Should your business hire a Social Media expert? The answer is yes, if you simply don't have the time or know-how to clearly, consistently and concisely generate original, branded content that is engaging and informative. If you're reading this it's because you are in a position to save yourself hours of very painful work by hiring a great content writer. But, the professional blogger you hire really needs to know what they’re doing in order to save you from throwing your hard-earned money away. This means you need someone who will raise your brand awareness while positively impacting your reputation. When hiring a consultant to work on Social media for your company, do your research. Make sure that the person you're hiring has the expertise to get the job done right. So, how do you hire the right content creator?
Here are five key questions you should ask a social media expert:
- How Successful Are You In Your Own Social Media Networks? It's important to know how actively engaged a blogger is in their own personal and professional social media platforms. If they can't effectively market themselves on social media, they probably can't do it for you either. Take just a few minutes to do a Google search of the blogger's name and/or company. Then, sneak a peek at them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to see if they promptly and appropriately reply to people who engage them and if they regularly share valuable content without charging for it (like this blog does each and every month).
- How Connected Are You To Influencers In My Industry? Ideally, professional social media experts will already be connected to industry influencers, who can help build awareness of your products and services. To find out how well connected bloggers are, check out their list of LinkedIn and Twitter followers and the people they follow.
- Where Can I Find Current and Past Examples of Your Work? Start by asking for links to current online examples of their writing so that you can evaluate social media initiatives that the blogger created or played a central role in developing. Look for engaging campaigns that resulted in quantifiable metric increases in brand exposure and narrative interest.
- Which Social Media Do You Specialize? It's important to be specific as possible during the hiring process if you hope to focus on a certain social network. Ensure that the content writer you hire is popular and has a respectable following on the sites that they claim to be proficient. For example, my Google+ profile has over 1,000,000 page views and my blog over 100,000 organic visits. Now, that's significant interest in the topics I write - resulting in respectable audience engagement.
- What are your payment terms and are they negotiable? You need to know whether your professional writer gets paid a retainer or simply charges by the hour or project. And, be sure to ask how often invoice payments are due i.e. every 30, 60 or 90 days? Is there interest or a fee for late payments? Do you offer a discount for referring additional clients? Do they require a minimum contract period?
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