Your company’s social media presence is one of the most common ways in which your organization is interacting with your clients/customers. Even without direct communication, by commenting, sharing, and posting, you’re constantly reminding them of your existence.
While all of this is clearly a good thing, there’s one thing that sometimes slips under the radar – it takes an incredible amount of time and effort.
This is why you need someone who sees this task as their full-time responsibility.
This person is your social media manager.
In order to understand what a social media manager is, why you need one, and how you get to benefit from their activity, it’s important that you delve deeper into what it is that they do. With that in mind and without further ado, here are some of the biggest advantages that a competent social media manager brings to the table.
There are several ways in which a social media manager boosts your social media visibility. Sure, visibility is not everything, just being able to find you is nowhere near enough. However, it’s definitely a starting point.
People are sometimes suspicious towards the content that finds them (instead of it being the other way around). The idea of being monitored and targeted seems a bit suspicious to them, which makes them raise their natural defense mechanisms. With the right posting time, proper use of metadata, and similar methods, skilled social media marketers can quite effectively increase your organic reach. This is the type of outreach that will meet a much weaker resistance and avoid triggering numerous defense mechanisms.
Raising brand awareness
To amass a meaningful following, you need to be more informative in all your statements. You see, while brand recognition is just about people being able to… well, recognize your brand, brand awareness is about much more than that. Brand awareness is about people being able to understand what you’re about even before doing business with you. In other words, it’s an essential stage of the customer lifecycle.
Social media links may not work as standard links, but they can definitely be discovered by a traditional search engine (like Google). Keep in mind that the importance of this applies even to your loyal readers. Just because they saw your previous post on Facebook, this doesn’t mean that they’ll remember this. Next time, they might try to find this exact same post by entering keywords directly into a search engine. A good social media manager will prepare for this eventuality.
By hiring a social media manager, you’ll drastically increase your visibility, reach, and traffic. Each of these factors determines your brand’s overall performance in a digital world.
Handling your social media accounts takes more time than you would expect it to. This is especially true for those who want their official social media accounts to be active and used to their full potential.
Scheduling and monitoring posts
While it’s true that social media posts need to be posted at the right time, this is something that can be scheduled via specialized software. What you need to keep in mind is that monitoring these posts and tracking their life cycle may be far more important. Tracking their performance in real-time, tweaking some parameters, paying attention to potential mistakes, and editing them right away, are just some of the things that need to be handled by a human.
Interacting with potential clients
The biggest potential of social media is a chance to directly interact with your target audience. You can respond to comments, send messages, and even share the content of your fans/clients. This allows you to create meaningful bonds with your target audience, thus strengthening the position of your brand across the board. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that this requires a lot of time and vigilance. Someone needs to monitor these messages and take time to craft a unique response to every one of them.
Crafting a social media marketing strategy
A social media marketing strategy is not something that you just draft and stick to indefinitely. It’s more like a battle plan, which needs to be readjusted when new changes occur. It takes extensive research of your target audience (continuous monitoring). You also need to handle profiling, conduct occasional social media audits, and update your social media content calendar in real-time. This is a full-time job, and the best results are achieved when you put an expert in charge.
As you can see, handling your social media presence is a full-time job that requires hours and hours of active work every week. Taking someone off their duties to tend to social media marketing would be both irresponsible and ineffective. This is why an in-house specialist is a must.
Many Forms of Employment
Finding the right social media manager is just one part of the problem. You also need to consider what kind of employment relationship you’re willing to commit for. Are they temporary or permanent employees within your organization?
Hiring an in-house social media manager
The simplest way to handle this is to hire an in-house social media manager. While outsourcing is always an option, for the majority of businesses, social media is a huge portion of their online presence. This is why keeping someone on the retainer is definitely worth the cost. This way, you get someone who understands your brand inside out and someone who is completely committed to this project. This is especially important when you’re a part of a STEM industry, seeing as how the amount of specific knowledge might be outside of the scope of a standard social media manager.
