How to tell if your social media expert…is an expert

Posted by Steve Kleber on Dec 09, 2010

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With so many brands engaging in social networks, it seems that almost everyone is a social media genius these days. How do you know if the person you are allowing to run your social media is the real deal? Consider these points before strategizing for your brand.

1. Define Expectations.

Given that we now have so many self-proclaimed social media experts, it is imperative that your definition of social media is consistent with your expert’s. For example, at K&A, we launch all new accounts with a “Right Start” meeting. This allows both parties to understand expectations from the get-go. It’s important to establish expectations and processes in order to have a mutually beneficial relationship. You must clarify exactly how this person is going to add value to your brand – whether through increased visibility, higher conversion rate or higher sales.

2. How will you measure impact?
Now that you have established how and what your social media expert is going to accomplish, discuss the metrics that will be used to define and detail success. Some things are easier to measure than others; it’s quite easy to notice an increase in Twitter followers or fans, but how do you measure an increase in brand awareness or industry authority? It can be challenging to measure the exact ROI of social media, but countless free and paid tools can assist with the process. Let your expert explain to you how he or she plans to measure the results of their efforts.

3. Look for previous successes.
Does your expert have success stories? Not only do case studies demonstrate the successes created on a clients’ behalf, but they serve as sales tools for future accounts. Your social media expert should want to tell you about previous success that he or she has had with another client, and if they can’t demonstrate it, they’re probably not an expert at all. The social media workplace is littered with 20-somethings who consider the success they have cultivated on their personal Facebook page reason enough to apply.

Look for a couple of things: how well the designed plan was implemented, in what time frame, at what cost and to what effect. Most importantly, look for detailed data. A social media expert should impress you with how much information they can retrieve from a social network.

4. Research Methodology
How is your social media expert certain that the designed plan of action is the most effective?  Ask your expert how they will research your industry, how they intend to identify influencers and how they will structure outreach.

Social media is an exciting marketing tool, but it’s still just a tool. How we use it will directly impact the degree of success we enjoy. Best practices of social media are constantly evolving, yet several things to remain consistent. Look for an expert that will provide your defined audience with useful, relevant content that can spark genuine conversation. Additionally, you must integrate social media into your larger overall campaign. Rather than deem social media the end-all and be-all of your brand’s identity, it must remain a digital reflection of your real-world self.

This entry was posted by Steve Kleber on Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 3:56 pm and is filed under Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.