“In most cases, you would benefit most from establishing a presence on Facebook as well as an integrated Twitter feed that sent out regular product/news updates to followers.
The two platforms I mentioned are ideal because they give you great ways to turn followers into evangelists for your brand. Down the road, you can also do things like offer incentives/discounts to followers, etc. Some of the most well-known companies like Dell and Zappos, who’ve both come to be cited extensively for their social media presence, take these approaches.
Finally, no matter what approach you take, focus on informing as much or more than selling.”
Cyrus Afzali – President, Astoria Communications
“Here are the five questions you should ask:
1. How much experience with social media have you and your agency had?
You want to know if they attended a couple of webinars, maybe have a Facebook page and Tweet and now think they are an expert. That does not make them an expert, not by a long shot. Ask to see their blogs, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn usage, Facebook pages, and YouTube usage. This shows they are experienced users. Ask if they use Digg, Plaxo and other sites.
You want to know where they learned social media and how much they actually do. Ask for the names of clients for which they have run successful campaigns. Does anyone read their blogs?
2. How do you view social media – as a tactic, a strategy, or an entire new way of marketing?
The answer is the last one. Social media is not a one-off. It requires a commitment of time and resources. I would argue that it is more effective than traditional marketing, but it takes knowledge to do it right.
3. How do you integrate traditional marketing and public relations efforts with social media?
Traditional methods definitely still have a place. Often there is a melding of the old and the new. Many journalists now use Twitter for instance. You need to make sure that traditional methods are not neglected.
4. Who handles social media in your agency?
You want to know the senior people are committed to social media. You don’t want to find yourself working with junior assistant account executive who got the assignment because he or she has a Facebook page.
5. How do you measure ROI for social media?
There is no one method to do it. Personally, I believe it can be measured by increased website traffic and sales, but there are other ways. Make sure the agency has a method for measuring ROI.
What distinguishes one agency from another is how long they have been using social media, their level of commitment to it and how successful they have been.” –
Jeff Cole Social Media Expert – Owner, JJC Communications LLC