Social media has transformed the way businesses communicate with their customers, allowing them to build relationships, create brand awareness, increase sales, and retain contact with them even after a purchase has been made. However, with so many social media platforms available, it can be overwhelming for business owners to navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing. That’s where social media consultancy comes in whether you choose to avail of the service on a once-off or ongoing basis.
A social media consultant is a professional who specialises in creating and implementing social media strategies to help businesses achieve their marketing goals, in some cases, they may offer specific services only while others may offer a wider range of options or work with partners in areas such as management, design or copywriting.
In general, a social media consultant will have a deep understanding of the social media landscape across all networks, even where they may opt to provide services on a select number of channels only. Social media platforms should always be selected based on a business’s ideal customer, once this is clear that’s when you choose your platforms and that’s the starting point for helping businesses make the most of their social media presence.
Some of the benefits of working with an experienced social media professional include:
A social media consultant can work with you on the development of a tailored social media strategy that’s tailored specifically to your business requirements on a short or longer-term basis.
Social media consultants have the experience and knowledge to assess a business’s needs and develop a strategy that aligns with its objectives. They will create a plan that outlines what platforms to use based on their ideal clients, what content to create and share, and what’s measurable against their goals. This helps businesses to maximize their social media presence and get the most out of their investment without the need to invest in training programmes for their employees and then work out what’s right for their business.
Social media consultants will know what’s the right content type for your audience and may be able to train you to create powerful content, do it for you, or ensure you’ve got the right partner to work with in this area for the long term. The content created for any business must resonate with a business’s target audience and may require a degree of experimentation to determine the right fit.
A social media professional will understand the nuances of each social media platform and know how to create content that is tailored to each platform’s specific requirements because even where time is a challenge, what you post on a platform such as Linkedin for example is completely different to what you’d post on TikTok even where there’s a common end goal and customer.
A social media consultant can ensure that you have a consistent brand voice and that content created by or for your brand is high-quality and appropriate for the target audience or audiences (see the next point!).
Many businesses will have more than one ideal client, in fact, in my experience, I’ve found that few have just one ideal client when they really dig deep.
A Social media consultant will have the expertise to build a business’s social media following and understand what content should be shared with each client type in mind with content designed to appeal to different customer types.
They know how to identify and target the right audience and can help businesses to grow their social media presence organically and/or with paid ads. Paid ads are something they may prefer to outsource especially when you’re committing a significant budget or working with e-commerce where the requirements are more than simply building brand awareness, they’ll have the connections so you don’t need to look for them.
A social media professional can also help businesses to engage with their audience and build relationships with potential customers by connecting with other businesses who may share a common audience or locality for example, or perhaps with whom they’d aspire to work.
Analytics & Insights
Social media consultants know that it’s essential to use analytics and insights to track the performance of a business’s social media campaigns and why you need to understand it’s about more than simply the ‘likes”.
They can make informed choices and adjustments to ensure that the campaign is achieving its objectives outlined in your strategy. Depending on your agreement, they can also provide regular reports to businesses to help them understand their social media performance and make informed decisions so you aren’t faced with trawling through a myriad of options to understand where a spike in sales originated.
Professional social media consultants will know how to handle crises on social media platforms and this is where real expertise comes into its own.
They can help businesses to develop a crisis management plan and respond to negative comments or reviews in a professional and effective manner and know how to deal with a customer complaint that starts to generate a lot of attention over the weekend – they know outside of office hours isn’t always downtime for your customers!
They help to protect a business’s reputation and ensure that it maintains a positive image on social media, knowing how and when to take a challenge away from the public eye and what’s realistic when it comes to resolving a complaint while in the spotlight.
They may also be in a position to advise on how to manage your brand’s reputation so that you understand what’s happening out in the marketplace.
Hiring a social media consultant can be a cost-effective way for businesses to manage their social media presence, whether it’s everything related to social media or just elements of it – our post, 15 Elements Of Social Media You Can Outsource might be of interest if you’re not clear on what you need just yet.
Rather than hiring a full-time employee, businesses can hire a consultant on a project basis or for a set number of hours per week or month, or, as many businesses prefer, somebody to actively manage everything related to social media on a retainer basis which might allow for extra hours where you’ve got a special event or sale, for example, to account for.
And of course, when you choose to outsource on social media you don’t have the associated costs that come with hiring a full-time employee because most likely they’ll be providing support virtually without even the requirement for desk space.
It Helps You Stay Ahead Of The Competition
Social media is a constantly evolving landscape, and businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques to remain competitive. Social media consultants are experts in their field and can help businesses stay ahead of the curve because as part of their job, they are doing the upskilling that ensures they can deal with whatever their clients need to know. For example, I’m certified by Linkedin, META and am authorised to call myself a Canva Champion, I also have CPD Certifications in areas such as SEO and Planning, skills that my clients benefit from without the need for them to send employees on training programmes.
Social media consultants can advise on the latest trends and technologies and help businesses to implement them in their social media strategy while at the same time safe-guarding you from overwhelm in trying to be in places that might not be the right fit for your business even where trends suggest you need to consider it – and yes, I’m thinking TikTok which fabulous as it is won’t work for every business because it’s quite different to everything else.
Social media consultancy is a valuable investment for businesses looking to improve their social media presence, you get the expertise on a plan that’s right for you with the flexibility you need based on seasonal demands whilst also working out better value for your bottom line.
If you’d like to discover how The Marketing Shop can help your business when it comes to social media consultancy, or indeed, training or strategy, pop an email to email@example.com or schedule a call at this link or learn more about our services here.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.