Did you know maintaining a presence on multiple social media outlets can help boost your company's search ranking? To be effective as a search tactic, your social media platform has to be updated frequently to let crawlers know it's a going concern. Customers also like having the ability to follow the brands they love on social media for news and updates.
You probably know why you should have a social media presence for your business, but that doesn't give you more hours in the day, or the expertise to handle a negative situation online. That's when you need to seriously consider outsourcing your company's social media efforts.
But before you hand over the keys to your social media kingdom, ask any company you're considering the following questions:
- How will you build my following? You want real people following you, not bots. That's why you want a real person engaging with the online community. If the words "script" or "program" come up in the discussion, other than to disparage them, move on.
- Can I give a prize for Facebook "Likes" to get new fans? No. This is a violation of Facebook's TOS and this should be known by anyone purporting to be a professional online community manager.
- How will you answer customer inquiries? A social media pro will get acquainted with your products and services and work with you in advance to develop answers to FAQs, rather than forwarding everything to you. Because that would defeat the purpose of outsourcing!
- What will you do to address any negative feedback? A community manager should be experienced in the best practices of online reputation management. The should be able to produce an escalation chart and response strategy at the outset. If someone is being disruptive to your brand online, you don't want it to continue to escalate for three days while the social media management firm you hired dithers!
- What monitoring tactics do you employ? Social media monitoring isn't quite a 24/7 job, but it's pretty close. Your community manager should be checking in after hours or on weekends and holidays. If they're only around during business hours, that's a red flag.