But who’s the blame?

The phenomenon dubbed “social media” has revolutionized the Internet and the field itself has become an opportunity for anyone with Internet access to monetize and at least, use their personal experiences to substitute them as professional with fancy job titles like Social Media Manager on LinkedIn. Managing a personal account does not make one a Social Media Manager. Amateurs like this lack marketing, advertising, branding and copywriting knowledge and do not have a clue about analytics or how to interpret the information to improve a company’s online strategy. But because these individuals lack experience, they define social media management as the technique of posting a status on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter and a photo on Instagram – which only requires one to two hours of work a week (charging $250 a month or maybe even less).

It’s always interesting when someone inquires about rates and I receive a reply such as, “That’s too expensive; I can find someone else to do the same work for a lot less.” In their defense, they’re partially right. You CAN find someone to do it for a lot less (in a less comprehensive manner). However, last year, Manta surveyed 540 small business owners regarding their insights on social media return on investment. The surveyed discovered 59% of small businesses were still unable to see a return on investment and that 47% of the respondents invest less than $100 per month on social media marketing. This same study also determined these levels of spending make a negligible impact upon their social media footprints.

Times have changed, and social media is no longer a “free” tool to boost your brand’s awareness. It’s pay-to-play and has been for a while now. If your company is paying someone a few bucks a month to create an effective strategy, run advertisement campaigns, curate content and engage your audience, chances are – you are probably not receiving results.

I do not want to spend too much time on this epidemic but did want to shed light on why so many companies have been unsuccessful with social media.  Overall, I am here to provide solutions. That has always been my purpose and why The MeauxGul Agency takes a huge risk and guarantees our clients a positive ROI (based on their social media goals) or money back. Our philosophy is “to consider ourselves social media experts, we must possess the ability to improve the online strategy of a company with minimal experience.”

With that being said, we only work on projects we believe we can provide value. Can you imagine a social media manager working with a company whom they feel has no chance of success, but guarantees results and take their money without delivering on their promise? Well, that happens a lot.

So why are so many companies struggling to achieve a Return On Investment?

In addition to the lack of investment, there are three significant reasons that I have discovered within the last few years:

1. Unrealistic or Nonexistent Goals: You cannot measure a return on investment without clearly defining your company goals. You should never make an investment without establishing clear objectives.  Also, when you set your social media goals, be sure they are S.M.A.R.T.

PECIFIC – Be very clear about what you would like to see happen.

 

EASURABLE – You need to be able to track and analyze your objective and outcome.

 

CHIEVABLE – A challenging objective is encouraged. However, it needs to be reasonable.

 

EALISTIC – Do you have the resources necessary to achieve this goal? Do you have access to someone who does? If not, it is probably not realistic.

 

IME BOUND – Deadlines are vital to encourage urgency, growth and improve organizational skills.

2. Time: Social media is not a one-hour a day job in which a drone mindlessly clicks their mouse all day. As a brand marketing online, a large portion of your time is spent monitoring and listening to your target demographic – studying their language, taking note of their conversations and identifying their issues so that you can provide solutions. Not to mention, the time you must invest monitoring competitors, creating the overall strategy, content development, audience engagement, pulling analytics, and reviewing and revising your strategy accordingly.

3. Inexperience: Either you as a person or business will have to begin studying social media trends or you will hire a professional. If you are inexperienced and prefer to learn, remember it will require dedication and long hours. Depending on your needs (such as posting company updates to your social media accounts) an inexperienced social media manger may suffice, and will be cost-efficient at the moment. However, it will become expensive in the long haul, when you are looking back at your company’s ROI compared to the expense you have distributed to your intern or assistant.

5 Steps To Complete Before Hiring A Social Media Manager

Before qualifying your company’s next social media manager complete the following steps:

1. Ask for case studies and research the goals compared to the campaign strategy and results. What are metrics were being measured and what were the conversion rates?

2. Search for someone who understands your brand and industry. Just because someone has experience and even success with social media does not always mean they are a fit for your product or service. Anyone marketing your business needs to feel passionate about the direction its headed. They should understand your business, the industry, target demographic and the goals you are looking to achieve. Some social media managers will have an extensive background in marketing and will successfully complete the groundwork to discover this information. This is fine, and ideally you would want someone who’s informed, passionate and up-to-date on trends within your industry.

3. Contact client references. Nothing will tell you more about a social media agency, freelancer or potential employee than their past work and/or clients. If a company hired a social media manager or agency and loved their work, they will more than likely respond with positive feedback. Past clients can also give your company more insight relating to the strengths and weaknesses of that particular candidate. If you are going to contact past clients, if possible, make sure it is a client they have mentioned within their case studies. This is an excellent way to compare the two.

4. Ask questions relating to the field. A great question to ask any agency, freelancer or employee is “What are some of the latest trends happening in social media right now?” Although you may not know the answer, take notes and run a google search to see how recent that update was released. If it has been six months, the candidate or agency account manager probably hasn’t been following the trends and may not be the right fit. If the individual is passionate about social media, believe me, they will know the most current trends. Be sure to research each trend mentioned for accuracy.

5. Most importantly, ask the agency or freelancer, if they offer any terms that protect your company relating to the work they deliver. For example, The MeauxGul Agency provides each client with a guaranteed ROI (based on their goals, budget, and past data) or money-back.  This is obviously a huge risk for any company, but that how much we are committed to providing results and changing the tide of transparency in social media.  Not many agencies will be prepared to back up their ‘expertise,’ but it never hurts to ask.

If your company is currently seeking assistance with social media and interested in learning how The MeauxGul Agency guarantees a return on investment, you may contact us at info@meauxgul.com.

Nathan G. Meaux
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