If your company is hiring a consultant, marketing, advertising, or event planning company who claim they can “ramp up” your social media, PLEASE DO SOME RESEARCH FIRST!

If you can’t find them helping your same demographic on LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Facebook, raise a red flag! Companies who understand social media from a “profit from referrals” standpoint should be active on at least one social network where other businesses like themselves also spend time.

The online marketing industry is full of smart people, but there’s also a great deal of incompetence. Stay at home moms who manage Facebook pages, event planners who never tweet their events, and marketers who focus on sexy websites more than helping you bring in clients are everywhere. If you don’t do your homework, you may end up very disappointed… with a big fat marketing bill to pay.

Social media is about talking with people you do business with, and those whom you’d like to do business with. It’s not about fancy ads, contests, or coupons. Your company can run a Facebook advertising campaign that brings you 5000 new fans but if most of those fans are musicians in the UK and you are engineers, you aren’t getting anywhere.

There is no ROI in B2B social media because you can’t measure relationships with numbers.
The real return on social media is ROR – Return on Relationships.
What do you ultimately hope to gain from spending time with “business friends?”

If you don’t have great relationships with the people who pay your invoices, you could lose that business. If you don’t establish good relationships with those you want to do business with, you will unlikely get that business. Using social media helps your company manage all your “business friends,” just like it helps you manage and chat with all your personal friends. When you spend time with business friends, on or offline, you end up with happy clients and more referrals.

Think about what result you hope to gain by using social media before you become starry-eyed by cool campaigns designed by cool startup companies or new marketing grads with no real business experience. They must understand the relationships your company needs to nurture in order to grow.

Your business is your financial stability… along with many others counting on you to keep it that way. When you put someone with no business experience in charge of all the relationships that have to do with the financial growth and stability of your company, you risk losing your profit, and more.

And there’s nothing cool about that.