When it comes to social media management or marketing, many small businesses owners use an intern, an office assistant or just do it themselves. Some business owners don’t realize the impact your social media voice has on your brand, and most do not understand that there is a strategy to social marketing. Should you just do it yourself, have your niece or nephew, intern or spouse take their bit of extra time to post once a day? Can using a professional social media manager really make a difference? If so, why?
Reasons to Hire a Professional
- It’s imperative to be consistent. First of all, hiring a professional ensures a consistent schedule of posting, tweeting, pinning and blogging. Many times when an owner chooses to do it themselves, they start out real well, posting every day, every week but then as time goes by, the many duties of running a business begin to take priority and their posts become less frequent and then not at all. Instead of bursts and spurts of engaging content, you’ll be more effective to have a steady flow of content and marketing.
- You need to have a strategy. Just because your intern or office assistant has some extra time to manage social media doesn’t mean they should. Do they understand your company and industry’s voice? Are they well-spoken, well-versed in your industry’s topics, and have excellent communication and writing skills? Not necessarily. And being young doesn’t mean they are social media experts. Social Media Marketing requires knowledge, experience and creativity to work right.
- Social Media Management is more than just posting content. It takes time to not just post, but to listen, engage with your audience, start conversations and like/follow/comment on your fans and followed pages. Just as a good conversation is about both parties listening and talking, social media takes patience and time to show interest in others, not just being interesting.
- Social Media keeps changing. Do you or your staff have time to stay up-to-date on all the changes social media platforms consistently make? Are you willing to research the newest social media methods, since social media marketing is a continually evolving methodology?
- Social Media can be frustrating. When some business owners don’t see immediate return, they get frustrated and think it doesn’t work so they give up. Because when you do not know what you are doing, you don’t do it right and then you think it doesn’t work and you could potentially miss an important marketing opportunity.
- Social Media is a long term commitment. Social media or blogging is not an “overnight success”, so don’t think after a week of posting, the calls and website hits are going to come pouring in. Wrong. It takes months, if not years of posting and social media engagement to start getting attention. You may never truly know the impact your social presence has, but according to the Rule of Seven, the more users see your brand and hear about your product/service, the more likely they are to investigate further.
- It takes consistent tracking of analytics, insights and traffic reports. Do you know how to interpret your analytics to know if your social media is having an impact? Can you tell if you need to change or adjust your content strategy based on weekly or monthly reporting? How can you tell if your social marketing budget is working for you? A professional social media manager will.
- Increased peace of mind. You can relieve some of your stress when you rely on a professional that provides regular, consistent communication on their efforts, answers your questions, and works closely with you to promote your current events, specials, promotions and announcements. Find a social media manager that has good communication skills, explains their methods in an easy-to-understand and logical way, that is friendly and gets along with you and your staff. You should feel comfortable with them, because they will be part of your marketing team.
Social media managers work hard to create engaging content that is informative, inspirational and appeals to your specific target audience. They develop a strategy that includes timing and frequency of the posts, ratio of marketing posts versus relationship building posts, and ads that attract new visitors and fans so those views can turn into hits on your website, or whatever your specific call-to-action.
Social Media Management takes time, consistency, patience, skill, good communication skills, budgeting of marketing dollars, intuitive reading of reports, determination and creativity. So I would highly suggest, if your budget allows, to try out a social media manager for a minimum of 6-12 months to give them time to establish a strategy specific to your business. Even if your budget is small, you’d be surprised how much professional help you can afford. For more informaton: Startup Production.