Something no small business should be without
by April Blake
You there, small business owner! You need a social media manager that isn’t you. And no, it shouldn’t be an intern or your nephew. You know, that college kid two time zones away who took a communications class that one time.
It should be a professional who is well-versed in your industry and extremely knowledgeable about the local culture and flavor where your business resides. He or she also needs to know how to spell and format sentences in a pleasing manner. Spoiler alert: they aren’t all out of your price range, nor are they all millennial geeks!
The ever-changing landscape
Social media entered our lives hard and fast. Anything that moves that quickly also changes very quickly. It was only about 10 years ago that we couldn’t imagine our lives without MySpace, and who can even remember how to log in to that account now? And only college students used Facebook, the largest platform of them all, until 2006. Now even great-grandparents are on it.
Beyond the changes in their user demographics, these platforms change how they work and regulate themselves. These changes are often frustrating for users, but even more so for businesses since Facebook practically forces them to pay to have their content seen. Organic reach is hovering around 6.4% of a page’s total likes. But you still need to have a fresh stream of content for those customers, and anyone else who may wander onto your page, organically or not. Otherwise, your business may appear to be out of business or give customers a bad impression.
Unless your efforts are creative and include dollars, the algorithm and its many changes make standing out on the platform extremely difficult. A skilled social media manager who is keeping up with this constant change is someone who can do two things: create amazing content and campaigns for the people you do reach (organically or via ad spends), and some can advise on when and how to best spend ad dollars on the platform.
The benefits of strategizing with a professional
Creating compelling content, knowing when to post and whom to target all fall into the concept of an organic reach social media marketing strategy. The best strategies aren’t obvious to the consumers, but they create a sense of community, offer needed information, and entertain. Most of all, they provide a cohesive voice for the brand. Consumers like to know what to expect from a brand, from what they say and how they say it. Wouldn’t it freak you out if Waffle House referenced its effing good hash browns in a post? It might not be so strange, however, if your local indie dive bar used that type of jargon in promoting its specials.
Last but not least, 43% of business owners who try to manage their own social media often spend more than six hours each and every week thinking of and creating content for their social channels. That’s a lot of time for someone who is also probably doing everything else and then some. After the initial set up with a social media manager, the average business owner should be spending less than one hour per week thinking about their social media efforts.
Isn’t a good return on investment of time something all business owners want?
I got your interest now, right? Admit you’re tired of embarrassing spelling errors, blurry photos, and being chained to your phone trying to nail that funny but not obscure caption for a photo that is just okay at best. Find a social media manager whose personality fits with yours, and who is familiar with your industry and the local landscape (if your business is local-focused, that is). A social media manager can be as laser focused on just doing social, while others may perform a wider variety of marketing, website, or public relations-related tasks. Just understand that personality and expertise in their field are the two most important factors in choosing with whom to work. So make sure to spend a little time getting to know the person who will be the voice of your organization on the widest reaching platform we have today — social media.