I’m not going to lie. Social Media Management is still one of the most grossly underestimated job skills out there. One of the many reasons for this is because there are so many definitions of what exactly it entails. After spending many years and thousands of hours building my personal brand, the same hard work should be considered for building your brand’s online social presence. Sure, there are tools and shortcuts to help get the job done faster but to do it right, you must hire someone who has the time to invest in your business and give it the TLC it deserves. Social Media these days requires experience, knowledge, dedication, and someone who specifically stays current with the ever changing trends in the social space. Here are the reasons your business deserves a specialist rather than haphazardly throwing a few posts out now and then.
- Strategy – Do you have the time to invest in building an online strategy for your business? Do you know what your end result should be and what the best platforms are for your business? You may think you know but an in- depth analysis requires looking beyond social sites and looking at your type of business, best platforms and where you eventually want your clients/customers to land. After determining where they will land, are you confident that it’s a fully optimized, social sharing ready website or blog? Too often, it all starts by considering a facelift for your website before plunging forward into your social media platforms.
- Content – Are you making an effort to create new content? Nowadays it’s almost imperative that you have someone creating fresh and original images, writing blogs posts, white papers and positioning yourself as a thought leader. Content is crucial for Google to recognize you, and sites like Facebook consider originality from blog posts much more valuable than random pictures, texts, and quotes.
- Creativity – How good are you at being creative? For some it doesn’t come easy. It’s essential that your posts are a good mix of value, humor, emotion and of course your products. Developing these types of posts takes time, thought, and strategy every day. Unfortunately you have to be creative if you are on social media and someone who does this professionally has had much more practice coming up with unique posts.
- Trends – Do you follow the latest trends in your industry in addition to the most current changes in the social media world? You probably don’t have time for that either. A social media professional like myself, should make time to keep up with the constant changes and breaking news. If you are running your business, most likely you won’t have time for this nor should you. Your business comes first. I personally scan over 500 blog posts a day from feeds like TechCrunch, The Verge, Inc., Mashable, Wired, Social Media Journal, etc. This doesn’t include subscribing to news feeds in a particular industry. A good portion of my day is dedicated to reading. Without knowledge, you can’t even begin to to know what changes are happening.
- Engagement – Too many business people think about posting. And only posting. Although this is important, the other half of your social media world needs to be focused around your customers and/or potential clients. What does this mean? It means searching for people in your industry on these sites, engaging with them (no hard core salesy stuff), asking questions and being real. You also need to be there when you post so that you can be ready to respond to people instead of reaching out 10 hours later.
- Follower Management – Social Media is the same as your website. Just because you’ve built it doesn’t mean people are going to come. There needs to be significant time spent on ramping up your audience on these channels. That will require seeking out the right people, demographically and geographically. Simply following hundreds of the wrong people won’t work. There are tools to help you target these people but often it requires making suggestions outside of social media and making it a part of your entire marketing strategy. Are your sites on your business cards, signatures, newsletters and email blasts? There are lots of ways to drive people to your SM sites but beginning to post without an audience doesn’t mean people are going to magically find you.
A social media consultant can boost your presence by over 200%. The good ones will spend time learning your business and make it so you’ll wonder how you would ever be able to do this by yourself. Building your brand takes a LOT of time, effort and dedication. A consultant who cares will make all of these points part of their daily routine so you concentrate on what you should be doing, running your business. I have seen many businesses get frustrated and just give up but it’s usually because they haven’t invested the right amount of time and are trying to prove their ROI on something that wasn’t done correctly in the first place.