Are you currently thinking about social media management for your business? Or maybe you are considering doing it yourself, using a family member, team member or an IT person?
The most important action to take in the first instant is to “educate yourself” as much as possible about social media marketing. Many businesses make the mistake of diving straight in, or using an untrained member of staff without having any knowledge or understanding of the basic principles and ethics behind the social media platforms they choose to be on.
It’s important to note that social media marketing is different to all other forms of marketing – it is not comparable to radio, print press or TV advertising. In our experience, this is where many businesses tend to fall over very quickly.
Social media is all about building relationships and nurturing your community to encourage word of mouth and build a strong reputation. With this in mind, business owners should seriously consider whether the 18 year recent school leaver or the untrained IT guy within the company is the right person to manage their social media.
Think of it this way!
Let’s say you own a small to medium business and were looking to market yourself in the ‘traditional’ way!
If you were advertising with radio, you would definitely look to pay a marketing company to make an ad, or at least make sure the person you were using was well trained in radio.
If you were going to do a ‘letterbox drop’ with high quality pamphlets, would you make your own logo, source the cheapest paper possible and then hand deliver each of the 10,000 pamphlets to make sure that they were delivered properly?
Just because social media is free to join and free to post – doesn’t mean you should be risking your company’s reputation by using someone who hasn’t received formal training on the ethics and good practice of social media for business.
Each post, comment and share you make on social media is a permanent tattoo on your business. Social media is extremely transparent and there are no cutting corners if you do not want to run the risk of damaging your business long term.
Before even embarking on social media, business owners need to think about the purpose of being on social media. Who is your target market? What are you going to talk about? How are you going to bring them value? What interaction are you going to have on a daily basis? How will you measure the ROI? In other words – what is your social media strategy?
Social media management or train a member of staff?
Both the options of either hiring a social media manager or training a member of staff are viable ones. If you are hiring a social media manager, make sure they have the experience your business deserves. Just the same as you hire a plumber to fix your pipes or a sparky to rewire your business or a mechanic to fix your car – the hiring of a social media manager should be treated with exactly the same amount of care. It takes a social media expert considerable time and experience to learn the do’s and don’ts of using social media for business. You do not want to destroy your company with one single keystroke because someone hasn’t got a clue what they are doing.
If the business owner doesn’t want to hand over the reins to a complete stranger, then the other option is to train a member of staff. Make sure that the training includes a mentoring aspect to it, so that you can work with someone for a while, rather than trying to learn everything in a couple of hours. This option is fantastic for those businesses that have budget restrictions or want to keep their social media management in house.
Therefore, before embarking on your social media journey, think about why you want to use social media; how you are going to use social media and what type of social media management process you will have in place.
Have you found our social media management advice to be valuable? What do you think?
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Let’s get social!