Social Media Management Is a Real Job
If you’re the owner or manager of a small business, you probably know that social media is an important part of your marketing toolbox. Bus wraps, commercials, radio spots and coupon books certainly offer their benefits to local businesses. But social media, when combined with engaging content and consistency, is the way to really connect your business to the surrounding community.
Because social media is such an important aspect of your business, you’ll want to hire someone who can create consistent, engaging content that builds your brand. So, what kind of people do you hire?
If you’re thinking about bringing your teen son/daughter, niece/nephew, or grandson/granddaughter onto the marketing team, consider a few things first:
Will they be the only one running your brand’s social media account?
Do they know the brand well?
Are they creative and spontaneous?
Do they understand the importance of digital brand image?
Can they commit to consistent posts and activity on the account?
Will they research trends relevant to your brand?
If the answer is “yes” to most of those questions (except for #1), welcome them to the business!
More often than not, though, your teen will probably not be as incredibly in tune with your product and mission as you’d like (or need). Plus, unless you pay them, your social media pages definitely will not take priority. And it’s not their fault—teens have a lot going on, too (trust me, I would know).
You want someone who can talk about your business with genuine excitement or interest. You want someone who understands how to frame your business favorably within the huge digital environment. You want someone who can quickly respond to customer grievances or suggestions. What you need is a social media manager or social media marketing team.
Why Hire a Social Media Manager/Team
Assuming your teen (or a friend’s teen, etc.) isn’t specially trained to manage a business’s social media, here’s why you should turn to a social media manager.
*I’d like to say first that I personally recommend a social media team rather than just one person who controls the entire social media landscape for a small business. I’ll get more into why in the creativity section.*
They know the brand well.
Well, maybe not at first. But a social media team will be paid (by you) to ideally know your brand like it’s their favorite. If you’re a local restaurant, they should know the menu front and back. If you’re a law firm, they should know all your firm’s policies and where you serve. They are essentially a part of your brand. And they should be—they’re now a part of your team.
So, what does knowing a brand mean for social media? It means:
posting informational, useful content for followers and social media passersby
responding to questions, concerns and suggestions with helpful and accurate information
knowing which trends are relevant to your brand
They’re creative and spontaneous.
Part of the benefit of having social media experts on (or as) your marketing team is that they are trained to create original, engaging content. They are literally paid to be creative.
As promised, here’s why having a team is beneficial: Ideas thrive in groups. The team doesn’t have to be large—in fact, it could even be just two people. The idea is that brainstorming content shouldn’t fall on just one person. You need to diversify the ideas so that your brand’s content always stays fresh. Also, when one person’s ideas stagnate for the day, another person will certainly stir the creativity pot.
Spontaneity is also important. Social media posts are catering to an audience with short attention spans, so creating original content in a flash is sometimes necessary to match that insight.
They understand brand image.
Your teen may understand their own digital reputation (don’t post underage drinking, for example!), but it can be difficult to realize how important a brand’s image is for your business. A social media team, by knowing your brand well, will have a sense for what’s appropriate to post and what’s not.
They’ll also know what your brand’s tone is. Your tone is how you come across to the public (e.g., quirky, irreverent, serious, etc.). Your team will know to tailor each post to fit the tone you want. At SparkIt, for example, we tailor our clients’ social media posts to their preexisting tone (Relish = edgy, humorous; Dixieland = warm, inviting).
They’re consistent and active.
It’s a social media team’s job to maintain an up-to-date and active social media feed. Your teen might forget to post every now and then, but your social media team will have several week’s worth of posts planned out in advance.
Your team will make sure to always be available (within reason) to answer customers’ questions and comments. They will also be maintaining a healthy active account by liking, following, sharing and commenting on other pages.
They will do the necessary research for your brand’s digital success.
A social media team knows to delegate certain members to researching current industry trends that are relevant to your business. Once the researchers gather information about what the trends mean for your business, the content creators can get to work on creating content that matches the trend
But trends are fleeting, especially social media trends. Sometimes a “trend” lasts for a few hours, and the moment has passed. That’s why your team will also be consistent and active!
Research also refers to audience research. A social media team constantly gathers data (with programs like Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Google Analytics) to see who’s viewing your brand’s social media pages. Ideally, the team will work closely with you to determine who your target audience is.
With this information, I hope you now understand why hiring a social media team is not only a good idea for your brand, but a necessity.