I get asked a lot how one should choose a social media coach or consultant and my answer is always the same. Talk to their clients and look at their own social presence online. It’s not about how many followers they have–or their promises to get you thousands of followers–but whether they can show you the ropes and teach you how to engage your own followers and create a presence that attracts like minds. In my opinion it’s the job of a good coach to teach and then watch their student excel on their own. If all you hear about are their scores and their number of followers on 100 social networks, beware. Getting good scores may be all they’re good at.
I know there are lots of people out there who disagree with me on this. Those are likely the people who put their Klout score and their Hubspot ranking on their home page and only talk to other people whose Klout score is higher than theirs. I’m not trashing Klout or Hubspot here, I like them, and I think the scores give an idea of how somebody is doing based on their systems. In fact, Radian6, who I respect very much, is working with Klout as well as some other tools like OpenAmplify and OpenCalias to get a better rounded picture of what the relationships are and the value of those relationships.
BRAVO! The Radian6 dashboard is going to knock the socks off the competition with this. They’re not taking one score as gospel, they’re using several in an aggregate form to gather information about individuals. That, coupled with being able to see the individuals social presences and conversations will give you a much better idea of who they are and if they are interesting to you.
Here’s the thing, you can’t just take the numbers and call it a day. A very good friend and businesswoman once told me “I judge people by their actions and not what they say” and that holds as true in business transactions as it does in social media. It doesn’t matter what your score is on any one resource. What matters is whether people listen to you, want to hire you and are happy when the job is done.
The second thing you need to look at is how you personally feel about the individual(s) you’ll be working with. Do they make you feel like you’ve walked onto a used car lot and you’re gonna end up with a Gremlin? Or do they listen to your needs and then offer to help you craft a solution that’s right for you? If you don’t feel comfortable with the relationship now, trust me, it’s going downhill from here. Move on, there’s more of us out there, you’ll find someone who is a good fit with the way you work and your goals.