Hiring a freelancer
There are numerous reasons for hiring a freelancer. For instance, you might wonder what it would be like to have a social media manager, and hiring a freelancer may help you get first-hand experience. You can use this as a trial version and even hire this same freelancer if their performance meets your expectations. One more thing that you gain by hiring a freelancer is an outsider’s view on your overall marketing. This is something that you should never underestimate.
Hiring someone with social media manager’s responsibilities
In one of the sections, we’ve discussed the prospect of hiring a full-time, in-house social media manager. The biggest concern here is whether having such a specialist on a retainer is actually worth it. Is their role really big enough to justify this additional expense? The answer is quite simple – they can have other responsibilities, as well. If you look at your social media manager as a part of your PR or even assign them some of these PR tasks, the value ratio will be seriously offset.
You don’t really have to commit to one model or another. As we’ve mentioned, you can combine and transition from one form to another. The best approach is to test it out and choose for yourself.
A Completely Different Playing Field
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing, but it has its own rules. So, you need an expert who knows their way around all of this. What you need is someone who knows how to play this game by its rules.
Picking proper format
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you can just make your video marketing fit the social media needs. First of all, social media videos are of a much shorter format than YouTube videos, especially on platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. If we’re talking about Story format on Instagram and Facebook, you have 15 seconds to send a message. Just being able to format this property is not simple and requires a specialist’s intervention.
Scheduling social media posts
Every single platform has its own ideal posting time for optimal engagement. Knowing when to post can make all the difference when it comes to your reach and engagement. There are a lot of little subtleties to take into account here. For instance, the majority of people check their social media profiles on workdays during working hours (on breaks and minibreaks). Taking full advantage of this can give you more attention than you would otherwise receive.
New trends are emerging every day
So far, we’ve talked about social media rules, but there are new rules coming up every year. Just imagine how the introduction of the Story format changed the world of social media marketing and how hard it was to fully understand the potential behind it. Then again, there are also new social media platforms every couple of years. TikTok, for instance, is such a huge platform, but it has existed for less than six years. Before that, it was impossible to imagine that something new could be as big as Facebook or Instagram.
With so many rules and such rapid innovation, you need someone whose job is to keep track of these things. Getting a professional social media manager on your side can be a game-changer, especially if you get someone who understands the nature of this industry.
Producing Social Media Content
Even when sharing other people’s posts, it’s more effective if you can write a thing or two about it. So, what happens if writing is not exactly your forte? Ideally, you would have someone else organize this. Also, even if social media video appears spontaneous, chances are that it needs a bit of editing and high-level production. A social media manager can help.
Giving your brand a voice
The most important thing in social media marketing is definitely consistency. You see, when creating content, you want it to have a recognizable tone. This becomes a part of your overall brand. The best way to humanize the entirety of your social media marketing is to have your posts written or directed by the same person (your social media manager). This person can become the voice of your brand, thus humanizing your entire organization in the eyes of your audience.
Examples of previous work
One of the best things when hiring such professionals lies in the fact that they probably have a lot of examples of previous work. You should request this, study it thoroughly and pass your decision based on your findings. Keep in mind that every enterprise is different, and if they’ve worked for someone from a different industry, this doesn’t necessarily have to be representative of their work. All in all, you’ll have something to base your work on.
Ask for a pitch
Asking for a quote is perhaps the best way to examine exactly what they’re bringing to the table. Ask them directly what approach they plan to take for your business. What kind of tone and voice do they intend to use when producing content? Tell them of the direction that you intend to take and ask for a quote of how they would adapt this to your social media presence. Sure, there are a lot of peculiarities that they would have to adapt to later on but asking for an oversimplified quote in advance is really not asking too much.
Remember that your content is a bridge between your business and your audience. It’s something that people will base their opinion of your business on before they even interact with your brand. Make sure that the person you put in charge knows what they’re doing.
Final thoughts on hiring a social media manager
Hiring a social media manager is a big decision, but it’s one that you’re not likely to regret. Regardless of whether you need someone to improve the standing of your business on social networks or even help out with your personal brand, having some professional assistance is always a good idea.
People make mistakes believing that just because they run their personal social media profiles, they understand how to do so for a business. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a completely different playing field, and you need someone who understands the rules on your side. This is the only way to unleash the full potential of your social media presence.