What is it with people trying to be everything to everyone?
We’ve been in the social media space for business since 2007 and over that time, we’ve seen many MANY changes. New platforms, old platforms, changes in privacy policies, changes in algorithms and we’ve been there through thick and thin, riding the ever changing wave of social media and constantly working out how to make the latest change work for business and not against it.
How many people would trust anyone with their social media. Unfortunately, many of the people who make decisions around social media as a business strategy do not fully understand it themselves.
The perception is that “It’s just facebook” if a 13 year old can do it, anyone can. They are also right, to a degree, anyone can make active noise on social media. But…
Is it effective?
We’ve said this before, writing for social media is a specialist skill – if you want to get results in your business. The doing part is so easy, anyone can do that. Understanding how it works in business takes a little more to figure out. It takes time and it takes skill.
The question in business if you use an inhouse or outsourced resource is – do they really have the time and the right skills?
A few topline questions to consider are – How can you blatantly sprook your message without it appearing like spam? How often should you be posting? When should you be posting? Whats the optimum mix of links, text and images for your page? What words should you use to best connect with your audience? Do you need to speak differently on twitter or google +? Where are your customers? What time are they online? Are you in control of your business strategy ? Does the person posting have proven experience that they have managed social media communities with results previously? That’s really just the start
Is it a false economy?
From experience, when we have tried to save money by doing a simple task in house, it has often cost us a lot more when we add up the hours spent on it. Nowdays, when we need a specialist task done, we find someone who excels in that field, someone who know’s their stuff and someone who can get the job done and achieve the outcome we are looking for. Our experience shows that if you line the project up side by side, we get a more effective (and efficient) result by using an expert.
Things to look out for
As in any industry things get hot, they look like an easy way to make cash and everybody jumps on the band wagon. Think Web design 10 years ago or SEO 3 years ago, right now the hot thing is social media management.
People love wasting hours on social media, and if they can get paid for that, great! It’s an easy plug in for many businesses with complimentary services and the reality is, most businesses are always on the look out for additional income streams. It’s why we ALMOST offered SEO and design as a service, we could make it look like us, sound like us and deliver it as socialface and we had a ready made target audience of people who needed it. We just needed to partner with the right people to get the job done at an effective price and we could make a very quick and healthy profit.
Why we send people direct to “could be” competitors
The one time I tried to get in the middle of a design job, in the early days, it frustrated everyone, the message got lost and it took longer to get the job done. In my experience, as a business owner, I get better results by staying focused on what we do well and by avoiding the shiny things. These days we directly connect our clients with the specialists we know and trust, because that’s how they get the best results in their business, and they do.
The best bit
Because we have respective relationships with a number of businesses that have been operating at a high level in their niche fields, we know that when a client needs a result, we can count on the people we recommend to deliver that work at a higher than industry standard. Our clients know our partners by first name rather than the business and we think that is pretty cool.
The biggest line to watch for when hiring a social media manager
Be ready to ask a few questions if some one offers a number of posts per week for a set fee. This is a part of social media management, but really is not the key to running a great social media strategy in your business.
Social media management takes time and it’s more about the responses and the conversation than it is about the number of posts you make each week. When you are hiring, a great tool is to set a KPI around how quickly posts are responded too, and by who?
Social care is growing rapidly from the Neilson report and its a solid reason why confirming the background of the person posting comes with the experience to take a conversation and lead that to the desired outcome, being engagement for the page, problem solving, lead generation or sales.
Beware of the jack of all trades, master of none.
Businesses that succeed usually will have a very tight niche that they work in. They have one thing that they do better than anyone else. A seriously great social media strategy and have that managed effectively, is ideally part of the bigger digital strategy for the business. Social media is just one piece of the puzzle, how can you expect one person to be able to keep up and master the new world of marketing?
Here is a brief I read for a marketing manager (paraphrased) – one person – build website, write blogs daily, optimise all of them, be on facebook, twitter, google+, linkedin and pinterest and respond in the 2o minutes it’s shown is the acceptable reponse time, read all of the changes so strategies can be adapted on the go and engagement not challenged, moderate across 6+ platforms, read all of the listening tools and emails on industry news, know the company keywords and SEO so google loves you, send regular email communications and offers to keep building the business and the client base AND have a sensational brand strategy, mobile responsive website that converts…. and look after and get new customers. Does anyone else feel overwhelmed? Phew! It’s an epic ask for one person to be awesome at all of the above and deliver it well in a working week.
Trying to be great at everything for everyone is the most certain way you can deliver mediocrity.
Our values as a business – to produce quality work that produces results (for us and our clients), to be ethical, honest and treat our clients business like it were our own. We actively work to develop a team of great, good people and not all of them work directly with socialface. We know that if we get awesome results for our clients, they stick with us, trust our referrals and get bigger win’s in their business. Yes, we could hire a specialist for SEO or design, the level of person we want to work with us, generally already has their own business, so instead we simply connect our clients, so they can get the same great results we do.
Tell us, we all juggle, whats the one thing you would like to give to a niche specialist to do for you?