Norwich UK!

Sara Greenfield

Bright Yellow Marketing – Social Media Training and Management

@sarajgreenfield

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From → Social Media

3 Comments
  1. This is an interesting article Sara. I would disagree about Facebook as most social media professionals know that Facebook can be a double edged sword, and also it depends upon whether your social media strategy is for search engine marketing, social interaction, or a combination of both.
    As for Klout, this has been proven to be a false reading of someone’s Klout (dare I say!).
    It is not live and it very much depends on which links you generate as to the figure which is arrived at.
    Finally, NEVER EVER pay someone to get you followers, links or anything else. Google and other engines frown upon this, and it is considered very bad – especially in the latest round of the Panda algorithm.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I wasn’t intending to say that a social media business would need a profile on all of these platforms – it was intended as a list of what to look for if they were using these platforms. Obviously there are a lot of other ones out there.

      I mentioned klout as it gives a guide – I did say it could be manipulated.

      I would not endorse anyone paying for followers in the sense of spam, but if you are paying someone to set up or manage your social media accounts then they are going to be finding followers for you. What you don’t want is someone who says “I’ve found you 100 followers” but none of those followers are relevant to your business.

      I always advise people to run their own social media accounts, but some people just find this too difficult. In such a case, it is better to have someone monitoring what is being said about them, responding to comments and looking for business opportunities for them, than to have no presence.

  2. Thanks for the clarity Sara. You always produce informative data and comment.

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