Whenever I'm looking for social media marketing advice for small business, I realise that whoever originally said 'getting information off the internet is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant' was probably onto something. Between Google, Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook, there’s exactly way too much going on. And some of the best stuff is coming from brands and sources that are definitely not establishment. So, how to figure out what’s worth it and what’s not? My motto: When in Doubt, Geek Out. After reading more social media marketing advice for small business than I ever thought possible, here’s my own top 10 quality criteria:
1) Does it seem good? This is kind of a dumb thing to say, but we all have to start somewhere. If the advice-giver has grammar with integrity, isn’t sending me to sleep and the thing they’re talking about is relevant to what I'm doing, then that’s a strong start. Another key quality signal is when the post, podcast (or whatever) draws in information from other sources I know are legit.
2) Is the advice on-point? Does it clearly define and address an issue I'm experiencing with my socials? If not, buh-bye.
3) How practical is any advice? Am I sure about what I need to do to get results after finishing it?
4) Does the brand/company who published the information practice what they preach and are they open about it? Is the company successfully managing the thing they’re posting about in their own socials? As, like, the oldest person on Instagram, I personally believe that that people producing information about a topic should be able to demonstrate knowledge about it.
5) How good is their other stuff? When I’m feeling a bit unsure, I have a look at the company’s website and their other channels. I’m looking for consistent brand identity and checking if everything I can see is of high quality.
6) How sales-y is it? A brand who uses content marketing will likely be offering valuable information in order to attract genuine followers, which is usually what I want. A hard sell approach indicates that the point of the content is probably to get a sale, rather than to offer valuable information that might encourage readers/watchers/listeners to become customers later. The info might still be great, but it’s harder to know.
7) Do any of my friends or fave brands like or follow the brand? Has it got good reviews? I.e how good is its social validation? Social validation isn’t a complete reason to trust information, but it’s a positive sign.
8) Does the brand have experience with my type of business? Depending on the topic, it’s often worth looking to see what market the brand is targeting and where company expertise lies.
9) What services does the company focus on offering? If they do a mean hard sell when I need content marketing, or they assist with sales while Craft Media Workshop is a service provider, then their advice may not be for me. This depends though – if they’re writing on a topic that I need to know about, I just apply the checks above and if everything looks good, I read on.
10) Finally – and this is a big one – how genuinely passionate is the advice-giver about the topic, and social marketing in general? Geeks love learning about and staying on top of developments in their field and they usually understand these really well because of a genuine interest. This is something I always look for when I’m assessing social marketing information. Things change fast and someone keen to stay on top of the changes is exactly who I want to be hearing from.
So there you have it – 10 ways I assess the potential quality of online information on social marketing. Comments, queries, corrections? Hit me up in the comments.