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.
If 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.
- SocialFresh Launches Social Media Services Directory (adrants.com)