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Thinking of hiring a social media strategist? Sounds like a great way to jump on the social media bandwagon, and bring in a massive number of new clients, right? But before you take the first step towards hiring someone, consider these 3 things first.

1. Think about your expectations.
What do you hope to accomplish through social media? Do you want to expand your brand awareness? Do you want to attract new clients? If so, how many per week? Per month?

Social media is a brand new way to market your business; so new in fact that its hard to quantify the results yet. You can quickly find someone who says they have a new client thanks to Twitter, or sold $1000 worth of product on Facebook, but these are short term statistics. There is nothing that says these results are achievable over and over again.

A good social media strategist won’t make guarantees about performance; instead you’ll discover options on how to lead your industry with a new way of reaching out to clients and prospects. You have to be willing to try something new, and expand based on what you learn along the way.

2. Define what you are willing to do.
Do you want your office manager to learn how to communicate on Facebook? Will you be hiring a marketing person to take over social media marketing roles? Will you be tweeting on Twitter yourself every day?

While the great thing about social media right now is most of its free to use, there is still a cost of using it. If you spend 2 hours per day, at an average of $15 per hour, that quickly adds up to $600 or more per month in cost just to stay active. If you can outsource an effective social media campaign out to a social media strategist for $400 a month, you can quickly see the benefits of hiring someone for their knowledge base.

A good social media strategist will give you a variety of options: what can you do, and what do you want to outsource? What would you like to be trained on, and what can someone else do more effectively? Remember, things change often in this world. Learning some of the skills along the way will make you that much more knowledgeable about future technologies.

3. Set goals and deadlines.
While social media isn’t a get rich quick marketing strategy, you do have to watch out and make sure you are doing things that will bring in results. Keep in mind that for many social sites, it may take you months to develop a following strong enough to see results, you should still have a goal for what you accomplish along the way.

  • 10 new friends per day
  • 1 sale per month
  • Traffic increase of 5 percent per month

What happens if you meet your goals with no results? What happens if you don’t meet your goals? Reassess along the way. If your traffic has gone up considerably over six months, and you’re beginning to see comments and have interaction with followers, don’t stop at the deadline date. If you feel there is potential, move your deadline back a bit, and keep trying.

A good social media strategist will help you establish feasible goals and objectives. They will help create a plan that allows you to see results along the way. And they’ll also be able to show you growth and potential for the future, keeping in mind your marketing goals for your company’s growth.

Remember social media is new, but it is here to stay. Old marketing methods are dead or dying, and new marketing strategies are taking their place. By learning new tools today, you’ll increase your potential down the road.