4 Ways to Spot a Social Media Fraudster Pitching Their Services
Most bar and restaurant owners have come to the realization that they need to take advantage of social media, but they don’t know where to begin. Of course, there is no substitute for a well qualified person within your business to manage your social media accounts. That being said, it is not always feasible for yourself or one of your employees to put in the required time and effort needed to get results.
Although it would be best if we could fix our own taps, sometimes we need to call a plumber. This is the case for many bars and restaurants with social media. The problem is, it seems as though everyone is calling themselves a “social media expert” these days. How do you ensure that you are hiring a qualified and trustworthy individual to manage your online presence? Well you can start by looking out for the red flags below.
No mention of measuring or monetizing
It is easy to get caught up in the social media hype and feel as though your company is missing out by not participating. However, it is important to establish exactly how social media can benefit your business before you hire someone to manage your accounts.
It doesn’t matter how many fans or followers you have online if none of them are actually spending money at your bar or restaurant.
Fan numbers increasing can be a partial measurement but it’s an incomplete measure, especially considering you can buy fans in bulk online. It’s about the engagement and revenue generated at the end of the day.
A real “social media expert” will have a system in place for measuring results of social media campaigns, and ultimately increasing revenue. This should include measuring any increase in your online following and relating it to the number of customers coming through your door.
They have no track record in the bar/restaurant industry
A true “social media expert” will be able to provide examples of clients who have implemented their strategies and had success. Although their ideas may sound great, it is important to hear that they have experience actually implementing them with positive results. Can they show you a case study or two? Are they happy for you to contact their past or existing clients? If not, why not?
The hospitality industry is also a very different beast to selling mortgages or sunshine holidays. So what does your “expert” know about the bar and restaurant industry? Do their suggestions matched your existing operation and systems? If not, you might be paying for something that doesn’t meet your most basic of requirements. In fact, the wrong strategy could end up adding to your workload, not increasing business.
They keep taking about Myspace or other ineffective uses of time/money
The second a “social media expert” tries to sell you on Myspace or Bebo or an as yet unheard of Social Network. Run! The same goes for trying to sell you on tons of customized tabs on Facebook, or anyone trying to sell you on something outside of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare as your main platforms. There is no harm in considering other platforms, but these three are the most important to focus on (right now – as we mentioned, things change)
No online following of their own
Anyone can sign up for a Facebook or Twitter account. Just because someone knows how to post photos and interact with their friends, this does not mean they are capable of creating strategies around these platforms that will be effective for a business. Before hiring a “social media expert”, take some time to see the type of content they are currently posting from their own accounts. How engaged are their own customers? Do they have their own online following? It’s easy to talk the talk, but are they practicing what they preach?
Do a search for their name/business name on Twitter and Google. Check to see if anyone responds to their own Facebook Posts and whether their Twitter feed includes actual replies to other humans or just an automated stream of links. If the “expert’ hasn’t been able to build their own business or following using social media, then what chance have they of doing it for your business?
In summary, no different to any other service you seek out and pay for, check to see what the return on investment might be for you. Outsourcing your social networking may not be the best solution for your business. In many cases, you or your management/staff will have the skills to carry out many of the tasks once you have setup a strategy and established your goals.