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A Social Media Consultant is almost a necessity if you have any kind of online presence at all. As a small or medium-sized business, it’s vital to tap into this extremely powerful medium. Joining online conversations not only indirectly promotes your brand but also keeps you in touch with what your competitors are doing, what's happening in your industry and who else is out there performing in your areas of expertise.

Statistics state that about 98% of people do some research online first before they buy a product or service. In the new millennium, it seems launching an outbound social media strategy and incoming social media monitoring system is the best way to keep abreast on what people are saying about your company, your competitors, and industry trends. Hiring a social media marketing consultant is an ideal way of starting off a full-fledged social media marketing plan.

A professional social media marketing consultant can help you find ways of representing your company through social media in a positive and authentic way so; you can build up your business's credibility and establish yourself as an expert. The consultant can help you determine how to best showcase your business and immediately link to customers and prospects quickly. A consultant can also show you how to neutralize any negative comments posted by your customers or your competitors. They can show you how to delve into conversations positively and emerge in a way that responds to complaints courteously and effectively.

When done right, using social media networking sites can help you better understand your current customer needs, increase your company's visibility and generate leads. The downside is that it takes a lot of time and energy to stay hooked into all of the social media sites. Your social media marketing consultant can help you find appropriate external sources to help you create content for multiple venues.

Some content you will need to have created for your social media sites are blog posts, both for your own blog and for guest blog posts, Twitter notices, Facebook page updates, a LinkedIn profile, press releases and promotional eBooks. Your consultant can also give you solutions to handle the monitoring of your followers and their various comments and how to manage your responses and replies to them.

Your social media marketing consultant will also show you how to scan your Twitter followers for conversations that may be advantageous to your business and to check in on your RSS reader subscriptions for any relevant articles and inspirational ideas. Your consultant will tell you how to use Google Alerts and how to create and monitor a community and topics on site such as LinkedIn.

The benefits of good social media management can be difficult to measure in the short term. Additionally, you still must continue your other online and offline marketing activities. You'll almost certainly have a website to maintain, SEO marketing to perform, email campaigns to conduct and contact and sales management. Social media is something you do in addition to all the other marketing strategies you perform. A social media marketing consultant can help you keep it all going strong.

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