20 Tips for Avoiding an Untrustworthy Social Media Content Provider

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Social media marketing is one of the most effective tools for connecting directly with your audience. B2B and B2C companies can benefit from effective social media content, but one of the biggest challenges for many companies is finding the time and expertise internally to get it done.

That’s where a social media content provider comes in. These companies can provide valuable help, especially if you have a small marketing team or limited resources. However, it’s critical that you find the right social media content partner who can provide high-quality content that helps you achieve your goals. Unfortunately, not every social media content provider is a good one, so here are 20 tips to help you spot an untrustworthy partner.

1. They post duplicated content.

Search engines and algorithms prefer original content and may actually punish your social media page and rankings if you use a content provider who posts the same content on several different pages or platforms.

2. They create low quality content.

A problematic social media content provider is one that doesn’t care about the quality of the content they offer. If there are clear misspellings, grammatical mistakes or just poorly written copy, look elsewhere.

3. The content is not relevant to your audience.

The right social media content partner will care about your target audience. They should request information about your target audience and goals so they can create engaging and relevant content.

4. They don’t request information about your brand, voice or tone.

It takes time and effort to build a brand. When it’s done correctly, the information you put online (through your website and social media channels) will reflect your tone and voice. Your content partner should be interested in the voice you have created and be capable of producing social media content that reflects it.

5. They don’t have metrics for measuring success.

One of the benefits of using social media and other digital platforms is the ability to track and measure success in terms of engagement and outcomes. If your social media content writer doesn’t seem interested in outcomes, look for another provider that wants to help you achieve success.

6. They don’t provide regular reports.

You will only know if your content is performing well through reports, so make sure you can get regular updates on how well the content is performing. Then, identify how you can provide feedback if it’s not achieving your goals.

7. They focus on the wrong outcomes or metrics.

Your social media content provider may have some ideas and can provide suggestions on what metrics to measure. However, they should ultimately defer to you and your team on what you most want to track based on your goals.

8. They focus exclusively on growing followers or generating likes.

Some social media companies believe that the only metrics that matter are total followers or high volumes of “likes” on your posts. While it’s great to grow your audience and encourage engagement, it’s also important to have a plan for what you will do when you get that large following. If the goal is a never ending pursuit of more followers, it might not be the right strategy.

9. They don’t discuss their tactics for getting new followers or post engagement.

An untrustworthy social media content provider won’t discuss their tactics with you. Some companies may have proprietary information about their tactics and prefer not to share all the details, but they should be willing to explain it in basic terms.

10. They make unrealistic promises.

As the old saying goes, something that sounds too good to be true probably is. That applies to your social media content partner too. If a sales pitch promises sky-high rankings or makes specific guarantees about reaching the number one spot on Google, that is usually a red flag. Companies that play by the rules can usually promise measurable results but not a guaranteed spot in search engine rankings.

11. They won’t let you see the analytics behind their positive reports.

Analytics reports are a complex web of numbers and information. The right social media content provider will help you understand the numbers and how they are achieving those great results. If they are hiding something, it’s probably because they’re presenting misleading metrics that show things in a positive (but inaccurate) light.

12. They only offer limited content services.

Content is a broad term, and the right social media content partner will be able to fulfill a wide variety of content needs. If your partner only provides a single service, consider looking elsewhere for someone who has more experience and expertise.

13. They use outdated strategies.

Like much of our world, digital media is rapidly changing. It’s important for your content marketing partner to change with the times. If they still use strategies that you learned about several years ago and are slow to adapt to changes, it’s time to move on.

14. They want you to sign long-term contracts right away.

Your content marketing partner must be the right fit for you. They should understand that concept and not try to force you to sign a long-term contract until you both know it’s going to work out.

15. They promise “proprietary” services or software for a premium price but won’t share any details.

Be cautious of any content provider who tells you they have some super-secret formula or software that is worth paying a premium price. If it’s proprietary, they probably won’t share any details with you, which makes it hard for you to verify whether it’s worthwhile.

16. They don’t want to take your calls (or your feedback).

Every content relationship should have some give and take. While you want to trust that your content provider will give you great content all the time, sometimes you will need to offer constructive feedback to make it better. If they’re unwilling to listen, move on to a new partner.

17. They send content clearly not written by a native language speaker.

Getting content from someone who speaks the native language of your audience will be more authentic and can help you connect with people. Work with content marketing companies that have native-language writers for the best results.

18. They make a lot of promises and never seem to deliver.

Sometimes a company just can’t deliver on what they promised, and it’s your brand that will suffer. If your social media content provider never seems to be able to get the results they promised, they may not have been truthful in their sales pitch.

19. They miss deadlines or can’t keep up with your needs.

It’s critical to have a partner that can deliver what you need on time and on budget. If they can’t, you can’t trust them to help you build your brand.

20. There is no clear strategy behind what they are doing.

Content strategy is almost as important as the quality of the content itself. Make sure you’re working with a company that understands the importance of a good social media strategy and can provide relevant content to get the results you need.

The bottom line

Your social media content is a critical aspect of your overall content strategy. It’s important to find the right social media content provider to help you achieve your goals and build your brand.