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Interviewer:     So there are lots of people out there who are saying they are social network marketers, how do you spot a scammer from a saint?

Interviewee:     I think as I say the thing you will find there are a lot of people who have some familiarity with social media in its various forms, I mean obviously we’ve had Facebook around for six seven years now, eight years whatever it is it’s been around.  Twitter has obviously been around for a reasonable time, platforms like Google+ are quite new, you tend to find that people who are enthusiastic about social media are not necessarily social media experts or specialists and in most parts I think the easy way to tell somebody that doesn’t really have a great deal of knowledge about it is they will certainly just use a spray and pray channel.  Big thing for a lot of people you know on Twitter, a massive, massive opportunity, you know anybody can pick up their phone, they can create an account, they can load their content up and they can start to communicate with the world.  The question is who are they aiming the messages at?  You know really the thing is Joe it’s all the same golden rules apply, it’s the right message to the right person at the right time, social media is just another marketing channel as with anything else, so the first question really you’re looking at is “Is there a plan? Is there a structure?” and also most importantly “Which channel are we going to use for what purpose?” because they are all slightly different and what people tend to do is they tend to either just focus on one and use that for everything, which is ok it is probably a good place to start or they use a whole mixture and they use all of those channels for everything rather than thinking more specifically and the audience within LinkedIn is going to be a very different audience to something like Twitter and the audience on Facebook is going to be very different to the audience on Google+ so the first question you need to be asking yourself is do you have a sense that the person who is advising you or supporting you, assisting you, do they have some clarity around which channels are going to be used for what purpose?

Interviewer:     Do you think, I’ve found I have spoken to quite a few people recently and I don’t get a sense that many of them have asked about my business goals so they say yeah they are looking at the outcome of putting output there which is obviously important but they haven’t necessarily asked the question what kind of stuff will they output.  I always worry that you could never actually outsource something like that and I am sure it is possible but I can’t see the way you can disconnect your core voice and knowledge how you can pass that over to somebody else to manage for you.

Interviewee:     I think there’s two ways that can be approached one is the most basic sense is that you simply engage or hire somebody who can assist you with the process of disseminating that information, still going to be down to you to write that, it is still going to be down to you to decide what’s produced at what point and remember social media again it kind of divides in to two camps there is your more reactive, instantaneous, inspirational moments where you have got something you want to share with your community and your tribe but then beneath that there should also be some sort of long term plan you know if you’re selling a particular type of product, you’re launching a new product, or you’re doing a new piece of work, or if you’re moving into a new industry, or a new sector, a new area, you need to have a plan and you want to be developing that and building that up over time you know I mean although Twitter is an instant medium it can be used to launch products over a number of weeks prior to that happening, you can build some sort of momentum behind it.  So on the one hand you have people that are useful in terms of just simply the mechanics of distributing that information and that is a great tool because it allows us to be able to sit down, write the information out, write the kind of information that we want to distribute and then hand that to the social media editorial planner who will then take that and distribute it for you.

The other side really is then looking at having a full on proper social media manager who is managing your whole social media campaign your structure and so on. That, in those kind of cases that’s somebody that really needs to understand your business.  The first thing I would suggest is look at, you know look at the other clients they are working with, find out who they are working for, yes you have got to consider this issue of about the potential conflict of interest if they are working for other competing clients that would run a similar business to your own but do they understand what your business is about and really the biggest thing of all is do they understand what the listener, the viewer, the reader, do they understand what they want?

Interviewer:     That makes a lot of sense.

Interviewee:     And you know the crucial thing of course is what’s topical because at the end of the day social media works well when it is relevant and topical.

Interviewer:     Thank you