I read an interesting dual post from Todd Defren and Paula Drum offering some top tips for social media marketers.  I won’t go through all of the points but the text that really stuck out to me was this:

“Your agency needs to walk the walk – I hate paying an agency to learn on my dime. When we started three years ago, social media was so new and changing so rapidly that we were all learning together. Today there are many different agencies that are building expertise in social media including public relations firms, interactive agencies and newly formed agencies focusing on social media. As you select an agency partner make sure that they don’t just talk the talk but also walk the walk. Are they active in social media? Does the agency blog or twitter? Judge the agency not solely on their pitch, but also on their actions.”

I think this is brilliant advice. There are lots of good agencies and consultancies out there doing some great work in social media. I am sure there are some which aren’t very good too. So the million dollar question is how do you find the good companies if you don’t know this new and developing area very well?

Here are my top ten tips for finding a good social media company:

  1. Does this individual or consultancy have a blog? If yes read the posts to get a feel for their breadth of knowledge. Does it get comments?
  2. Does this consultancy have a Twitter stream and are its individuals on Twitter? Do many people follow them?
  3. Does it have a dedicated YouTube channel?
  4. Do any of its current clients stand out at you?
  5. Does it have any case studies demonstrating the usage of social media?
  6. Do you recognise (or have heard of) any of its senior team members?
  7. Is its newsroom or website social? For instance, can you share posts, comment or bookmark things etc?
  8. Are they on Linked in? Or Xing?
  9. How long has the company or individual been active in the social media space?
  10. Ask other social media users for their advice – we can be a friendly bunch you know.

This is certainly not a definitive list but if you search around and do your research you will soon be able to tell which companies are both talking the talk and walking the walk.

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.