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Surely there’s no point in using a social media consultant is there? After all, 900,000,000 people know how to use Facebook so it’s not that hard is it?

Well, I suppose at one level that’s right. Everyone can use social media – in fact the social platforms have spent millions developing them exactly so everyone can use them. But using them and using them well are two entirely different things.

What s social media consultant brings is experience in helping you select which if the platforms you should be investing your time on and how to set them up properly from the word go. Clearly you could learn how to do this yourself (you could also learn everything about tax and the law and become your own accountant and lawyer) but this probably wouldn’t be good use of your time…you should be running your business and doing what you do best.

Is your goal just to have a great social media presence? Or is this a means to an end? Do you want social media to deliver a steam of prospects and enable you to develop new and existing relationships with these prospects. If it’s the latter, then you definitely need an expert.

A good social media consultant will have a background in some sort of media – marketing, copywriting, advertising – and will understand how people react when they’re exposed to messages and will be able to apply this solid marketing background to the world of social media. Simply learning about the platforms isn’t enough if your consultant is going to deliver value to your business.

Key questions you may want to ask a consultant before employing them are; “how will you measure the success and failure of the project” or “what will the business benefit for this be”? In either case you need to hear a good solid answer which doesn’t include comments like “it’s all about brand building and visibility” because it isn’t…it’s all about sales (or cost saving)! If your consultant can’t explain exactly how they’re going to tie social media activity back to your profits it’s probably because they don’t know…and you should keep looking for the right person!