Social Media has experienced exponential growth over the last few years and is showing no signs of slowing down. This form of marketing offers business owners exciting opportunities to keep your customers up to date with your services and products and also attract new customers, locally and globally through these channels which offer free and paid options.
With networks that are accessible 24/7 you can communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time and your online audience can check in whenever they want. Through social media, people can discover new content and up to the minute news about products and services and it also helps to build links that support SEO which helps your visibility in search results.
When implemented correctly, Social Media takes time and focus and it’s far better to concentrate on two social channels at first, rather than trying to do all of them. Facebook is the social media giant, whereas LinkedIn is the more professional channel where you can develop a professional network.
Appreciating the social media paradigm
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t understand or appreciate the opportunities social media marketing offers and more often than not, this role is given to a junior member of staff to manage (without much thought to the consequences). This is not always a wise decision!
I have heard this phrase many times…
I will get one of our junior members of the team to do social media, they use Facebook all the time and know how it works…
You might want to rethink this as you could be risking your brand and reputation!
Just because young staff members use Facebook for their personal lives, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they can transfer those personal skills into the business world and manage your social media with the care and expertise it needs.
Firstly, you will need to have a social media marketing strategy.
This involves establishing the goals and objectives you want to achieve in your business.
You can then align and integrate these goals into the overall marketing strategy, so that your strategy drives your business objectives.
The more detailed you can be with your goals and objectives, the easier it will be to understand what you want to accomplish.
Social media is about increasing brand awareness, identifying and growing your audience, reaching out to potential customers and establishing social proof.
Here are just a few of the skills required to use social media successfully.
- Know how to build long term relationships with your target audience
- Identify, connect and engage with your audience (think quality, not quantity)
- Have a good understanding of technology and adapt to new tools
- Know your business and your ideal customer
- Show generosity in sharing knowledge, expertise and experience
- Have a genuine passion for social media and an outgoing personality
- Be able to understand and demonstrate conflict resolution, patience and empathy
- Great customer service skills and a genuine interest in people
Setting goals and strategy
A successful social media presence requires a solid plan and should be integrated into your overall marketing strategy – and for this you need to have someone who understand the goals of the business and the marketing strategy before letting them lose on social media.
Another misconception I have heard about social media is:
“I don’t need a strategy and there is no return on investment (ROI) so it’s a waste of time”…
Sorry to disappoint you but a strategy is the most important part of any social media implementation.
If you have the right mindset and arm yourself with some knowledge and a set of objectives you can achieve and measure your ROI very easily.
Social Media Manager Responsibilities
People will ask questions via social media and it is essential to monitor, listen and respond. As a Social Media Manager, your are the voice of your business and this needs to be included in all aspects of customer-facing.
Some sound advice
If you’re not on social media, then you’re not where your audience is and you’re missing out on business that your competitors (who are on social media) are reaching.
If you are thinking of engaging a social media manager or strategist, have a good look at their own social media efforts and see if they are ‘walking the talk”.
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Midge Hand is a Co-founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises. Midge is one of only around 50 Copyblogger Media Certified Content Marketers and is the only one in New Zealand. When away from the demands of running High Profile Enterprises, Midge enjoys time with family, cooking for friends, Pilates and paddle boarding. This year her new challenge is to learn to play the melodica.