Using Social Media to market a business is no longer an option for companies that wish to remain competitive. Most business owners have neither the time nor the energy to run a successful Social Media program. Having an experienced Social Media Marketer, who understands how to use Social Media, keeps up with the latest platforms and knows how and when to use them is the key to a successful campaign. However, hiring a full time employee may be cost prohibitive for many companies.
Outsourcing is often the best option. Because a good Social Media Marketer can handle several accounts simultaneously (by using various tools and apps) her services are far more economical for most business owners. However, even with a dedicated Social Media Marketer, the business owner must accept a certain level of responsibility and control.
Here are a few things to consider before diving into a Social Media Campaign.
Hire a Social Media Manager that …
- Understands the rules, protocols and value of various platforms
- Understands which platforms will work for a given company (based on industry and target customers)
- Understands what and when to post to the various platforms
- Monitors clients’ social media sites through the day, responding to issues quickly, answering those she can and referring those that need the attention of the client.
- Monitors engagement and analyzes data to maintain a successful marketing strategy
- Develops ads that capture the attention of people, who are not already “friends” of a page
Business owners must also commit to a certain level of involvement, and should …
- Respond in a timely manner to questions by the Social Media Manager
- Provide responses to any posts that require an answer from the Company
- Keep the Social Media Manager apprised of sales, specials and industry or company news.
- Let the Social Media Manager know whenever something interesting happens at the company (new employee, special event, awards, articles about the company, etc.)
- Send product or company photos when available.
- Allocate a reasonable Social Media advertising budget
Finally, in order to leverage the time and money spent on Social Media Marketing, there are other important things a business owner should do:
- Maintain an up-to-date. SEO friendly website with fresh content that appears high on search engines
- Add a blog to the Website (Blogs can be outsourced or written in-house, but should be updated on a regular basis, and should conform to SEO guidelines)
- Send all blog posts to Social Media Manager to be linked to Social Sites
- Collect email addresses and publish regular informational (not spammy) newsletters to new and existing email contacts
- Consider traditional advertising strategies that make sense for the company
While most business owners are constantly being reminded that “marketing has changed,” and that people don’t want to “be sold to,” but want to “decide to buy,” is not an easy concept to put into practice. Working with people who understand how marketing is done today, rather than trying to figure it out on their own is probably the smartest thing business owners can do.