When we started talking to business owners about on-line Social Networking in 2007, we believed that in order to maintain the authenticity needed to successfully engage with their customers, the owners needed to run the campaigns themselves. We spent most of our time training them, giving presentations and answering their questions.
Over the next few years, new social sites cropped up, current ones were revamped, and the “Social Space” got more crowded. It became harder for small companies to stand out or compete. Large companies had the big budgets to add Social Staff or outsource to large marketing agencies. Social Media Marketing became a mainstream endeavor, best handled by professionals.
Small business owners, after spending the time and effort it takes to run a business, found it impossible to find the time and energy to actively participate in Social Sites. Without the budget to hire a full-time Social Media Manager, they either abandoned the sites or turned them over to other busy workers in their offices. Their pages languished with few visitors and even fewer new friends. Many small business owners began to feel that Social Media Marketing would not work for them.
A Social Media Management service offers an affordable alternative. Concentrating exclusively on digital marketing, these focused professionals are able to leverage their core knowledge of social sites to serve several clients, developing unique campaigns to meet the objectives of each specific company, while keeping costs down.
The Secret to Social Media Marketing Success: Collaboration
However, many business owners believe that after relinquishing control of their sites, they can stop participating altogether. This is a big mistake.
True Social Media success is achieved when there is an active dialogue, not only between the Social Pages and the audience, but between the Social Media Manager and the business owner. Specific information about the company and its operation must be shared with the Social Media Manager and included on the Pages. Blogs or articles written by or about people in the company, sales, coupons, awards won by the company or employees are all important to the health of a Page. Timely responses by the business owner to questions and comments (relayed by the Social Media Manager) from the Pages will humanize the site, make it more inviting and valuable to viewers, and make it a customer service winner.
Social Media Marketing is about communicating and building relationships. Combining the knowledge of the Social Media Professional with the participation of the business owner will not only make the page more popular, but will also add customers and increase revenue, which is, after all, the ultimate goal of Marketing.