Is it Time to Hire a Social Media Marketing Consultant?

 

There is a story that is told of Henry Ford about a breakdown in his assembly line that no one on his staff could fix.  As the story goes, his production lines were down for hours; hours turned into days, and Henry was frustrated.  In desperation he called an electrical engineer friend whom he trusted to come to his plant, diagnose, and repair the problem.  His friend promptly arrived and after spending about ten minutes the Ford lines were up and running.  A most grateful Henry Ford thanked him and told his friend to invoice the Ford Company for the repairs.  A few days later Henry Ford received an invoice from his friend in the amount of $10,000.  Flabbergasted, Henry called his friend on the telephone and protested, “You only tinkered around for ten minutes!  Ten-thousand dollars?!”  His friend agreed that he would re-invoice the repairs.  A few days later Henry Ford received a modified invoice:

  

Tinkering – $10

Knowing where to Tinker – $9,990

 

Knowing where to Twitter …

 

There is a structured path to becoming an electrical engineer.  And based on the outcome of the story, Henry’s friend was either very lucky – or clearly knew what he was doing.  The road to becoming a social media marketing expert isn’t as clear.  In fact, in today’s environment it’s often the subject line of marketing agency jokes.  Still, if you believe there is a breakdown in your strategic marketing plan related to social media here are a few questions to consider before calling in an expert:

 

1.     Are my customers, prospects or other constituents on social media?  That may sound like a ridiculous question to ask first; but why did you get into social media?  Are you sure you need social media platforms?

 

2.     Can you describe the elements of your program that don’t seem to be working?  Again, that may come across as a silly question; but are your challenges related to strategy, technology or processes?  At the risk of some shameless self-promotion you might consider taking the Berry Network Social-Ready Assessment in order to establish a baseline measurement on those key competencies areas.

 

3.    What does the expert’s reputation appear to be in the social media space?  Do I trust them?  Are they practicing what they preach, and if so, are they any good?  Engaging your brand in social media is easier said than done.  So you may need to make room in your budget for paid council.