Let me start by addressing the elephant in the room!
We're a social media agency, so clearly our interests are best served by showing you why you shouldn't be entrusting your social media strategy to your existing staff, right?!
For a lot of social media agencies, I guess there is that conflict of interest. However, we've approached things differently. Above all else, we want to help small businesses figure out how to get great business results from social media. Some will decide they need external help to do this and will hopefully turn to us for help. Others will have their reasons for wanting to keep social media managed by their existing staff. If that's the case, we want to help you too - every person we help will go on to tell others about Social-Hire and so it's a win-win for us to help, whichever camp you're in.
We've even gone so far as to organise a social media training course so you can get your existing staff trained up on how to make a success of social media.
So anyway, hopefully that's the elephant in the room addressed!
So if you're thinking of entrusting your social media strategy to your existing staff, here are a few things you should address to give them a fighting chance of success:
1) Start with a clear objective in mind. Now I'm going to let you into a secret here. Business results from social media don't come from simply having a big presence. Even if your business can suddenly get itself in front of thousands more of your ideal customers, you aren't going to find that the phone is suddenly ringing non-stop or the online shopping basket is almost falling over under the strain of all the new website business being generated!
Quite the opposite.
A business with a big presence on social media is just that - a business that more people know about.
But for that big presence to translate into actual business results, you need to set a clear objective from the outset, so that everyone involved in the social media strategy is working towards the same goal and driving your new audience to take the desired next step.
That goal might be that you want to:
By being clear on that objective from the outset, your team will be able to focus on getting the right followers for the business and interacting with the most relevant prospects on social media. More importantly, they'll be able to start experimenting with approaches to convert that social media audience into people who've actually taken your desired next step.
2) Give your team enough time to get results. I mean this in two distinct ways. Firstly, social media is time-consuming to do well. Lots can be automated so you're posting regularly and liking other people's posts. But that's the most surefire way to get disappointing results from social media! Automation can just as easily kill your chances of ever getting business results from social media. So instead, carve out the time each week that your team will need to generate good results from social media - and ring-fence that time so that it's not in danger of being commandeered when other things need doing in the business.
That's only one part of giving your team the time to get results though. The second element is giving your team a long enough time window to get results.
What do I mean by that?
Most things on social media take time. It takes time to figure out what types of posts resonate most with your audience. It takes time to engage with people's posts enough that they turn around and start engaging with yours.
Most important of all, it takes time to experiment and work out the most effective way of converting your social media connections and followers - so that you have people who are doing the things that make them really valuable for your business rather than just remaining as followers.
Let's say, for argument's sake, that you run some kind of consulting business and you want to generate client leads from social media. As a team, you could probably brainstorm 10 ways that people could be enticed to become leads for your business. Maybe you offer a free consultation call. Maybe you run business breakfast events. Maybe you host informative webinars. The list could go on and on.
But things are more complicated than that. Will you try to convert your social media audience by publishing posts on your accounts? Will you reach out to people individually via direct messaging? Will you run paid advertising campaigns to have a promotion seen by your target audience.
There are so many variants to test - but test them you must!
Let's imagine that one combination of the above - say advertising to get people to book in for a consultation call - only converts 0.5% of your audience into prospects for your business. Whereas another combination - let's say inviting people individually to a business breakfast - converts 10% of your audience into prospects for your business. With those numbers, one route for converting your social media audience into more tangible results could be 20x more effective than another.
Now imagine you're doing a review of whether social media is working for your business and whether you should continue to invest in it. You clearly can't make the right judgement call there until you've adequately tested the different conversion options for your business. But that requires time! So my second point about time is to make sure you give your existing staff enough time to have experimented with everything to be able to determine what the long-term return from social media for your business could be.
3) Allocate some budget to social media. One of the biggest challenges that small businesses face is overcoming the ingrained perception that social media is free. Except that time is money, right? So, even if opening a social media account and posting on it is free, the time needed to build your presence on social media carries a cost.
Fortunately, there are lots of tools out there that can significantly reduce the time needed to undertake some of the more repetitive and time consuming tasks on social media. There are also advertising options that your team can take advantage of, to accelerate the timescales in which results can be achieved on your accounts. But both will require some budget - and it would be a mistake to have your staff work on your social media strategy without having set aside any budget to leverage both tools and advertising options.
So if you're thinking of entrusting your social media strategy to your existing staff, hopefully this has helped clarify what's needed to boost your chances of success. Have a clear objective from the outset, give your team the necessary time to get results and support them with some budget. Plus, of course, ensure they've done the right social media training to avoid all the common pitfalls. Hope that's been helpful - and good luck embarking on your social media adventure!
If this has you worrying that maybe social media isn't something you should be attempting to do in-house, do take a look at our "done for you" service and feel free to book in for a call to talk things through with our team.
The Social Hire team never just do social media.
The social media marketers in our company are the best in the business at helping our partners enhance their online marketing. We outline and implement cutting-edge social media marketing plans that help our customers realise their organisational objectives and further their social media presence. Our experienced team of digital experts do your social media strategy creation and management in an uncomplicated monthly plan that is cost-effective and is genuinely useful, whatever results you demand from your marketing team.
Our team are a company that assists our customers further their digital footprint by giving digital marketing on a regular basis.
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