The phrase “social media” is inescapably associated with the internet. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn… and has forever changed the face of marketing. Businesses all over the world are still trying to understand how to manage these media outlets. Who is supposed to control all these accounts? 25 year old interns? An outsourced ad agency? A high school kid in art class?
More often than not, the social media responsibility falls into the lap of the Office Manager, we’ll call them the “OM”. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a huge deal — a couple posts in the morning, a tweet before bed, no sweat. As we explore in this piece, assigning social media control to the OM actually causes more harm than good for the OM her/himself, the business, and for everyone reading the posts.
This is because modern marketing strategies tend to forget that 40 years ago, when businesses relied on commercials and print media, they would have never considered managing ads themselves. They knew to hire professionals. Content is key; this holds true today. If your OM doesn’t have training or knowledge on SEO, your social media posts may be a lost cause.
1) Your social media posts need to be responsive. Internet trends are fluid. If a certain Instagram filter is an internet sensation, then you need someone to find a creative way to promote your business with that filter. It’s not just a fun thing your OM can do in her free time. If your social media consultant stays on top of trends like these, it could boost your ROI exponentially.
2) The social media consultant has more time to learn about community events and news. Half the job of a social media professional is sifting through news and other posts to understand the pulse of the community to make her posts more appealing. As a boss or business owner, you would not likely want your OM to be on her computer reading the news for half the day.
3) Your OM might not be a trained writer. Remember SEO? Believe or not, search engines can tell good writing from bad writing. A trained copywriter knows what phrases and sentence structures will draw people to click to new links. Without a strategic writer, your posts may be a waste of time. Print ads to promote sales, that was a form of social media. Forty years ago, the OM was not writing commercials and creating content for ads, she did what she was hired to do: manage her employees. Social media marketing is so much more than posting pictures and updates; it takes skill and strategy to craft content for social media.
If that’s not enough to convince you to re-delegate online marketing to a social media professional, here are 10 more reasons why you should hire a professional social media consultant and not let your OM run your social media accounts:
4) A monkey really couldn’t do it. It takes strategy. Social media posts aren’t just about pitching your business in ad form or posting promotions and discounts. Carefully crafted content on social sites help draw users to your own website. These hits boost your website’s rank on search engine results. Random posts done in your OM’s free time, however, won’t help your business’s social media presence.
5) A social media consultant has solid communication skills. Say you own a restaurant, and you post a promotion for a special holiday dinner. The day after the dinner, you get a comment by a customer who was unsatisfied with the experience. The professional thing to do would be to send that person an apology, and possibly offer compensation. Does your OM have the stamina to weed through responses and address these issues?
6) Does your OM have the skillset to track data from social media posts? How many likes did this post get? Are Instagram pictures more popular than Facebook posts? How many views are your blog posts getting? From what parts of the world? A trained social media specialist knows how to use this data to make future posts more relevant. Is your OM trained in data analytics?
7) It’s a serious investment to make awesome social media posts. Video, photo-editing, and graphic technology cost serious money, but the difference in quality is real. Investing in these softwares may be more expensive than just hiring someone who already has these tools.
8) There needs to be consistency in posts. Your OM might have a week where she is able to post all over Instagram and Facebook, but the next week the pages are empty. It’s not laziness, she simply has too much to do. But consistency in posting frequency is essential for more clicks to your website and also assists in boosting SEO ranking.
9) Your OM probably doesn’t use all the social media outlets in her personal life. The average person has one social media tool they use more than others. They might be able to navigate Facebook with amazing networking skills, but are clueless with Twitter. Professional social media consultants know the ends and outs of every media outlet.
10) It’s not her job. Obviously! Let your OM do the work she was trained to accomplish, whether it be sales, human relations, or employee management.
To understand this last reason is to understand that social media marketing is not just messing around on the internet. It’s about carefully crafted content that draws in users to learn about your product or services. It’s the job of a trained professional, not a checklist for one of your employees.
Forty years ago, you’d leave the script of a commercial to a creative agency. Today, leave the social media marketing to those trained in communications, data analytics, and creative content.
Oh, and let your office manager get back to work.