Yesterday something happened that spurred me on to write this article and help protect other businesses. I had a sales call scheduled with the owner of a beauty company. They reached out to us, gave us some initial information and we decided via email it would be best to connect “live” to learn more about what they wanted.
Before the call, as always, I did my due diligence in order to have some specific ideas for the client about how we can help them use social media marketing more effectively. I noticed that the owner was not clearly visible on the social media sites provided, but thought nothing of it and just wrote it down as something to discuss during the call.
So I rang in and asked to speak with my contact regarding a social media marketing campaign for the company. The secretary I spoke with instantly sounded confused and told me that the person I was asking for was their social media manager, not the owner.
Ok, maybe there was some breakdown in the communication, right?
No. She then told me that my contact was the social media marketing firm that they were OUTSOURCING their social media marketing campaign to.
My thought? “So let me get this straight. You are outsourcing your social media marketing campaign to a “social media marketing company” who in effect is saying that they are the owner of your business and actively searching for a social media marketing provider to outsource to?”
As you can imagine, this sent the real owner of the business into a tailspin, trying to piece the story together. But in the end he found out the truth. He was getting mismanaged and swindled.
This makes me sick to my stomach as these types of individuals and companies sully our industry and make social media marketers look like we earned our business acumen in a back alley and all work out of our bedrooms.
I share this story not to scare you, but to wake you up. You need to protect your business’s reputation and in order to do so, here are a few questions to ask your potential social media marketing partner.
- Do you do all of the work in-house, or do you work with partners during the delivery process?
- How much of the marketing work on the accounts is automated? Can you give me a percentage?
- How many people will be working on my account and have access to my passwords?
- Will you be monitoring my brand through the social media channels you are using?
- Do you have heads of department to oversee different elements (head of campaign, head of SEO, etc)?
- How much time per day/week will you be working on my account?
- Are all of your workers in one location?
- Are your team members full-time or part-time?
- In your opinion, what sets your company apart from other social media marketing firms?
- Can I have 3-5 past/current clients that I can speak with about your service?
These questions should get you off to a great start. Obviously you want to also ask questions about the campaigns (and how they work), but the questions above should enable you figure out how credible they are. Remember – go with your gut. Go with someone you trust or have a good feeling about. If you have distinct reservations, beware.
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