by Beth Harte and Geoff Livingston
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 (Image: Rifle Expert by Randy son of Robert).
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.
1) When asked about listening, gives you a blank stare.
2) Converses at people instead of with them on social networks
3) No tangible past experience delivering return on investment either for themselves or others
4) Doesn’t understand how social media integrates into larger corporate communications or business strategy
6) Believes in delivering messages
7) Will ghostwrite blog posts and other social content for you
8) Is willing to impersonate you online in social networks
9) Trots in “social media expert” for sales meeting
10) Their blog is less than six months old or has no comments
11) Blog only has links to traditional 1.0 media sites
12) Cannot host conversation without constantly interjecting self into said conversation
13) Talks about cultivating your personal brand
14) Will not allow employees to participate in larger conversation
15) Will guarantee results without any prior experiences
16) Just added new social media department
17) Recommends Facebook Group as first tactic
18) Defines social media as only tools (Facebook, blogs, Flickr <INSERT SHINY OBJECT HERE>) as opposed to conversations with communities
19) First campaign involves a contest without a strategy
20) Doesn’t know what Technorati is
21) Talks about applying mass communications theory
22) Posts less than five times a month on their blog
23) Thinks social media is about creating content
24) Suggests publishing promotional copy as social content
25) Believes social media is the sole terrain of either PR or advertising
What would you add to this list?
12/20 Update: Andrew Vascellari shot an absolutely hilarious video version of this post on his blog. Check out Andrew’s riffing on the 25: