Does a business need a social media manager? For that matter, does a business need social media? The simple answer is yes.
Social media is no longer just for personal use. Today businesses are expected to maintain their own social media pages. An online presence with search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of a successful business. It is not enough to simply put up a website and leave it. Even making a Facebook page for your business will not help if you don’t maintain it. According to NetMarketShare, Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. Having an active presence on social media platforms linked to your business site will improve your SEO. What is more, studies show that over 80% of people research a company online before visiting the small business or making a purchase with them. Among customers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to the reviews as well. This means that businesses must be interacting regularly with their customers online.
Running a business requires a lot of time and dedication, and time and money are often in short supply. Business owners have to make tough decisions. The choice to bring in more employees is one that has to be carefully balanced. Sometimes the workload is there but the cost seems too high. But as the business grows you don’t have to go it alone. Identifying tasks that you can delegate will help you reclaim your time, and social media management is a great one to delegate. Knowing that active social media platforms are important, business owners can delegate these tasks to an expert. Hiring a social media manager is less expensive than hiring an employee to come into your business. Additionally, a social media manager can elevate your business’ digital presence and reduce your workload.
What Is A Social Media Manager?
Social media managers handle the tasks related to the business’ social media platforms. They can oversee posting, moderating comments, creating adds, responding to customers, and curate content. Social media managers understand the difference between personal social media use and business social media use. They gather metrics on page performance, engagement, brand awareness, and customer satisfaction. They can align online marketing efforts with your business plan. A social media manager has a specialized targeted approach to improve your company’s digital presence and improve customer engagement and satisfaction.
You may have already decided that you should outsource your social media marketing. Or maybe you are not sure if your business is ready for a social media manager. If any of these things are true about your business, you might be ready for a social media manager.
1. You are starting to miss messages or are overwhelmed trying to keep up with messages coming to your business.
People who visit your Facebook page can see how responsive you are to customer messages. If you are not responding fast enough to messages you will not have the “very responsive to messages” badge on your business profile. Today more than 41% of customers expect live chat to be on a business website. And for customers on a mobile device that number reaches 50%. If live chat is not an option, speedy message response is an absolute must. More than half of consumers report preferring a fast digital response to calling a business. Customers want to know that you have time for them and if you cannot keep up with answering messages hiring a social media manager to do that for you increases your customer service and frees up your time.
2. You don’t understand the platforms your audience uses.
If you don’t understand the a social media platform you cannot maximize its benefit. If you know your audience is on Snapchat or Instagram, but you do not have an account or understand how users are interacting on the platform most of the time and money, or lost profit making time, that you spend on it will likely be wasted. Are you even sure which platforms your audience is using? If you hire a social media manager who is familiar with the platforms and understands how to maximize the reach your posts have, you will get more out of your social media campaigns and make sure your message is reaching the right audience.
3. You think about social media management last.
If you take care of all your other business needs and social media is an afterthought you are doing your business a disservice. Even if you are doing well with conventional marketing and you are achieving growth and improvements in other aspects of your business, but then at the end of the day realizing that you haven’t brought any of this up on social media you are missing an opportunity and limiting your business. Or maybe maintaining social media platforms seems like a difficult or confusing chore and so you put it off. Completing all of your daily and weekly task goals and then trying to update social media as an afterthought can leave you feeling perpetually behind. Hiring a social media manager to keep your platforms constantly updated can improve your social media presence and take away the burden of additional tasks.
4. You’re ready to expand your advertising
Social media opens the doors to an entirely new audience of potential customers. Most businesses rely heavily on social media to connect with their target audience, but if you do not create the right campaign for the platform you will be wasting time and money. A social media manager is using analytics and experience to draw in more followers. Because many people view social media as something used for fun, it can seem strange to hire an expert, but when you understand that this is a market and the audience engagement techniques for this market are a specialized skill set hiring someone with experience and training makes business sense.
5. You’re already working more than 40 hours per week.
If you are working full time running your business, you will not have adequate time to commit to social media accounts. Even if you do not find the maintenance of social media platforms confusing or burdensome, you cannot dedicated the amount of time needed to optimize your social media accounts. Adding hours on top of your 40+ hour work week will lead to frustration and burnout. You can take the pressure off by hiring a social media manager.
