Looking to Hire a Des Moines Social Media Marketing Consultant? Read this First!

There are several social media marketing (SMM) companies in Des Moines, Iowa and considering you are reading this right now, I can only assume you are looking to hire one. Therefore, you probably want to find the best agency to help you with your social media marketing, either to do it for your business or to consult with you on how to do it yourself.

You likely already have accounts on all the top social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube, Pinterest, and probably even a few others. But you have no idea how effectively use them to market your business. That’s where a professional internet marketer can really be helpful. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to craft the right messages, build up fans, engage followers, and keep them coming back for more. Most importantly, we know how to market to them and when to do it for maximum conversions.

However, you need to be careful who you hire because these days everyone seems to be calling themselves SMM experts. It seems to be the cool thing nowadays to just wake up one day and decide you are now a social media consultant and somehow an expert on it. So it can be very difficult for a business owner to actually find a true professional worth hiring. I have pointed out some tips below that you may find very useful in the process.

At the very least, your social media marketing specialist should be able to do these things for you (and more):

  • Write engaging content
  • Create brand awareness
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Build credibility
  • Get more traffic to your website
  • Help you stand out above your competition
  • Generate more leads for your business

So, here are some tips for finding the top social media marketing firm in Des Moines to help you or your company build a solid online presence:

1) Search Engines - Start by searching on Google and/or Bing and see who comes up in the top 10 in your city/area. This is a good way to at least find some of the agencies or individual specialists in your area.

For example, if you live in Des Moines, IA and you are looking for an expert social media marketer to help with your business, you would search for “Des Moines Social Media Consultants" and other related variations of that search.

Keep in mind that just because someone ranks highly doesn’t mean you should automatically go with them. And the opposite is also true. This is just one factor to consider in your research. How highly they are ranked is much more important when looking for an SEO specialist than it is with social media experts. But it’s still a great place to start.

2) Testimonials - Do they have lots of testimonials and recommendations from their clients or associates? I wouldn’t hire anyone that didn’t at least have some.

Also, are their testimonials legitimate? It may not be easy to tell if they are or not, but sometimes you can spot the fakes if you read them carefully.

Either way, you should contact some of the people who have given them recommendations, reviews, testimonials, etc… and make sure they are real. Don’t just assume they are because this is something that is very easy to fake.

3) Their Social Presence - It only makes sense that a good SMM consultant would have a solid social presence of their own. Check out their main profiles to see how well they are doing with their own social media marketing before you hire them to do yours.

Keep in mind that just because they have a huge following on the various social networking websites doesn’t necessarily mean they are worth hiring. It’s actually very easy to build up a lot of friends, fans, followers, connections, and so on if that’s your only goal. In fact, you can buy loads of them for very cheap if you are just trying to look good. So, you need to look at more than just the vanity numbers.

However, with that being said, I would certainly not hire someone claiming to be a social media marketing specialist if they don’t have a solid number of real fans, followers, and connections on several of the major social sites. That’s sort of a basic requirement needed in order to call yourself an expert.

4) Experience - How long have they been in business? This could potentially be very important to find out. I won’t name and shame, but I actually know someone in the Des Moines metro who worked as a cashier at a local small business and helped this ONE company build a Facebook fan page with a couple hundred likes. That’s it! Seriously. He had NO other experience as a social media marketer, but based on that alone, he started his own SMM consulting business.

He literally just woke up one day and decided that somehow he was an industry expert and could now charge for something he really knew nothing about. And he actually landed a few clients who paid him some pretty good money until they realized he had no clue what he was doing. Needless to say, his business didn’t last long.

That is a 100% true story. And it shows just how important it is to be sure you are hiring someone who actually does have a lot of experience and knows what they are doing. I wouldn’t hire anyone with less than 2 years of solid experience in real social media marketing.

5) Empty Promises - Make sure you aren’t being fooled by a bunch of great sounding promises that don’t really mean anything. When you don’t know a lot about social media, it’s very easy to get shiny object syndrome or be mesmerized by all the new age words being thrown at you.

For example, if the person you are meeting with is basically just promising you a bunch of likes/followers, you should run away fast.

That means absolutely nothing in itself. For as little as $5 you could go out and buy hundreds or even thousands of fake likes and/or followers. Or you could do it for free if you just started following anyone and everyone hoping they will return the favor, and many will. There’s no need to hire a consultant for that.

Yes, it’s important to get a lot of likes and followers, but only if they are real and legitimate, and actually help increase your business profits in one way or another. You want them to become your raving fans willing to spread the word about your company, and buy your products/services too. Your consultant should be able to make that happen.

6) Blog - Do they have a blog where they discuss social media and other internet marketing topics? I wouldn’t consider this vital in your decision, but it definitely gives them a point on the positive side if they have been blogging for a few years, and giving out solid advice on related subjects.

7) Tracking Progress - Ask them how they monitor social media for their clients. If they don’t have an answer you should end the meeting immediately. Ideally they should use some sort of dashboard or other resource that you can login to and see the history and live reporting of your social progress.

8) Guarantee - Are they guaranteeing specific results? You are probably used to it being a good thing when someone guarantee’s their work. However, in this case that isn’t necessarily true. See #5 above for part of the reason why.

On top of that, there is no real guarantee when it comes to marketing of any kind. You just don’t always know what people will like or not like, or whatever else might happen to affect the results. The biggest companies in the world have failed marketing campaigns all the time.

Obviously you want them to have a good history of positive results to offer you some peace of mind, and be confident that they can deliver. But be very skeptical if they are giving you a definite guarantee of results. That’s almost like buying a lottery ticket and guaranteeing you are going to win, you really have no idea!

Okay, well that should give you a very good start for finding a reliable and competent social media marketing specialist for your business. It will certainly give you a much better idea of who to hire than simply guessing or just going with the first agency or consultant that approaches you.

It might also be a good idea to ask them some other general online marketing and SEO questions to see how much knowledge they have of the digital marketing industry as a whole. Many of the strategies overlap and complement each other so it’s definitely good if they aren’t strictly a SMM expert with no other digital marketing skills.

Remember, anyone can call themselves a social media expert, so don’t just take their word for it. At the very least you should check all the things above before hiring anyone and make sure they have decent marks. They might not be awesome in every area, but they should have a great overall grade. Don’t throw your money at them just because they look amazing in just one or two of the criteria above. They should have a good balance of most or all of them.

Finally, don’t be overwhelmed by all the companies and individuals out there pitching their services to you, and promising you the world. Perform your due diligence and go with the professional that is right for you and your business.