This post is self-serving to the extreme. I intend to make the case for why you should hire me. Or someone else. The point is, if you plan to use Social Media in your business, you should consider a social media manager. Why? To quote Lucy, from Peanuts, I’ll give you five reasons! Unlike Lucy, I don’t intend to punch you.
1. Writing and posting Social Media content is not your business. Your business is your business. If you are a small business owner you have enough to do already. To do Social Media well requires regular, consistent attention. As a business owner that will be hard. There will be new fires to fight, new opportunities to pursue, and new plans to make. You need to stay flexible and able to devote your attention to where it is most needed.
Working with a social media manager allows you to devote time and effort when you can, while letting the manager establish the consistency that makes Social Media efforts successful. You can focus your primary attention where it should be: developing your business.
2. Social Media changes, and changes quickly. Social Media is a relatively new field, and major players appear practically overnight–and disappear just as quickly. New services and approaches are coming out all the time. Some are worth your time and some are at best flashes in the pan. Constant research is needed to stay on top of it all.
Chances are your business changes just as rapidly. New developments in your field appear constantly. It can be a full time job just to stay current in your area of expertise. Hiring a social media manager allows you to stay focused on your own core competencies. Let someone else keep up on Social Media. That specialization and division of labor will create powerful efficiencies in your efforts.
3. Social media managers keep you focused. Even if you are still contributing at least some of the content for your Social Media efforts, it can be difficult to stay on task. You’re the boss, after all. You answer to no one but yourself. That could be one of the reasons you went into business to begin with.
But with no one holding you to specific tasks and goals, however, it can be easy to let it slide. One of the ironies of Social Media is that since most of the services are free, you are under no pressure to protect an investment. No money is wasted if you don’t update your Twitter profile today.
But having a social media manager changes things. A good social media manager can keep you on task and make sure you come up with the needed content. And since there is at least some fee involved for their services, you will likely feel more of a drive to make sure that investment is not wasted. Not providing your manager with this week’s blog post in time costs you money. While lost opportunity can be hard to measure, someone sitting on their hands when they could be doing something for your business is easier to detect.
4. The devil is in the details. The difference between adequate Social Media and great Social Media is often small. It could be as simple as not updating a Twitter feed to let that audience know about a new blog post you just published. If could be the difference between only creating a Facebook campaign rather than also reworking that same content into a blog, a slideshow, a video, and a podcast.
A good social media manager covers the details. It’s their job to make sure every bit of content you create gets maximum exposure on your various channels. Because Social Media is their focus, they can get more results out of every bit of content than you can.
5. A lot of Social Media interaction is noise, and hides the real opportunities. When Social Media gets cranked up and running well you can spend a lot of time just keeping up on every customer interaction–and still you will likely miss the critical interactions: the dissatisfied customer, the customer with the million-dollar idea they give you for free, the unsolicited testimonial, or even the inquiry that leads to a big sale. You can’t afford to read every single interaction–but you also can’t afford not to!
But you don’t have to handle it all. A social media manager can sift through the chatter, tackle (or delegate to others) the softballs and low-hanging fruit, and redirect to you only to the important messages that need your personal attention. You save a lot of time that should be applied elsewhere, and you are less likely to miss something truly important.
6. Social Media is a significant source of information. Besides providing customers a venue to bring information to you, Social Media provides the means to proactively gather information that could help guide your business. But again, as the owner you don’t have the time to spend on proactive information gathering.
Your social media manager does. He knows the tools and knows how to pull the data out that you need. He knows how to actively search the web for information about your company, your products, or your people–or about your competitors. The Internet is a sea of free information that far too often goes underutilized because there simply isn’t the time for business owners to go get it. Let your social media manager get it.
7. Well-run Social Media gives you more for your marketing buck. Radio ads can easily run over a thousand dollars a month. A single newspaper ad can cost several hundred dollars. Yellow pages ads can run into tens of thousands of dollars a year. A good social media manager can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, and can give you almost 24 x 7 x365 interaction with your audience. They can give your business a unique voice and build your reputation in ways no other marketing medium can.
Not only can they reduce the cost of finding a new customer, they can increase customer loyalty to help you keep the ones you already have. They can also increase the frequency and size of purchases. Perhaps most importantly, they can leverage the endorsements and recommendations of your satisfied customers in ways that no other medium can.
Just as I’ve said that businesses can do just fine without Social Media, businesses can do just fine without a social media manager. But if you are going to use Social Media in your business, chances are you won’t be able to run your business and your social media at the same time and give both the attention they deserve. I’m biased, but I would highly recommend you consider hiring a social media manager.