The bad economy has brought to bear one unwelcome change. With a desire to use more cost effective communication forms, companies are looking to social media. As a result, there are many, many companies, agencies and consultants rushing to offer social media services. Unfortunately, they don’t know what they’re doing.
Companies need to turn a discerning eye onto their potential social media partners. Here’s a quick list of some ways to vet potential social media experts.
- When asked about listening, gives you a blank stare.
- Converses at people instead of with them on social networks
- No tangible past experience delivering return on investment either for themselves or others
- Doesn’t understand how social media integrates into larger corporate communications or business strategy
- First recommendation is to blog
- Believes in delivering messages
- Will ghostwrite blog posts and other social content for you
- Is willing to impersonate you online in social networks
- Trots in “social media expert” for sales meeting
- Their blog is less than six months old or has no comments
- Blog only has links to traditional 1.0 media sites
- Cannot host conversation without constantly interjecting self into said conversation
- Talks about cultivating your personal brand
- Will not allow employees to participate in larger conversation
- Will guarantee results without any prior experiences
- Just added new social media department
- Recommends Facebook Group as first tactic
- Defines social media as only tools (Facebook, blogs, Flickr <INSERT SHINY OBJECT HERE>) as opposed to conversations with communities
- First campaign involves a contest without a strategy
- Doesn’t know what Technorati is
- Talks about applying mass communications theory
- Posts less than five times a month on their blog
- Thinks social media is about creating content
- Suggests publishing promotional copy as social content
- Believes social media is the sole terrain of either PR or advertising
What would you add to this list?
[Image: Rifle Expert by Randy son of Robert]
Added on 12/19/08:
An hysterical video version from Andrea Vascellari (it’s worth the 5 minutes, Andrea adds on some good ones):