Within the last few years, “social media” has evolved from a place where young people post silly photos and chat with their friends to a must-have marketing tactic slash multi-million-dollar business. Every year, something new is happening in the social media world. Platforms are rising, falling, and evolving; algorithms are changing; and more businesses without an online presence are finding it increasingly challenging to stay relevant.
While posting on social media for personal reasons has stayed more or less the same over the years (aside from the styled Instagram accounts of influencers and public figures, most of us still post less-than-stellar selfies and pictures of our pets), social media for businesses has changed a fair bit. Gone are the days of “Oh, this is a cool pic. I’ll post this on Facebook.” Hello calculated social media strategies.
Social media isn’t just something businesses have because “everyone has it.” (If this is your business, I recommend considering a social media manager sooner than later.) It’s now a real marketing tool where businesses invest real marketing dollars and see real results. New analytics integrations have also made it easy for businesses to see exactly how social media is impacting their product or service sales.
While it really is impossible to become an expert in the field of social media, with time, effort, and a little bit of help from someone who has worked in the field for a few years, it is becoming easier to spot what works and what doesn’t. If you happen to be managing your own social media platforms, and you notice any of these red flags, it might be time to consider hiring a social media manager to help you stay on top of your competition:
Your social media is inconsistent and does not reflect your business.
When I chat with business owners, there are often times when I can tell, right away, if social media is just another item on their to-do list. They don’t necessarily see the value in proper social media strategy and management, so they post whatever they feel like whenever they have time. Unfortunately, there are two main things wrong with this. One, for most businesses, in order to be successful on social media, you need to post semi-regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to post every day (the frequency with which you post on each platform will vary), but you must stay relevant and in the forefront of your consumers’ minds. Secondly, if the content you’re posting does not provide value, represent your company, or help you reach your goals, there really isn’t point to posting at all.
You have no idea what to post on social media, and you don’t have time to look into it.
As mentioned above, if you’re posting whatever you feel like on social media, without rhyme or reason, there’s a high chance you won’t see desired results. You might not see any increase in following or increase in sales. What you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. is important, and it varies. Ensuring you’re posting the right content (e.g. videos for Facebook and high-quality images for Instagram), with the right messages (proper tone and voice), and an enticing call-to-action (“learn more about this new product on our site”) can take your social media profiles from dead to vibrant in a short period of time. Conducting this research, planning the posts, writing the content, and finding the visuals takes time which is where a social media manager can help.
Your competitors are leaving you in the dust.
In some industries (business-to-business sales), fewer companies have a strong social media presence while companies in other industries might not be able survive without it. Regardless of the type of industry your business operates in, you might want to consider investing in a social media manager if you notice you are losing business to a competitor who has upped their social media game. With people spending hours on social media every day, your business is at a disadvantage if your competitors are repeatedly popping up in your customers’ feeds and you aren’t. To stay relevant in your industry, and prevent competitors from scooping up your clients, it might be necessary to invest in social media management.
Of course, if you’re starting a business from scratch, social media is something you might want to consider sooner than later. It’s better to start off on the right foot than make a handful of corrections down the road when your business is established and you’re swamped with other duties and costs.
One note of caution: When you’re hiring a social media manager, I recommend hiring someone who has experience managing social media accounts for businesses or organizations. Unfortunately, posting on social media for pleasure (personal) and business aren’t exactly the same. By hiring someone who doesn’t really understand how to navigate social media for business, you might just be dumping a lot of responsibility and pressure on someone who eventually reverts to exactly the same methods you were once using. You might not see the results you were hoping to see either.
Social media isn’t the be-all-end-all of every business, but it is important. My hope is for every business owner to have a positive relationship with social media, instead of a negative one. If you’re a business owner yourself, and you have any questions about social media, please feel free to message me! I’d be more than happy to provide some advice.