ImageA lot of folks position themselves as social media “experts” but sometimes it can be difficult figuring out who really knows what they’re talking about and who’s merely a guru or a ninja. Check out my short guide below. 

Dependence on buzz words

1. They don’t have a program goal beyond “building a community” or “engagement.”

2. They can’t tell you why “community building” or “engagement” is important to your business.

Their own social presence is a hot mess

3. They don’t practice what they preach. If they can’t build their own social following, write decent thought leadership pieces, or inspire others to respond to and share their content, then they probably can’t do it for you.

4. Their twitter stream is filled with automated link after automated link with no commentary or responses to others.

5. They auto DM new followers or don’t understand how an “@” reply works.

They don't understand how to fit social media into a business

6. That being said, just because an expert is great at personal branding, it doesn’t mean they’ll be great at managing a corporate social program. Managing a personal brand is VERY DIFFERENT from managing a corporate brand.

7. They are not familiar with organizational processes. A social media expert should be able to help guide you through some of the bureaucracy in your organization.

8. They don’t integrate social properties or social CTAs into other earned, paid, or owned media (e.g. email, ads, webinars, live events, etc.).

9. Their skill set is one dimensional. When running a social media program, you need to draw on a very broad range of skills from copywriting and design and development skills to project management and analytics expertise. Hire a one-trick pony and you'll get a program that's exactly that.  

10. They don’t link social data to other business metrics (such as website data, lead capture or conversion data).

BONUS (and personal pet peeve): Every piece of content they share is marketing or social media related. That’s not relationship building. That’s link spraying.