The blog post here discusses on How to become a social media consultant and a brief approach to raise a social media consulting business. Individuals who are looking for self-employment or low investment business opportunity may take-up the profession of Consultant – Social Media. This blog post is intended to benefit all such aspirants.
1.0 Social Media (SM) – The definition and beyond:
The dictionary definition of ‘social’ is: “A party of people assembled to promote sociability and communal activities”. However, today the meaning has evolved to be more comprehensive extending its borders to online communities who are gathered to build personal, social, business and intellectual relationships.
Social Media in today’s parlance refers to connecting, managing and promoting online relationships for several purposes like business promotion, profile enhancement, professional networking, knowledge acquisition and more. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube like applications are the major platforms that connect online users. Social Media constitutes (a) sharing of content, (b) exchanging opinions, (c) discussing experiences, (d) reflecting on thoughts and insights, (e) facilitating conversations and interactions through various online tools by online users.
Social Media has evolved to be the biggest suit of tools for businesses to promote their online presence, complement business ROI measures, engage with customers, monitor customer relationship management, and elicit the perceptions of people about a company’s offerings.
Any common man or individual online user can directly address any legitimate concern to any global personality or global company using social media channels. Social Media channels have evolved to be the digital interactive news papers managed by multitude of online users.
Owing to its vast usage across the globe many big enterprises are spending significant ad budgets on social media marketing. There is a gradual increase in the adoption of social media by Indian netizens for social initiatives, political movements, personal branding, and corporate growth. Smart Phone entry has compounded the usage of social media on the move.
2.0 Increasing opportunities for Social Media strategy consultants, Why & How?
(i) Many business enterprises are still a novice in maintaining their Social Media profile. This is especially true in respect of SMEs who are just entering into Social Media based marketing and promotion.
(ii) The learned enterprises are yet to designate a full fledged Social Media wing.
(iii) Going for a full fledged Social Media wing involves considerable exercise and exclusive focus. The situation calls for specialized social media consultants.
(iv) An expert Social Media consultant can compliment PR, CRM, Corporate strategy and online branding efforts and give fillip to business growth.
(v) An exclusive Social Media consultant would optimally position the company’s objectives on a consistent basis with supported result analysis. This kind of consistency would not be possible with a company’s own team.
(vi) An exclusive Social Media consultant would know the right tools, timings, cultures and tactics to commission the Social Media strategy in a better way.
3.0 What kind of services a Social Media Consulting firm can offer?
3.1 Social Media Strategy development
3.2 Social Media Strategy implementation & management using several social media tools
3.3 Social Media Strategy Training to individuals, and Corporates
3.4 Social Media Content Development
3.5 Social Media Profile Creation
3.6 Social Media – Blog Development & Management Training
4.0 Who can start a Social Media consulting company?
(i) An internet savvy and English literate who has passion to engage in self-employment.
(ii) Individual consultants, housewives, PR consultants and Ad agencies.
5.0 The pros and cons of raising a Social Media consulting firm:
i. Social Media Consulting can be started with a very modest investment.
ii. Social Media Consultant can immediately gather clients through personal network.
iii. Social Media Consultant can draw client base from several business sectors and global locations. Some of the business sectors relevant could be:
- Corporate sector
- Media and entertainment sector
- Travel and tourism sector
- Hospitality sector
- Educational sector
- Realty sector
iv. One satisfied client can help in aggregation of more clients as the results and benefits of consulting services to the client would be transparent and to an extent publicly viewable.
vi. Social Media Consulting is a right opportunity for home based business
i. Social Media consultant should have stringent content filtering practices to safeguard client interest, stakeholder aspirations, and to reach target audience in a more meaningful and benefit driven manner. A single inappropriate tweet communication can bring a potential damage or potential benefit to the initiator.
ii. Social Media consultant should be diligent and meticulous to operate clients’ portfolio. He must be more context sensitive and dynamic than a stereotyped service provider.
6.0 Required expertise to operate Social Media Consulting
6.1 Internet surfing and research
6.2 English drafting skills
6.3 English grammar and composition skills
6.4 Attention to details and knowledge about Intellectual Property rights and violations
6.5 Ability to converse, and befriend
6.6 Ability to create and sustain online relationship
7.0 Important Social Media tools
8.0 How to use Social Media platform for your client.
8.1 To create and maintain public relations.
8.2 To market service offerings.
8.3 To create, maintain, and develop online presence as a part of company’s digital presence & online branding strategy.
8.4 To conduct survey and research on stakeholder behavior, market trends, developments related to any given business sector.
