How to find the right freelance social media expert for your business
Just how pervasive is social media? Of the 7.7 billion people on this planet, 4 billion of them are active social media users. That's more than half of the global population, choosing to interact, communicate and gather information from a handful of platforms. Needless to say, that's an important audience for your business.
But to use social media effectively, you need to work with an expert who knows the best way to target campaigns and which platforms to use to find your target audience.
If you're a small business or an early-stage startup, you might not be ready to hire a full-time social media expert. But make no mistake: an expert is exactly what you need. Just throwing content onto social media platforms and hoping it gets traction is a waste of time, and putting money behind ad campaigns without a targeted strategy is a waste of money.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a big company to tap into the skills of social media experts. A freelance social media marketing expert can help your business find a new audience, generate leads and increase sales. To find the right social media marketing freelancer for your business, you need to ask the right questions.
What to look for in a social media marketing expert
Social media marketing is a very new role, so it's easy for someone to slap "social media marketing expert" on their resumé without a lot to back it up. But there are some fundamental skills you need to look for.
You need to find someone who first and foremost understands the different types of social media platforms and how audiences engage with them. Different content performs differently across each social media channel. You need to find a social media marketing expert who understands which messages and mediums resonate best across each social media channel.
You'll also need to find someone who's highly organized. Social media marketing requires a lot of forward planning and scheduling, and a good social media marketer has to coordinate multiple marketing assets across several different channels.
A good social media marketer should also be data driven. Each social media platform has sophisticated analytics to monitor the performance of marketing campaigns. A social media marketing expert should understand these analytics and be able to adjust their strategy to respond to data.
Finally, a good social media marketing expert needs to understand the latest trends. They need to be on top of the conversations happening across social media channels and have creative ideas for how your brand can engage in those conversations.
Questions to ask a social media marketing candidate
You can gauge whether or not a candidate has these skills by asking some of the questions below. Can you please shed some light on your past experiences? How many organizations or projects have you worked with? Describe to us, in detail, a social media campaign run by you that yielded the desired results. Share with us some failures you encountered in the past. What were the causes? What did you learn from them? What can you do to make sure that it never happens again? What tools have you used to manage your channels or projects in the past and how successful were your efforts? What are your thoughts on our current social media efforts? Do you think we can do something else to improve them? What is it that we are lacking? How do you measure the success of a social media campaign? What metrics do you use to quantify them? How do you, as a social media marketer, set goals for each campaign to determine their success? And what does this success look like? How do you define that a campaign has succeeded? We need the campaign to generate convertible leads, a campaign to generate traffic and one to gain followers. Define how will you create each of them and what measure will you take to make them successful? Express the benefits associated with each social media platform. Which channels are relevant to which kind of business, and how can we use each tailor our message to each channel? Let’s assume there is a crisis in one of our campaigns. How do you handle it? How do you handle negative comments? An angry commenter or a bad reputation crisis? You will be working on a freelance basis. What information do you need from us to accurately represent our brand? What are your working hours and how frequently do you respond to comments or messages?
This may not be an exhaustive list of questions, and there may be a few questions specific to your business or industry. But if you use these questions as a guideline, you should be able to identify a great fit for your business.
Nearly every company knows they need to engage with social media, but few know how to do it effectively. A professional social media marketer can target your efforts and grow your brand's presence. They can raise your brand's profile and bring you new business. Most of all, they can deliver a positive return on your investment.