As a Social Media Agency, the most common responses we get to the question “Who takes care of your social media now?” run the gamut from “Oh, my nephew in college does it”; to “Linda, our receptionist, does it on her break”; to “I’ve been doing it myself when I can find some time.”
Being that Social Media Marketing is a relatively new field in the overall scheme of things, it’s not entirely surprising that there is still a bit of resistance to its inherent value, and for those who do take it seriously there tends to be a lack of understanding of why they should hire an actual Social Media Professional to take care of their accounts.
There aren't many fields spanning human activity remaining where businesses proactively avoid hiring a professional to undertake what’s actually quite a scientific and detailed series of processes. Does owning a pair of scissors and an electric razor make someone a barber? Does possessing a gym membership and a pair of workout gloves make someone a personal trainer? Would you let a friend build your house because they know how to use a hammer and a screwdriver? So why would owning a smartphone and having a Facebook account make someone qualified to be a Social Media Manager?
Tongue-in-cheek wittiness aside, here are a few reasons why it's time to bring in the pros.
1. You've never really cared about Social Media
If you’re a business owner, you very likely went confidently into that exciting venture packing a specific set of skills that you were ready to deploy. And then before you knew it, you had to be on Social Media and you needed to quickly figure out how to create accounts and resize images and get followers and spread your message, all while running your business day-to-day. It’s a lot, especially if Social Media isn’t specifically a skillset that you’ve honed over the years and one that you research daily.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. In business, you need to know when to put the time in to learn a new skill and when to outsource. If you’ve never been a “Social Media person”, the learning curve is going to be steep. For the vast majority of people, outsourcing Social Media is the answer as the sheer time it takes to do it right just isn’t feasible. And really, you ought to be doing what you do best - running your business.
2. You don't have time to post
Time is the most in-demand and scarce resource for all humans, and it holds an even stronger place for business owners. By trying to squish Social Media into an already busy schedule, there’s a significantly lower chance that it’ll be done properly, and rushing or forcing your posts isn’t going to make for effective content that resonates with your audience.
The reality is that crafting and curating content, scheduling and posting that content, growing and grooming your audience and then measuring it all can be quite time-consuming, as there is so much more to Social Media than just posting an image on Instagram or throwing a few characters into a tweet. It’s likely that investing your time and energy into other areas that would benefit the business much more, and hiring a Social Media Professional to handle your accounts would generate significant ROI on both ends - your time isn’t wasted on something you don’t truly understand (or even enjoy), and the money you invest in a SMM Pro contributes to brand awareness, lead generation, community growth and engagement, and actual money in the bank.
3. You don't get Digital Marketing
In the macro environment of Digital Marketing, Social Media would be considered a micro aspect. An understanding of Social Media stems from an overall grasp of the major concepts and functions of Digital Marketing, and Marketing as a whole. The same psychological principles apply, and generally speaking, those with an affinity for Marketing (digital or otherwise) are often well-suited for Social Media.
If Marketing, digital in particular, isn’t exactly your bag, then perhaps things like Social Media and Social Advertising should be left to the pros. The level of scrutiny that’s put on a brand’s social has increased severely in line with its ubiquity as a Marketing and Communication tool, so the risks of any overt mistakes for a business who values their online reputation just aren’t worth taking.
4. You don't have a Social Media Strategy
As with any sort of Marketing, a clear, concise, targeted and well-thought out strategy is required for it to be successful, and this applies to Social Media as much as anything else. What’s your brand voice and how will it convert to social? What are your consistent usernames/handles across each platform? Who is your core customer? What do they want to see? What’s your ratio of educational vs entertaining vs sales posts? How are you going to approach each network? How many posts per day will you be doing? What sort of content will you post on each platform? What sort of imagery will you post? Do you have a professional photographer taking all your images? What about a videographer, seeing that video is the strongest performing content across all mediums?
You get our drift. There are so many intersecting elements to consider when looking at Social Media for a business that most people just don’t realize must be done in order for it to be successful. If all of that seems a bit much, it’s time to bring in a pro.
5. You're thinking about "passing it off" onto your intern
"My assistant/intern will take care of it." This is the all-time classic line. Social Media has traditionally been palmed off to lower level employees like receptionists, assistants and interns, as they tend to be younger people who suffer from the assumption that they’re completely knowledgeable and capable of crafting a unique and thoughtful Social Media strategy, and then have the ability to execute it with measurable, ROI-positive results. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, that just isn’t the case.
Long gone are the times that Social is simply a task that’s beneath the other marketers. Social Media is literally everywhere and it’s arguably the most important way to control the conversation surrounding your business online (and by extension, offline too). You’re better off not doing it at all than passing the task to someone incapable of doing it right, and in this day and age "not doing Social" as a business is not an option. So, is it time for you to go pro?
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