Company size does not matter. If you want consumer engagement, someone needs to be dedicated specifically to the company’s social media activity. The three biggest reasons to hire a social media manager – not the only reasons – are as follows.
1. Strategy is a necessity.
A lot of research and strategy goes into a social marketing plan. Your company has a message, a brand, and that message has to be consistent throughout each platform. Audience, timing and content all must be considered.
2. It takes time to create or find share-worthy content.
Intriguing content takes work, whether it’s an article, promotional piece or infographic. Sure, you can share content relevant to your industry, but it takes time to find interesting material, and sometimes your company needs to create its own content targeted just for your audience with your message.
3. Social media engagement is a constant process, not occasional.
A post here and there does nothing to promote a business. You need to keep each business page up-to-date. When consumers engage, respond to encourage even more engagement. Finally, you will continue to redefine your strategy as you analyze the impact of your content.
A Social Business Takes Work
The wide variety of social media platforms offer organizations a plethora of ways to interact with their audiences. Unfortunately, many go into the realm of posts and tweets with experimental intentions at best. (I did the same for the most part.) A successful social media presence, however, takes time and strategy. It is not done on a whim, or done well in someone’s free time. This is why it is best to have one person or team dedicated to managing and creating social media content.
You already know the importance of social media. Do you know what it takes to successfully manage social media for a business?
Most companies and organizations know by now that they need some sort of social media presence to be relevant and competitive in the marketplace. Social media is where audiences now share their interests and ideas. It’s where people talk about and interact with their favorite brands. Many platforms also have decent built-in analytics, which is a bonus for easily measuring impressions. What some companies fail to realize is the work that goes on behind the social media curtain.
The biggest brands have their social media strategy down and execute it with what looks like little effort. A strong social media presence is not effortless by any stretch of the imagination. A business needs to research, strategize, interact daily, create content, and monitor each platform to successfully manage social media. If that sounds like a full-time job, or a huge chunk of time out of your business day, it is.
Taking that time and making the dedication (or hiring someone to do so) will be worthwhile.
Companies that actively create and share content engage their consumers in the space that consumers are actively talking. Social media is a consumer information goldmine! It can be used as a word-of-mouth tool as well as clearly define a target market. An added benefit is that companies can learn a lot about their audience by interacting with them. What kind of content do your customers like? What kind do they share with friends? Do they feel comfortable sharing their ideas or concerns with the company? Either way, social media should be a solid slice of a company’s larger marketing campaign and not an after-thought.
If you need more convincing, I found an intriguing list of social media statistics gathered by Tom Pick and posted on Business2Community.com. Here are just five from that list:
- “89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media, as are 43% of adults 65 and older (Jeff Bullas)”
- “By 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)”
- “Blogging increases web traffic by 55% for brands. (Rocket Post)”
- “81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search, and 90% of buyers say when they are ready to buy, ‘they’ll find you.’ (Earnest Agency)”
- “The top two barriers impeding adoption of social business within organizations are lack of overall strategy and competing priorities. Just 11% of marketers cite legal or regulatory concerns. (i-SCOOP)”
Now, exact numbers in statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, but they do show trends. I see a lot of opportunity for businesses of all sizes to up their social media game, thus being more competitive in their industry. There is a lot at stake for those who choose to ignore their social consumers. Dedicate the time and resources to an integrative social media marketing plan. You will not regret it.
What exactly is entailed in a social media plan? I will outline the basics of social media marketing in my next post highlighting research, strategy, content creation, management and analytics.
An infographic with a few more reasons to get serious about social media, by CeBIT.