I think so! I think it would have to go a step further to tie in with their current advertising they have set up but sure why not? Smaller businesses don't have the manpower or time to do this at all. You would have to really outline what you will do and what they will get in return.
The short answer is, Yes businesses will pay for a social media consultant (and hire full time!).
I'm currently working at a small fitness company that's growing very rapidly. The business is doing exceptionally well but they weren't well versed in terms of social media when I started. When I interviewed they had a Social Media Consultant. He left to start his own consulting company when I replaced him full time. Translation: consultants are expensive and I came in with a plan of attack so I was worth hiring full time. I'm fully dedicated and focused to all our social outlets and get paid well. It's also part of my job to keep up with the latest trends and methods used socially and my business partners don't have time for this.
The ROI is hard to measure with numbers but our fan base is growing rapidly, therefore, the word is spreading about our great products and communication efforts are with our followers/users. As a result, more people want to be part of a popular movement once they see/hear positive feedback. And it's positive from external sources (fans), not us tooting our own horns. Even better :-)
Absolutely especially by smaller companies! I agree w/ Lucy that since they don't know much about it they will want to know how soon and what to expect as far as results so be prepared for that honestly up front. The cool thing about smaller companies also is that you can excite them about the use of social media and maybe even expand into working w/ their website etc. There are many options. :)
A Google search reveals over nine million results for Social Media consultants. A recent article states that, "...every man, woman, and child with a Facebook page is a Social Media consultant." After some brief research, I've found that fees for SM consultancy can range from $25.00 up to $500.00 per hour. While most who are active in the venue agree that it is highly time consumptive/intensive, it can be a rewarding and challenging choice of vocation.
Definitely especially for total social media solutions to make a client feel that the entire social media function is covered however, that might put you "on call" or out there for being on the web all the time but if some scheduled services are agreed upon, I can see it being a needed service.
When I talk with businesses about the kind of work I do, I often hear the following two questions:
“With so many free resources available, why would anyone pay for your services?”
“What is the ROI on Social Media activities and why would I want to change from traditional media?”
Here are my answers:
1. Time is money. Businesses that are dependent on competent (but social media ineffective) executives for their profitability are desperate for specific and dedicated guidance on how and where social media can drive revenue acceleration, organizational efficiency, risk reduction, and essential satisfaction.
2. Social Media is messy, uncontrolled, unorganized, but evolving. There’s no shortage of social media “gurus”. As a practitioner of this specialty for more than 6 years, I’m never viewed as a luxury; the ROI for my services is easy to justify. Companies want and need someone who has extensive experience and expertise to guide them through what works and what doesn’t. Clients tell me after the initial meeting; “I never thought of it that way” and “I didn’t know we could use it that way”. I set expectations and deliver results.
3. Being able to read minds (from a distance). What differentiates social media from traditional media is the content. In social media, content is generated by users. I’m continuously finding new ways to listen to my clients. I’ve been working from a solid foundation of evaluation and effective practice (I’ve been developing my expertise with over 6 years of proven results). My experience and expertise give me the tools to establish new channels of communication that benefit the bottom line and rapidly form a strong collaborative alliance to develop fresh insights. As a result, I have developed a unique expertise in lead generation that monetizes social media – a valuable skill with any client.
4. Businesses can use social media for marketing, public relations, broadcasting important information to the public, learning more about what the public thinks about them, and many other uses. With a new professional joining LinkedIn every second of every day, social networks can deliver results with a minimum amount of financial investment. What businesses need to do is invest the time on different social networks so that they can build stronger relationships with the people they are communicating with. Businesses need to learn to maximize the uses of the social media and tailor-fit their plans for social media to meet their needs for the services. Social networks are just there to be used and it is up to the business to take full advantage of these communication channels.
5. My mission is to leverage social media networks for you to build more effective relationships with your customers, co-workers and shareholders. With a unique blend of experiences and more than 6 years of using social media tools to build my own customer base, I’m able to deliver targeted audiences and well qualified opportunities - ROI. I find it satisfying to help others experience similar success.