Does Your Business Need a Social Media Manager?

Learn what a social media manager can do for your business.
Every business today knows that social media matters and has most likely at least set up a Facebook or Twitter account. But it is one thing to say that something is important and another to actually spend money on it. Does a small business really need a dedicated social media manager? Surely the owner can take care of it on the weekends, or perhaps you can get a college intern who understands the ins and outs.
But there is so much more to social media than firing off a few tweets. Getting the most out of social media requires forethought, a good sense of business strategy and the ability to connect with others. Here are just a few points to consider when deciding whether or not you need a social media manager on board.

Having a plan

Every business has a social media account to promote themselves, but the big question is how to do it. Far too many businesses will sporadically post an update of a sale or something interesting every now and then and leave it at that. This is especially so if the social media account is run by an owner who is too busy to devote his full-time attention.
But a rarely updated social media account is worse than not having an account at all. A business cannot forget that their social media account is in competition with the millions of others across the Internet, and a sporadically updated account will be forgotten. This is the primary reason why a business should have someone managing the accounts full time instead of updating whenever there is free time. Forbes notes that an ideal posting rate is 1-5 time per day on Twitter, while a lower rate is more acceptable on Facebook.
But a business has to not just post, but post with a plan. A social media manager should develop a strategy and overall theme, and then create posts which follow with that theme. This can range from serious posts discussing the ins and outs of your industry and business to a more zany style which hopes to take advantage of viral marketing. If you decide to meet with a prospective manager, discuss what strategy he would use and how it would work with your business.

Text vs. Images vs. Videos

The complexity of social media posting is that if you want to draw the most engagement per post, visual marketing, like images or videos, is essential. While anyone can post a text tweet, creating a relevant image or even a video is an entirely different affair.
This does not necessarily mean that your social media manager must be an expert in graphic design. In fact, there is value in creating videos via Instagram or Snapchat which show a more authentic side of your business over something well-polished. But a graphic design background is still a highly desirable skill for a social media manager.
Branding is critical in social media marketing, and will only grow more so as visual social media websites like Snapchat rise. A social media manager can give that sense of style which not everyone possesses.

Different accounts, different strategies

Most businesses may have a Twitter or Facebook account, but what about Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn or the countless other social media websites out there? A social media manager can take the time to research which websites offer the best opportunities. As each one of these websites caters to a different demographic, certain businesses can find more value in focusing their efforts on a more obscure website.
In order to figure out which website offers the most value, a social media manager must be firmly committed to analytics. Having likes and retweets only matters insofar as they promote the company’s social media strategy as noted above. Various software programs can help measure the impacts of different posts, but that still requires a social media manager who can read and interpret incoming data to determine what kinds of posts and sites create the best value.

A hard search

Everything listed above should make it clear that finding a good social media manager is a vital task that cannot be left to just anyone with a Twitter account. A social media manager obviously needs to have good social skills to connect with others, but he or she should also be good at analyzing data and trends, understand graphic design, and be able to not just create interesting posts but also synchronize social media with your business’s strategy.
This is not something that can be left to anyone on the weekends, but rather requires a full-time skilled professional. For these reasons, take your time to find an appropriate social media manager and think about the above qualifications to get the best one possible.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Vasin Lee
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