Ever tried to find an agency to handle your social media efforts? How about a vendor to provide some sort of social media service like social media monitoring or blogger outreach? Perhaps you’ve looked around for a qualified social media marketing consultant? Now there’s a website and service to help you find them.

Invest In Social launched last week. It bills itself as the social media company directory. It’s a free search engine and listing service and allows agencies, consultants or vendors to post a public profile for site users to consider when shopping around for services. Users can easily find information about the company or consultant listed, including strengths, links to social profiles, typical client size, revenue and even suggested budget. All the data is supplied by the company or consultant.

Invest In Social - Social Media DirectoryIf you’re looking for a consultant with Fortune 500 experience, focused on long-term strategy including operations and with the ability to conduct training, you enter a few keywords and someone like Matt Ridings pops up. Need a comment moderation service? Enter the keywords and scan the vendors and you’ll see a list of tools, like Shoutlet, that list “moderation” as an offering.

The search mechanism prioritizes companies on the completeness of their profile. If the completeness percentage is tied, the order displayed is random, according to founder Jason Keath (he of Social Fresh and a consultant in his own right). Invest in Social is listed as a Social Fresh property.

What I like about Invest in Social is that it appears to offer a level playing field, not just for vendors and consultants, but for users. A small business owner looking for training wants to find qualified sources but Google searches aren’t always the most relevant to that person at that time if they don’t know what to search for. Invest in Social presents the information in a seemingly fair way.

What concerns me about Invest in Social is that while randomness as a factor in the algorithm levels the playing field, it doesn’t help the user choose the vendor. Adding ratings and reviews is a baby step that could help. Creating some sort of quality index or scoring system to make the cream of the crop stand out would make it powerful, yet open the site to algorithmic gaming. And I’m not sure Keath, or anyone in their right mind, wants to fool with battling that every day.

On category pages, the site also lists “Featured” consultants, agencies or vendors. My assumption is those are random, but at what point does a company offer enough money to not be? I trust Keath, but that area opens up a potential revenue stream that could get more and more valuable the more popular the site becomes.

But I do think this service is extremely useful and a must-do item for any agency, consultant or vendor in the social media space. Get listed. It can’t hurt and may lead to business as the site grows and more people know the resource exists.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/racepointgroup Ginger Lennon

    Very interesting — thanks for the heads up on this Jason!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You're welcome. I try to be useful. Heh.

  • http://twitter.com/racepointgroup Ginger Lennon

    Very interesting — thanks for the heads up on this Jason!

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Thanks for the fair review Falls.

    We do in fact plan to monetize the featured section. It is randomized right now according to whatever pool of companies we add into the featured bucket, which is everyone for now. In the future we will sell sponsored listing at the top of each results page, one per page. And we will sell the featured front page spots, which also correspond to the same thing in the sidebar. Both of which will be clearly marked as sponsored results.

    The ratings option is something we have considered a lot. It has obvious benefits and huge potential for spamming/gaming/etc. I think there is a solution out there of how to work some type of user feedback into our algorithm — carefully. In addition, better sorting options are on our roadmap. So as you say, if everyone scores a 100 and you get a random list, maybe we allow you to sort that list my company size or geography so it is more relevant. The need for that increases as we add more companies.

    Thanks for the article.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good to know, my man. Thanks for clarifying here!

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Jason

    Great review. I had signed up and then forgot to go back and create the profile. OOPS. As always you lend a hand to us readers.

    The ratings is concerning as Jason says below. The gaming/spamming would diminish the credibility of the entire site. Some sort of recommending I would like however the gaming could come into play. If it was a scale and where the company could get a 3/4/5 star rating or something maybe that could work but then that is asking people to register to have to participate in that and would they really? Not sure of a solution here but it is one that would be needed for the credibility.

    Thanks for always being on top of all social Jason.

  • http://www.friendadderelite.com/blog/ Friend Adder FAQs

    Been reading your entries for some time and this entry makes me think of my investment in social media. Should I really put my business into it. This entry maybe the answer to it. Thanks for sharing this Jason.

  • http://www.bestbrandsworldwide.com business directory

    Good information. Having ability to bring the right vendors to the right customers in any playing field is key, and certainly in b2b. Like anything digital that rides social trends, the more populous, interactive (and correlatively social) this directory becomes, the better it'll distinguish itself as a place where business makes more business. And as you said, it just might pop so why not get in now :) Thanks for the tip!

    ————————————
    http://www.bestbrandsworldwide
    free business directory listings

  • http://www.superdomains.com.au/ cheap domains

    Its good investing in Social media. Social Media platform is ideal for different uses and should therefore have a customized strategy. Due to the rapid rise in popularity and relevancy many online marketing companies now offer Social Media Marketing and strategy development services which are paramount to the success of Social Media as a viable marketing channel.

  • http://www.socialmarketingideas.blogspot.com s4socialmedia

    Seems to be a good service. Finding a good social media company is very much important to have successful social media strategy in place. But one has to consider several aspects before he/she decides to opt for professional social media services. A self-introspection is must to really add value to your external social media efforts…

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Office Assistants

    Hi
    I feel that Social Media is the cheapest and the most effective option of connecting with potential customers. It is certainly here to stay. We have got many new small business clients and also professionals(doctors), who are using Social media to connect with their clients…and to collaborate…It is important that the business decides before hand what they want to acheive – Branding, Word Of Mouth, or Just Sales…and then take the approach that best matches these goals…
    Thanks!