If your company is hiring a consultant, marketing, advertising, or event planning company who claim they can “ramp up” your social media, CHECK THEIR SOCIAL NETWORKS FIRST!

If you can’t find them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, that’s a red flag! Companies who understand how social media works from a profit standpoint should be active in the top 3 social networks for business.

If they are excited to introduce you to Instagram and Snapchat…. think about where you really want to be chatting it up with your highest paying clients. Just because a bunch of people are there does NOT mean they want to be talking with your company while they are there.

Unfortunately, the online marketing industry is full of incompetence. Stay at home moms who manage Facebook pages, event planners who don’t tweet, and marketers who focus on website traffic more than helping you get more paying clients… it’s terrible. If you don’t do your homework, you could end up very disappointed with a big fat bill to pay.

Social media is about talking with people you do business with, and whom you’d like to do business with. It’s not about games or contests or coupons or apps. Don’t be deceived by companies and consultants who promise more fans and “cool” social media campaigns.

You can run a super “cool” campaign that ends up bringing your company 5000 new fans. But what if most of those fans are musicians in the UK and you are an engineering firm (we see this all the time!)? How does that help your company make a profit?

There is no ROI in B2B social media because good relationships cannot be measured by numbers.

The real return is ROR – Return on Relationships.

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 those relationships more effectively so you end up with happy clients and more referrals.

What’s “cool” about ROR? Paying clients. Having someone who can have a business conversation online with your highest paying clients is what elevates your company’s influence.

Telling people to “check out your website” does nothing to elevate your influence. Trying to force people at a B2B event to participate in an Instagram contest when they are there to talk to clients and prospects only irritates them. But marketers will bring you numbers, which are irrelevant if you’ve pissed off your clients!

Think about what result you hope to gain by using social media before you become starry-eyed by a “cool” campaign designed by a “cool” startup company or a new marketing graduate with no business experience.

Hiring an in-house social media manager? Same rules apply. They must understand the relationships your company needs to have in order to help your company grow.

Managing social media seems so easy – we all use it in our personal lives so it can’t be that difficult to manage for business, right? Wrong.

Your business is your money. And when you put someone with no business experience in charge of all the relationships that have to do with your money, you risk losing that money.

There’s nothing “cool” about that.