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Putting the social media cart before the horse

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I’ve noticed an increase in the number of prospective clients talking to me about how they need to take a more grown-up approach to their use of social media. They tell me they know they’ve not been very good at using it and need to get a proper structure and strategy in place that is better aligned to their business and communications objectives. We have some discussions about how I could help them and talk about what it might cost. Yet, all too often, after some deliberation they declare that they’ve decided to find someone to help them with implementation, at a fraction of my cost (albeit not a massive one).

Maybe I’m biased, but to me this is false economy. Sure, if you have invested in developing a strategy/plan and a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve with social media, it makes absolutely no sense to hire a senior consultant to execute that strategy. But equally, if you’ve already identified that you need to create or refine these, then you are going to be sorely disappointed spending £3k a month on someone “doing” social media without actually knowing what they’re supposed to be “doing” or why.

But don’t worry. In the words of the social media ‘guru’ in the cartoon, I’m sure you’ll “figure it out later”…