Why would you need a Professional Social Media Manager?
Small Business Owners in general do not have much free time, in fact, they’re usually trying to squeeze one or two more projects in early in the morning or late in the evening, eating on the run and multi-multi-tasking. Yet having an effective, consistent and quality social media strategy is a must these days and can give your business a cutting edge when promoting your brand.
Social Media Management and Marketing takes planning, consistent fresh ideas, and analysis to have a substantial return on your investment. With the various social media platforms and blogging, you should schedule up to ten hours per week creating fresh engaging content, marketing, analyzing, interaction with others, responding to comments or questions, and analyzing and tweaking. Do you honestly have the time to effectively manage it yourself?
You could assign the job to one of your staff members, a relative or hire a cheap or free intern, but are they really qualified in this essential marketing avenue? Just being young and on social media doesn’t mean they understand marketing, branding and aligning the message with your business goals.
“As a general rule, companies figured if you were young and active on social media, you were a good fit for the job. Now, it’s totally different, and just being an ‘awesome’ Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr user isn’t going to cut it. To succeed in the field, you must be forward thinking, demonstrate you can understand and interpret consumer data and marketing strategies, and write effectively for your targeted audience,” says Jason Miller, social content manager.
What to Look for in a Social Media Manager
- Experience. Have they ever managed other businesses’ social media campaigns and are they versatile enough to understand your specific industry and demographic? Have them show you examples of their work, results achieved and client testimonials. If all they have to show is their own social media accounts, move on.
- Portfolio. When looking at their past work, make sure the posts are not generic, redundant content but show an understanding of the business they are representing. Are the posts/tweets engaging, funny, positive, instructive, diverse and promote the product or services without directly selling them? All of that takes skill, experience and an understanding of their client’s brand.
- Understanding of your Brand. They should exhibit an eager desire and want to understand your brand so they can effectively replicate your voice and your company’s personality via social media. Do they understand what you are trying to achieve, do they understand the philosophy behind your customer service, what makes your product unique, and who your target audience is or who you want to expand it to be? Are they able to effectively tell your story online with professional, engaging posts that get the conversation started?
- Investment of Time. To truly understand your unique brand, they need to make time to get to know your company, spend time inside your business, sample your product/service, meet your staff. Initially, they should schedule a full-length (at least an hour) interview with you, the owner, but also regularly call, email or meet with you and key staff to get up-to-date announcements, sales & promotions, product launches, company news and variations in the sales goals. If they seem rushed, don’t follow-up or don’t ask a lot of questions, keep looking.
- Good Interpersonal Skills. Are they conversational, social and engaging in person? Do they monopolize the conversation and show little interest in what you or others have to say? Well those same conversational skills are the building blocks to develop online conversations with your customers and prospects as well. Make sure they not only post, tweet or pin, but they also follow, comment, share, retweet and interact with your prospects, colleagues and customers on social media as well. The conversation is not one-sided online, at least if its an enjoyable one.
- Analytics. Do they provide monthly or quarterly reports of your success? After a few months, they should begin to understand what works and what doesn’t. There is some trial and error in the beginning as they begin to get acquainted with your target audience, but after some time, they should be able to monitor what content is registering well with higher reach, good engagement, shares, likes or comments.
- Fair Price. What is the typical cost for a professional? “Social media management can cost anywhere from $500 plus a month, depending on campaigns, contests and ads being run.” – Entrepreneur.com. The saying is you get what you pay for … so if you want cheap, you run the risk of wasting a lot of time and possibly negatively affecting your brand with poor content. Ask around, get estimates and check their references to make sure you’re getting a competitive price for what they offer.
- Patience and Persistence. Your social media presence will not be an overnight success. It takes time to build a community, get to know your target audience and what they respond to, and how to positively impact your brand. “Be prepared to devote at least four to six months on your social media strategy to see results.” – Deborah Mitchell, CEO & Media Associate. And as a business owner, you need to get involved by providing them the direction and updates they need to broadcast your message effectively.
Where do I Start my Search for a Social Media Manager?
Startup Production creates customized packages based on the client’s needs and budget. We take time to look at each individual business (by analyzing their current efforts/results, their goals, their industry and their target audience) to come up with an effective plan of action and one that meets their expectations. We can also work with your staff or yourself to provide consulting for your internet marketing goals.
We are a small business, so we understand the needs of small business owners and we have a portfolio of clients who are using our content marketing services and are very happy with the results. Email us today if you’d like to get a FREE estimate.