Now I may be shooting myself in the foot as we offer social media management as a service, and do it very well, but the longevity of an external social media manager will be short lived.
This was eluded to in SASCon this year, but I am in agreement that in the next few years, the role of the external social media manager will diminish. This is not because Social Media is dying, far from it, but because Social Media is going to become more and more important to business, so much so it will become an internal strategy, and depending on the business will have 1 or many many more people in charge of being the ‘social media voice’.
Why can’t an external company do Social Media Management for you?
Well, you can use an external company… in fact at the moment with so little knowledge, and more importantly, confidence, in social media, many companies, quite rightly, leave this to the experts. Online Marketing Companies, such as Falkon Digital have the understanding, experience and adaptability to run this for you.
With the general population being a bit ‘nervous’ of Facebook rules and regulations (amongst other platforms), digital agencies have a lot more confidence to do a good job for your company.
However, social media needs to be the voice of your company, whether it is a tool for press, promotions, recruitment, customer service or just brand awareness there is only so far an external digital agency can go.
A good social media management will research your target audience, have plans in place for passing on feedback and will be quick to react to opportunities to engage with your demographic and promote your brand.
This is great but in the future we will see people change their expectations of a brand on social media, they will expect a certain level of service and social media will become the norm.
The progression of Customer service and PR
Once upon a time your business was in the high street, you met with your customers face to face and it was localised. The business grew and you got other people to do the face to face work, whether this was B2B or B2C the face of your business was who you employed to speak and sell to people directly.
This progressed and people became a bit more detached so you would perhaps call up to talk to someone about their business or write to you. As more and more people called in, the one person that answers the phone became a team of people, until we needed call centres.
The same is applying to social media, people are used to going online to talk about brands, complain, ask questions, and the businesses that have the right people in place will essentially win. This may be gaining trust, nipping a complaint in the bud before it goes viral.
Who is the best person to be talking on Social Media
When deciding a Social Media strategy you need to ask yourself these questions;
- Who is the best representative of my brand?
- Who do I want to speak to, what to they want to hear and who can give them the answers they need?
- Who can be reactive to issues and objection handle complaints
- Who understands my business
One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make, is they hire a kid who uses Facebook a lot and think this is who should be in charge of their social media. But if you are targeting business owners or Mums then is a young teenager going to be able to speak to them in the way they want?
Business train people up in sales, customer service and marketing to understand their business but they do not train anyone in house to use social media. Knowing social media is a secondary skill, understanding your business and audience is the most important skill. Bigger companies have departments looking after all sorts of areas of their business in social media such as complaints and press.
CEO’s get Social
Not all CEO’s get social, and if you don’t then either learn or stay away. CEO’s are usually the best representative of a company, they built it, they live and breathe the company policies and a good CEO should know the answers to everything or at least have a direct line to those who do.
A CEO on social media can be a powerful medium for the business, slightly separated but also a personal and real voice.
Brands get social
You are missing a trick if you don’t have your business on some form of social media, find out where your target audience ‘hang out’ be it instagram, Twitter, Google plus and get in front of them. Search for mentions of your brand and work out the sentiment, are people praising you, are they complaining? Get in front of them and encourage the good and resolve the bad quickly and efficiently.
Social Media Management and Training
Not all businesses need a dedicated team at the moment and this is where social media management is useful. Using someone that not only knows social but has experience in marketing and understands tone of voice for your brand is a great way to start.
As more and more people use social and more platforms are released you need someone who can re evaluate your presence regularly, have the trends shifted? Are you still trying to use Facebook to market to hipsters when they all left Facebook for IM and Snapchat after their Mums and Dads came online.
Social Managers can keep up to date with this and also as part of an integrated campaign can understand the ins and outs of your business at a high level.
A good social media manager will grow your brand and feedback on the levels of activity.
At some point your brand will be big enough to warrant an in house team. The last role of the Agency Social Media Manager should be to train your in house team and do social audits and consult on your strategy.
The best social media campaigns are run by people who love the business and do it everyday, you need people deep within the business to look after the social media, not someone on the outside looking in and this needs to start at the top.
The CEO, middle management, marketing, front line sales and customer services should all be involved in Social Media to represent the business as a whole.
We can offer social media training and consultation as well as management.