Social Media For Business
– Should It Be Done In-House?
When you have a business, you already know that you absolutely need to be present on social media platforms. The truth is that depending on your industry, one specific social network may work better for you than another. However, your business needs to be where it works. It also needs to be where your customers and prospects are. So where do we start?
We see many small businesses trying to handle their own social media marketing. Quite often this task gets added to the already stretched workload of the business owner themselves! Where budgets allow, some may hire to fill the role or simply use the employees they already have.
At this point, they start feeling better as they are finally “doing social” for their company.
But are they really getting the most from their social media efforts? Does the staff member responsible actually know what they are doing? Do they fully understand your goals and aims? Are they clear on the best outreach options available? Are they tracking the right metrics? How is the engagement? Is the community growing? Are they seeing direct results? Or are they just spending time treading water.
Social Through Rose Coloured Lenses
Most businesses don’t fully realize that effective social media can be very time-consuming. A business owner might read about the importance of social media but many fail to grasp the reality.
One very common misconception is believing social is just about creating a few posts every now and then, posting them, and that’s it. Sorry but social is not an Iowa cornfield here and even if you build It they may NOT come. This skewed perception simply isn’t the reality.
Social is not a reactionary medium, it needs to be proactive and interactive for true success.
Like many things, you only get back what you put into social media and half ass efforts bring half ass returns. That’s tantamount to telling clients (and scaring away prospects) : I don’t really care about this social media stuff. Read as, I don’t really care about you, I’m just doing this because everyone tells me I should. Yes, let’s hire That Guy !
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Strategy & Social Listening
The truth is that a good social media strategy, like any marketing strategy, needs to be well-planned from the outset. Each social platform or channel is different and what may well succeed on one can easily fail miserably on others.
We’ve all heard stories about the ROI (return on investment) of social media marketing and rightly so! If you don’t know what you’re doing or more importantly how to track your efforts, you may as well just burn your money!
One of the best advantages of using social media for business is to gain direct contact with fans and prospects that may be interested in your offerings. The truth is that social media provides an ideal medium to engage with these people who, simply stated, are your perfect target audience.
It’s no surprise then, that some people, when unhappy with a product or service, often take to social media to vent. They know this is their best way to reach someone responsible who can help them sort out the issue they are dealing with. But are you listening?
It’s Community Manager Time
So, should social media for business be handled in-house? Will this approach really bring the best results possible for your business? The truth is that it’s just not worth it.
This is why more and more smart business owners are hiring a community manager and a social media agency to handle their social media accounts. When you decide to go with a community manager, you can expect better results. After all, a highly skilled professional in the area knows, from experience, what works and what doesn’t.
They understand different social media platforms and as part of an agency, will use strategies that work best on each one. In addition, you can expect monthly reporting to give you an idea about the work they have done. In a nutshell, they will provide proof of your social ROI.
This last part is a must know component that is completely missing from 80% of small business arsenals.
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Taking the Plunge
At the end of the day, businesses need to see a return for their efforts. Anything less is a mistake. When you decide to hire a community manager to handle your business social media, you just pay them a fee at the end of the month. There’s no training involved, there’s no hiring new employees costs and no loss of time.
One question we pose in client interviews is how are your social media accounts performing? The most common answer we receive to this is “we get some likes so that’s good right?” So is that good enough? Is that all you want?
Hiring a community manager and a social media agency adds support to your business. The results can be dramatic but more importantly, you’ll be focusing your marketing efforts on your best areas for success. In addition, with monthly reporting you’ll be able to see what’s working and learn more about your clients and prospects.
Effective social media for business, helps develop longer term relationships with clients and attracts more qualified prospects.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to embrace social media in your business.
Also published on Medium.