You’ve made the decision to introduce the social media world to your business. This is a huge step for any company, especially because it involves much more than launching another marketing effort. An effective social media strategy is equal parts branding, advertising, public relations, customer service, and yes – problem solving on the fly. To establish your business across a myriad of social media platforms, it’s imperative that you hire a social media manager. Here are five reasons why.
1. Do You Truly Know What Social Media Is?
It’s O.K. if you don’t know. Most people don’t realize how far-reaching and nuanced the social media landscape is. Social media is not just Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. It includes any online gathering spot – and often sites where you don’t have an obvious business presence. If customers can contribute content or ratings to your Web site and blog, they are considered social media. But how about message boards, review sites, and video-sharing sites? Absolutely. Other platforms include Airtime, Foursquare, Instagram, Medium, Pinterest, and Tumblr. And new players are emerging regularly. A social media manager will be able to manage this very fluid, and complex, opportunity.
2. Do You Know Which to Use – And How to Get the Best Results?
Think of social media as a vast country with many cultures – and each culture speaks a very different dialect. While you could forge ahead solo, why not hire an experienced tour guide? A social media manager can help you navigate this frontier. Twitter may be best for news blasts. Pinterest and Tumblr may be better suited for image-driven messages. Airtime may be employed to connect with industry leaders or potential business partners. Perhaps a live video blog would be ideal for monthly question-and-answer sessions with customers. A social media manager can recommend the online arenas that will meet your communications goals and reach your desired audience – plus deliver the best results.
3. Can You Engage Your Customer in 140 Characters or Less?
Different platforms require different writing styles. Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters or less – so brief call to actions are best. But a blog allows for storytelling. And a message board encourages a conversation. A social media manager will be able to write effectively – while at the same time promoting your brand – across all social media channels.
4. Do You Want to Build Brand Loyalty – Less Expensively?
Before the advent of social media, a business typically built brand loyalty by investing significant advertising dollars in a campaign. That campaign would include television commercials, radio spots, magazine spreads, outdoor billboards, in-store signage, and direct marketing. Today, for a lot less money, a social media manager can increase brand loyalty by actively engaging online communities. Offering special deals to Facebook fans. Replying to customers’ tweets on Twitter. Thanking a customer for their glowing comments on TripAdvisor or Yelp. When your social media manager graciously acknowledges customers, it can be viewed by hundreds or even thousands of people – maybe even millions. And a customer who is given special treatment often tells many in their online and offline worlds.
5. Do You Have Time to Put Out Fires?
While you’re busy running your business, rely on your social media manager to establish and maintain your company’s positive online presence. By employing tools to track what’s being said about your business online, your social media manager can quickly identify a disparaging video or scathing blog post before it goes viral. And then recommend whether to direct an issue to an appropriate department – or solve the problem on their own.
How do you plan to use a social media manager to grow your business presence online?
Image credit: AslanMedia.