16 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Social Media Company

Recently an entrepreneur friend of mine called me long distance to pick my brain  about what questions should he be asking candidates  applying for Social Media Consultant’s position.   I am sure many of you have similar concerns regarding hiring a company for your social media and SEO needs.

This blogpost is meant as a guide for HR and business owners/managers to help them hire social media contractors that will deliver real results and not just rack up billable hours. Even before the interview you must conduct detailed background research and check the company/consultant’s profiles on popular social media platforms.  Your first order of business should be to “Google” the company and ascertain their influence and search real-estate-ownership.   Decent social and search visibility means that the candidate should be prominently featured on at least 3 pages worth of Google results. The candidate’s personal/company social graph is perhaps the best barometer for gauging success and skills.    Once you have short-listed the candidates next comes the interview. Here are some relevant questions:

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Social Media Marketing Company:

  1. Are you certified in social media?  How long was the training and who was the trainer?
    Research the credentials of the trainer and the program. A real trainer would have conspicuous social media presence
  2. What are the keywords or search-terms with which you have optimized your social media profiles?
    Take each  keyword/phrase and check if the company’s social media pages  and website show up on the first page  of Google for those terms
  3. How do you measure social media success?
    A winning answer would include information on taking base metrics and setting up relevant KPI
  4. What kind of reporting will you provide?
    Social media reporting should include measuring buzz, engagement, sentiment, growth, referral-traffic to your website, influencers, etc.
  5. What tools do you use for social media management?
    The tools should be a mix of robust syndicated ones, well-reviewed free tools and some home-grown tools
  6. What is the importance of SEO? How do you leverage search marketing?
    Your social media contractor should be able to explain the quantifiable search engine optimization related benefits of social media
  7. Does your team include an SEO specialist? Is he/she certified?
    Check their credentials and the company’s search engine standing for keywords
  8. What will you require from us before initiating a social media program for our company?
    The candidate should ask for brand and corporate policy guidelines, your business goals, target audience segmentation and profiles
  9. What are some marketing goals that social media can help us achieve? What are some typical KPI for social media?
    Make sure  the KPI are measurable and relevant to your business otherwise consider finding  a different candidate who will provide you with those
  10. How many people will be on the team?    Breakdown of strategic and executional members?
    Based on your business you should be assigned appropriate resources
  11. What is the technical proficiency of your team in terms of design and programming?
  12. Describe your top 3 social media success stories (case-studies)?
  13. Where will we fit in your portfolio in terms of size?
    If you will be the smallest client then you might consider another company. If you will be their largest then you must ask for how they will manage your business and their scalability potential
  14. Why should I hire you and not the other?
  15. What are your 2 weaknesses? How do you plan to overcome?
  16. How do you deal with a crisis situation?
    The candidate should have a clear, practical and workable plan for managing crisis

Social media marketing is a critical tool for all businesses. It provides huge payoffs that are both tangible and qualitative. If done right social media engagement can forge brand affinity with your customers that is somewhat resistant to external factors (like the economy and competition). What’s more, the kind of ROI you eventually get  from social media marketing is worth all the effort you put into it.

11 thoughts on “16 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Social Media Company

  1. very nice cyma
    i m also studying all these things now a days
    SEO, SEM, uffffffff its huge

    but its nce, it helps me a lot


    1. Thanks Laiq, glad you found it useful. We also offer workshops and tutorials for companies. Goodluck with your training and let me know if I can help.

  2. i will cyma 🙂
    as u know ( i think ) i am in karachi for my exhibition, i discussed these things with some ad agencies gurus but unfortunately nobody was interested. there are only few people who knows abt internet marketing SEO, i m not complaining but i feel bad.

    anyways will bother u on these things

  3. Thanks for this post. They are definitely great questions to ask and be aware of. Since social media is so new, I think a lot of companies who are new to the field and hear the term SEO and assume the person is qualified. But understanding how SEO and social media works probably takes years and years of study to truly understand. Thanks for reminding people to ask the right questions.

  4. Nice article. All the right questions and having not just an SEO person on the team is a must but even an SEM person. As your online Marketing strategy goes hand in hand. Very often, we find with our clients that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. At our company Actionly, we incorporate all these Specialists with eons of real world experience.

    Check us out, Actionly- is Social Media Monitoring dashboard and listening platform.

    1. Yes, synergy always gives better results. Which is why our team includes both organic and paid search specialists who work closely with our certified social media strategists.

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