Five skills your Social Media company must have
When you're looking for a company to help with your social media, it can be overwhelming. There are a LOT of Internet marketing firms out there, and all of them claim to be able to take your site hits and lead conversion to the moon and back. The question is, how to pick one to partner with? Since most of them require an upfront fee or a lengthy commitment, this isn't something to enter into lightly.
With that in mind, we thought we'd give you our thoughts on what essential skills a social media company needs. If they don't have everything on this list, stay away.
1) People skills. This should seem obvious, since we're talking about social media, but it's not something that can be taken for granted. Since this sort of work is primarily Internet-based, it's easy for a company to end up staffed with the sorts of people who are more comfortable running Excel reports than pressing palms. They need to have employees who truly understand how to reach out and connect with your customers.
2) Subtle sales skills. Of course, if they're running a business, they know how to sell themselves. However, good inbound marketing is about using the quieter skills of a salesman's trade: suggestion and indirect influence. If they're using big pitches and pushy tactics to get their point across, they're missing the point of inbound marketing. It requires a soft touch, not a hard sell.
3)Specialized writing skills. Since the Internet is fundamentally a text-based media, writing skills are even more important in inbound marketing than in many forms of advertisement. They need to have writers who don't just know how to write well, but to write things which are effectively targeted for the various forms of online media you'll be involved with. A blog post, a Tweet, a Facebook page update, and an email maintaining contact with a lead are all totally different forms of communication, and they need to understand this.
As a side note, a lot of social media companies hire out their writing to specialists rather than doing it in-house. Don't hold this against them; it allows them to be more flexible in the markets they can target. If they're got some good contractors, the end result to you is the same either way.
4)Research and analysis skills. These go hand-in-hand. To do effective inbound marketing, they have to know your customers at least as well as you do. They need to understand market research, and they also need to know what to do with that research once they've done it. Since inbound marketing can be much more targeted and precise than old-style marketing, social media companies need to be able to demonstrate to you a direct link between their marketing efforts and the sales you're making.
5)Tech skills. Lastly, they need to have at least a couple people on staff who understand how the Internet works, deep-down. There's a very techie underpinning to social media, and elements such as the coding of your site, good metatagging of its elements, and proper use of sitemaps are all vital elements of social media marketing as well. This may be invisible to your customers, but it's still important to the overall effort.
Now, again, these are really only the bare minimum necessary skills. You'll want to look for a company that incorporates these while adding whatever other elements your business specifically needs. None the less, this should make for a good starting point, when you're looking for a social media company to partner with to help boost your business.
DeepSky Marketing can help you craft a Social Media plan and put it into action. For more information call 707 823-3888.
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