6. You’re putting off things that make you money.
If you are neglecting things like closing deals, taking extra client visits, or networking with other professionals, so that you can manage your social media you are doing your business a disservice. If trying to keep up with customer message response and updating media platforms on sales and product changes is preventing you from taking care of other core business tasks, then you need to outsource your social media management to someone else.
7. You don’t understand digital marketing.
Digital marketing does not follow the conventions of standard marketing. If all you do is put up a website it will not be enough. Unfortunately, simply adding a Facebook business page you will not get the results you want either. There are lots of factors that go into successful digital marketing. According to OptinMonster, there is a 242% difference between the open rate of a marketing message on Facebook and a traditional email. There is a great deal that goes into digital marketing from audience and platform identification to search engine optimization, to competitor analysis, to analytics, to advertising and strategy.
To be successful in social marketing you need to understand how to look at analytics, reporting, marketing and advertising for paid campaigns. You need to understand the tools and software used and how to monitor for brand mentions and customer service response. You could eventually learn these things, but if you do not know them now, you should hire someone to do it while you get started.
8. You don’t enjoy social media management anymore.
If managing social media feels like a burden, you should hand off that task. Especially if it is tacked onto the end of long working weeks, your social media will be lack-luster and your audience will pick up on that. Social media success relies on authenticity. People want to know that your business is run by people and that their interaction is with a real person that they can trust. Also, if you are constantly putting in hours to produce a quality social media presence when you are not enjoying the work it will contribute to burnout on your end.
9. You can’t keep up with trends.
Hashtags and trends are constantly changing. Trending changes can be hourly! If keeping track of hashtags and platform popularity and what times you should be posting on what platform feels difficult, let someone else handle those burdens.
10. Search engine optimization feels like a foreign language.
The goal of social media is to connect you to your audience. But for that to happen you have to be found. Social profiles influence the content of your search results and social media profiles are often among the top results when searching brand names. Social media platforms can serve as search engines too. If you know how to optimize twitter or Instagram hashtags you can increase the likelihood that your business is found by your target audience- even if they are not searching for your company.
11. You’re not getting engagement.
Having a social media platform that no one follows or engages with will not help you. If you cannot figure out a way to get your followers to interact with you then you should reach out for help from someone who specializes in social media.
12. You’re not reaching your goals.
When you create a marketing plan you figure out how many people you want to convert, how many followers you want to gain, and how to advance your marketing campaign. If you are not sure what your goals should be or if you have set them but cannot seem to reach them then it might be time to bring in a social media manager. If you are not reaching your customers and not adding value to your business with social media, something isn’t working. Someone who can optimize your social media presence can help you reach your goals faster and free you up to put more resources into other marketing outlets.
13. You are not able to update social media in real-time.
Social media is popular because it is a faster way to interact. If you cannot update your social media in real time your business is not optimizing its social media accounts. Sure, you can schedule your posts for each week in advance, but you still need to check in regularly. If you are not actually checking in with each platform and responding to customers and trends as they are happening you will lose that personal connection that your customers are seeking with social media. Additionally, you want to be able to share urgent news or unexpected business changes in the moment. If you do not have enough time, a social media manager can handle that role for you.
14. You don’t have the right tools.
Having a phone and a computer is fine for personal social media use. But do you have editing software or analytics? You will need tools to gather metrics, let you know who is engaging with you, which posts are getting the most engagement and letting you see what things are working and what things are not effective. If you are using twitter or Instagram you will want tools that monitor hashtags and identify trends. If you are using YouTube you will want special lights, cameras, and editing and design software. Different platforms have different needs. It is usually more cost effective and time-efficient to hire a social media manager who specializes in these platforms.
15. Writing isn’t your strength.
Social media posts are not works of literary genius, but they are not a transcription of a casual conversation. They require writing skills and experience conforming your message to fit your audience. You must find the correct voice for your audience; your voice needs to be light and friendly, but you still need to write on your subject authoritatively. You want your brand’s voice to remain consistent across platforms and from one week’s posts to the next, but you also don’t want your posts to be identical across all platforms, so creativity, rewriting, and revision skills are all important. If you do not have experience in these areas a social media manager who is experienced in crafting written online content and tailoring content to different audiences will maximize your social media presence.