8.5 To share developments, achievements, knowledge resources, launch of service offerings, resources that would benefit stakeholders.
8.6 To learn current happenings, market movements, stakeholder aspirations, technology trends, global markets, intellectual insights on a given issue and many such.
8.7 To reach offline branding to online customers.
8.8 To create, co-create, enhance, and derive value on numerous related issues of business importance and enhance business leaders’ profile.
8.9 To create, develop and maintain business networking.
8.10 To network with people, entities of sectoral interest
8.11 To network with any and all stakeholders in the business chain and / or individual scope.
8.12 To participate, advocate or initiate social initiative projects.
9.0 Social Media – for whom
- Small businesses
- Spiritual personalities
10.0 Social Media – The benefits
10.1 Customer Relationship Monitoring
10.2 Identity development
10.3 Market and business development
10.4 Lead generation
10.5 Outsourcing of services
10.6 Sale campaign
10.7 Product launch
10.9 Page3 purpose – Image management, reputation management, event launch
10.11 Global reach
10.12 Survey & Research
11.0 Steps in setting up Social Media Consulting entity
11.1 Incorporate company or consulting entity
11.2 Acquire an Internet domain for your business entity
11.3 Develop web content
11.4 Host website
11.5 Create official blog
11.6 Create SM profiles
11.7 Go for SEO
11.8 Create SM positioning plan for your entity, regularly engage on SM channels and establish reputation
11.9 Study print and digital media for prospective client data and trends
11.10 Compile customer data
11.11 Approach prospective clients
11.12 Acquire first client
11.13 Work vigorously
11.14 Show case results
11.15 Start approaching other prospects
12.0 Starting point for the First Client
(i) Study client’s offline and online presence.
(ii) Discuss the very purpose and objective of social media campaign with senior and middle management of the client.
(iii) Design social media strategy and obtain approval for strategy deployment and tool usage.
(iv) Deploy approved strategy.
(v) Connect with past, present and future customers and other relevant stakeholders.
(vi) Grow network of followers and subscribers and engage in regular interactions.
13.0 What should be the strategic business goals or performance metrics
- Should get more sales leads
- Should find increase of customer base
- Should achieve over all business growth
- Should earn extended reputation and brand identity
14.0 What should be done on Social Media channels for a client – Activity examples
- News, Trends & Analysis
- Idea sharing
- Tool / Application sharing
- Community and group engagement
- Participation in Polls and Q&A
- Facilitate downloads / links and other online resources
- Sponsor / Advertise online
- Create Company’s own platform (Support / Knowledge sharing / Developments / Research / Community Participation)
- Develop and deploy videos related to company, team, and stakeholders
- Organize events
- Organize talent shows / competitions / family gatherings
- Encourage family participation
- Involve celebrities / sponsor opportunities
15.0 What is the suggested setup for Social Media Consulting entity?
- PC Workstation environment
- Graphic studio (optional)
- Unlimited Internet access at least 5 MBPS
- Team members who can meet job requirements (Graphic designer, Copy Writer, Internet Researcher and Data Analyst)
14.0 Social Media Strategy Services – suggested pricing model
- One time payment for SM strategy development.
- Monthly subscription for approved strategy management.
- Service based pricing.
14.1 The tariff should indicate the relevant scope of work. For example:
- Creating & managing up to 2 SM profiles
- No. of social media channels being used
- Creating and managing blog
- Report submission – fortnightly & monthly as drawn from Google Analytics or similar tools
15.0 The last but most important step – Train your team
It is essential that the team of Social Media Consulting firm undergo sufficient training in the offered service portfolio before getting into the market. The objective of training should be:
- Knowledge of services offered and relevant tools.
- Strategy to position service offerings and company’s profile.
- Ways and means in conducting client end process due diligence.
- Approach and procedures developing appropriate strategies for the client.
- Development of digital content.
- Any other relevant inputs.
16.0 Hope you have some understanding now on How to become a social media consultant?
What can fail you in your mission?
- Vague understanding on the campaign objective
- Superficial approaches
- Process deficiencies
- Poor, inappropriate or hurried communication
- In appropriate or bad strategies
- Working with wrong tools or focusing on wrong audience
- Under-performing team
There is so much to talk further. All that would be redundant at the moment. If you still would like to have further inputs on this you may please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our expert team member can help you in shaping up your objectives.
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