Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What exactly does "social media" mean?
A: "Social media" is a generic term used to refer to a wide range of web-based tools that businesses, individuals, and nonprofits can use to engage in two-way conversations with their audience.
Q: What are your qualifications to work as a social media strategist?
A: I've been an avid social media user for over 5 years - I know how to connect with people and grow a brand using social media channels. Having worked as an actuary in Corporate America for 17 years and served on regional management teams, I also know how to create realistic, cost-effective solutions for business problems. That combination of experience is hard to find and gives me an edge on my competitors.
Q: What can getting involved with social media do for my business?
A: The primary goal of social media communications is to strengthen bonds with your existing audience and create those bonds with your target audience. Many businesses miss the point of social media entirely and treat social media channels like online billboards instead of treating them as open forums for communicating with people interested in their business. Businesses that recognize the value of this opportunity and execute successful social media campaigns will increase the visibility of their brands, strengthen the bonds with their audiences, and grow their number of qualified leads.
Q: How much does it cost to hire you?
A: My rates and policies are outlined on the Pricing tab
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: I started Sherpa Social Media in October of 2010, and I've been using social media heavily to market my own businesses since 2007.
Q: How did you get started in social media?
A: I first started using social media tools to promote my fantasy baseball website
in 2007. In 2008 I added a fantasy football website
and did the same. Using primarily Facebook
, and LinkedIn
, I was able to parlay the resulting exposure into blogging opportunities with The Huffington Post
. People began asking me how they could use social media to their advantage, and I eventually launched Sherpa Social Media.
Q: How do you work with clients?
A: Please refer to the "How We Work" tab
Q: What social media tools do you use?
A: I focus primarily on LinkedIn, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, but if your campaign requires other tools (e.g. - YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, local directories), I can help you with those as well.
Q: What industries have you worked with before?
A: The list includes commercial real estate, fantasy sports, authors, attorneys, and entertainers. I work with corporations, entrepreneurs, individuals, and nonprofits.
Q: Do I have to use a lot of social media channels to have a successful campaign?
A: No. While using more channels obviously gives people more ways to find you, your message and call-to-action are far more important. if people don't find your social media content interesting and engaging, having it available on more channels won't help.
Q: How much time do I need to spend on social media?
A: The more time, the better, but again, the quality of your interactions with your audience is more important than the quantity. Generally, I tell people that if they can't find an average of 15 minutes a day to devote to social media marketing, they're highly unlikely to have a successful campaign. Social media is just another means of marketing yourself, and every successful business finds the time to market itself.
Q: How long will it take for me to start seeing the results of a social media campaign?
A: If you've had a social media campaign in place for 3-6 months and haven't yet noticed an impact, chances are good that the campaign needs to be modified in some way. Of course, your results will depend both on the amount of time and energy you devote to it as well as your specific industry.
Q: What kind of Return on Investment (ROI) can I expect from my social media efforts?
A: Businesses should look at the amount of revenue or number of qualified leads generated by their social media marketing activities over a finite period of time - admittedly, this can be a challenge to measure. Nonprofits should also measure the increase in donations following the launch of their campaign. Increases in web traffic, followers, fans, likes, and page views are commonly-used metrics, and they can be good leading indicators, but they all fall short because they won't necessarily produce the results that would justify your investment.
Q: Can you guarantee me that my social media campaign will succeed?
A: No, of course not - not any more than the results of any other form of marketing or advertising can be guaranteed. However, I will
guarantee you that I'll ask a lot of questions about both you and your business, then listen carefully to your answers before I even start
to create a campaign. This approach to addressing your challenges will give your campaign the greatest chance of succeeding, however we agree to measure that success.
Q: Can I keep my personal and professional lives separate on social media?
A: Most definitely. If this is the primary factor holding you back from using social media to promote your business, please talk to me - you're in for a pleasant surprise.
Q: What's your niche?
A: I'm currently targeting
- Attorneys (real estate, personal injury, business, divorce, trusts & estates)
- Fantasy sports websites
- Musicians with at least 3 albums
- Nonprofit organizations
- Property/casualty insurance brokers
- Real estate brokers (residential or commercial)
- Sports teams
- Note: I particularly enjoy working with those who didn't grow up using the Internet, but still appreciate the marketing potential of social media tools
I'm also seeking to meet the following potential referral partners and/or collaborators:
- Business attorneys
- Business bankers
Public relations firms
Q: Am I too old to learn to use social media?
A: No, absolutely not! Age is far less important than your willingness to keep an open mind re: the potential for social media marketing to help your business.
Q: Is it too late for my business to get started with social media?
A: Again, absolutely not! While many businesses, perhaps including your competitors, are already using social media, few have mastered the art of engaging in two-way conversations with their audience. Besides, with new social media sites sprouting up all the time, both the available tools and the best practices for social media are changing constantly.
Q: I have someone on my staff who's a whiz with Facebook - can't I just have them handle social media for our company?
A: That depends entirely on their experience level in you industry and their knowledge of your target audience. Generally, the more experience someone has at your company and in your industry, the more likely it is that they'll be an effective ambassador for your business on social media.
Q: Can you make me a viral video as part of my social media campaign?
A: No one can guarantee that the video they make for you will "go viral"; if anyone tells you they can, run in the opposite direction as quickly as you can. While most viral videos contain at least one of several common traits (e.g. - a toddler or an animal doing something "cute"), it's almost impossible to predict how the public at large will respond to any particular video. You'll be far better off focusing on coming up with creative ways to connect with your audience.
Q: Are you available for interviews, speaking engagements, panels, and guest blogging opportunities?
A: Yes, I'd be happy to participate in any of those activities.
Q: How do I get in touch with you?
A: Please refer to my contact information shown on the "Contact Us" tab