Happy Sunday, friends! I have a bit of a different post for you guys this week. This one is for all you guys and gals who have businesses or thinking about starting a business. I'm talking all about why you should hire a social media manager. This post is a collaboration with a lovely social media manager in Toronto, Debbie Roy.
You have a business. Maybe it’s a startup, perhaps you’ve been around for a while. You’ve probably come across the term social media before, but you’ve been telling yourself that you have a stable local footprint, so you don’t need social media. Well, my friend, there is no easy way to tell you how wrong you are. Although being firmly planted and active within your community are critical to business success, social media plays a crucial role.
Social media is one of the most powerful and efficient ways to market your business, whether you are a brand new business, or you have an established company. As social media managers, we see many companies not taking advantage of its full potential to create awareness, build relationships, generate revenue and tell an incredible story. Since social media is no longer a discretionary marketing tool, here are five reasons why you need to hire a social media manager.
Tell Your Brand Story
Before the Internet, building a brand and business took a lot more work and money. From media buying to creative to networking, marketing was a lengthy and arduous process. Of course, marketing still takes an incredible time and financial investment; however, social media helps to automate some of those tasks and allow your audience to help you build the brand. A social media manager can take that off of your plate, generate some brand awareness and hopefully open the sales funnel to your target audience. By managing your social media on various platforms, we can hone in your target audience to get you results.
We know how to expand your social media networks by creating and curating the best content, keeping it consistent and analyzing it consistently. We work to get eyeballs on your website. However, there is a dark side to network growth.
If you research social media management, you will be tempted to purchase followers on Instagram or Twitter. These “followers” are rather inexpensive. Beware: these services automate all interactions, and the public can smell this from a mile away. The results you get are fast and very temporary. These accounts work like this: They will like photos, follow, unfollow and comment. Comments are generic and more often than not, the audience knows they are robot comments. Here is an example, I often get the comment “best one so far” on my photos, the next day, and the same person gives me the same remark. I did a test one day, I put irrelevant hashtags under one of my social media tip of the day, and someone commented with “you’re such a beauty, love that color.” It was clear that it could be one of two things: someone entered the same comment over and over under various photos found in hashtags, or it’s a generic comment sent to one of those cheap social media management services that use dishonest tactics to grow a following.
The bottom line: it is better to have 300 people who are engaged than 30,000 accounts that don’t care. When building a brand, we focus on authentic, organic growth (save for those pesky algorithms.).
You Can Build Those Relationships
Who wants to talk to a brick wall? I am always in disbelief when I visit a company’s Facebook page, see many interactions on their wall and absolutely no responses. There seems to be a misconception that because we live in a digital world, and we communicate virtually, no one wants to feel that human connection. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Customers now demand a relationship with brands. Your audience wants to know who you are and desires a relationship with you. Not responding to questions or simple comments is one of the biggest NO’s in business. Let’s put it this way: when people call your business, you or a member of your team calls them back, right? When someone comments on your company’s Facebook page, YouTube video, tweet, Instagram photo, you or a member of your staff should respond!
We know that time is valuable, and you can’t possibly do everything. Enter your social media manager. A social media manager will interact with your audience, build campaigns and create engagement so you can focus on your business. Quality rules over quantity. Don’t let a robot build your brand, and don’t think that you can do everything. Even if you have the most skilled marketing staff on hand, they may have enough on their plate. Social media managers offer various packages and services that fit all budgets, timelines, and needs. Who said you had to hire another full-time staff to build a wicked social media campaign?
By having a social media manager on your team, we take all of those worries away from you. There is no better way to build an organic audience than engaging with the public, creating dialogues and leaving people wanting more, in turn creating a boomerang effect. You’ll be amazed at the results!
You CAN’T Leave It To The Intern
Social media is no longer an optional part of your marketing budget. It is necessary. Like any other job, it requires a particular set of skills. And merely having an Instagram account doesn’t count. We’ve seen so many companies trust their social presence to the intern or the junior employee who grew up in the age of Facebook or don’t know life without Twitter. However, using social media doesn’t predicate the skill required to build brands and establish relationships with customers.
Social media managers live and breathe social media. We spend our days curating the best content for you, researching the best times to post, and staying updated on Facebook’s constant algorithm updates. It is our job to know each network, how it works and how you can use it to your full advantage. We take our knowledge of social media and combine it with your brand’s story to make magic happen, whether your “magic” looks like brand awareness, customer engagement or increased revenue.
The bottom line here is there is a difference between using social media to connect with friends and using social media to connect with current and potential consumers. An excellent, professional social media manager will help you use social media to connect with people who might purchase your product or service. This connection may not happen right away, but by engaging with your audience and being consistent, you will see results.
You Get to Focus on Your Business
You started your business because you are excellent at one or two things. You know your business. You know your industry. And you likely outsource your accounting, legal and other related business services. Social media is the same thing. As social media managers, it is our job to help you do that thing or two. If we can take these tasks off your plate, you can continue to do what you do, and do it well.
Social media takes time - more than you realize. It’s not just about creating and curating fabulous, valuable content. There are three words we use in social media: create, curate and converse. Creating and curating content is a daunting task, and many people will call it a day when they finish this task. However, they are missing 30% of the equation. Conversing or engaging with your network takes, even more, time! As mentioned above, you have to take the time to respond to all the comments. (Well, at least the legitimate ones.) Additionally, you need to be aware of who’s following you so you can follow back. Finally, a large part of engagement is liking or sharing other people’s posts, too. When you have finished your content creation, curation, AND conversation, you’ve run out of hours. As a business owner, you need to focus on your business operations. As social media managers, we focus on telling your story.
Support Your Overall Marketing Strategy
At its core, social media is strategic and powerful, but it shouldn’t stand alone. Your social media should strategically support and align with not only your marketing strategy but your business growth strategy, too.
Building credibility and developing awareness are two aspects we often see in marketing strategy. Social media can help drive both of these aspects. On the other hand, what we often see is that businesses won't pay as much attention or spend as much time trying to build credibility than developing awareness. However, these two go hand-in-hand. Creating your social media accounts and catering to them once per week isn't enough. Your marketing strategy tells your overall brand story, whether you’ve got 30 chapters or you’re still writing your first one. Social media managers are natural storytellers. We get the big picture. We know how to present your story to the people who are going to want to read it.
By complementing your marketing strategy, we can help you build credibility by being consistent, creating constant interactions along with all of the magic we can do. It is important to remember that no matter how advanced technology will ever get, how far social media will ever go, nothing can replace interactions and human connection. This connection is one of your keys to a greater business success.
Hiring a social media manager may seem daunting (and expensive), but you don't want to be messing around with your brand. We understand social media. You know your business. We will help you get your business’ products and services to the right people, build relationships and cement your positive reputation, both in your local community and online.
About Debbie Roy
Debbie is an entrepreneur and social media manager, based in Toronto, Ontario. She blogs about her experience as an entrepreneur and enjoys sharing business and social media tips. In her spare time, she can be found at the park with her dog, in the city on the hunt for the best ciders, or practicing her Spanish.
Connect with Debbie: www.hellodebbieroy.com
About Brittany Brander
Brittany is a social media strategist and lifestyle blogger based in Calgary, Alberta. When she is not supporting her client's social media and marketing strategies, she is sourcing the best cupcakes in the city, trying new recipes, or hiking the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Connect with Brittany: www.bourbonandhoney.co