Would You Hire A Social Media Expert?

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Today I am going to give you some quick food for thought, then I am off to wrap nine million gifts laying on my living room floor along with dozens of naked undecorated cookies – frosting is over rated anyway. But first a  quick aside regarding the best “gift” you can give yourself for 2010. The good news is you can start January 3rd. No really, you can. That quick.

Solving the “I need to immediately implement  social media into my company, but I don’t know how/have time” problem, does take time and resources to figure out if you go at it alone. Education is going to play a major role because of how FAST the industry has changed.  Here’s the skinny. Bring in social media consultants to teach everyone, not just your interactive department, on how social media can improve their productivity and outputs. In order to expedite the learning curve, many companies are adding outsourced (and in-house) social media specialists.

Be it just a few days of in-house intense training and setup, or ongoing services like blogging, editing, and providing those nifty reports. By adding this to your web marketing and analytics budget for 2010, I guarantee you will SEE the jump in action immediately on your traffic reports, while your comments and email box will start to bulge. Since implementing the program at this company we saw our social media links as the direct and top referrer, with an increase in traffic of more than 300% in one month. Does a flier or other old fashioned traditional advertising bring that these days? Integrating social media into your marketing plan is the new black.

Here is a brief list of what businesses can do to integrate social media into their service offerings and disciplines:

  1. Embrace client websites as an opportunity to engage and build relationships with customers
  2. Make content portable so customers can consume it where they choose, even on mobile platforms
  3. Prioritize search engine optimization. People start their web interactions with search the vast majority of the time.
  4. Learn that well-done search advertising and web marketing campaigns have conversion rates that dwarf those of your ROI numbers on billboards and TV spots.
  5. Outsource a Social Media Specialist and gather tools internally to collaborate on projects yourself.
  6. Use those same tools to collaborate with your clients, extending the educational experience to them.
  7. Read industry blogs. Comment on them!!
  8. Bring in social media consultants to teach everyone, not just your interactive department, how social media can improve their productivity and outputs. (Do I hear an echo?)
  9. Incorporate social and interactive experience into the hiring requirements for client services and creatives. This will be key moving on.
  10. Watch what other brands are doing on the social web.
  11. Embrace the enthusiasm of your resident social media advocates by having them teach you social while you teach them strategic thinking.
  12. Understand that mass media still has better reach but use that reach to build communities around your brands, driving consumers to brand engagement points through social media.

Ok – wrap that up and give it some thought. Add some social savvy and be see as an industry Though Leader. Take the learning curve down to the “fun” level. You will be glad you did it.