Social media is the first thing on everyone’s lips nowadays. There is an established code of ethics for using it properly. The question is whether you should hire someone to handle your social media needs or do it yourself.
Because it is still relatively new, new rules seem to be added on a fairly consistent basis and the old rules that no longer seem to make sense are being discarded along the way. In any case, businesses must use a well-planned and carefully executed social media marketing strategy that is polite, effective, and powerful.
Businesses and social media
More and more businesses are recognizing their urgent need to be a part of the internet revolution in order to gain increased success, visibility and more revenue. With that in mind, it is safe to assume that not all business owners have the resources or the knowledge to use social media effectively. In that case, doesn’t it make sense for those businesses to hire someone outside of the company to handle all of their social media needs, on a permanent basis? Of course, if you do decide to hire someone to take care of your online needs, it is extremely important be discriminating about who you hire.
Remember that it is your reputation and the reputation of your business on the line when it comes to social media and your online exposure and reputation. You should only hire vendors who have a great deal of experience and who have come personally recommended to you. You really do get what you pay for in this situation. Hiring a person who is either fresh out of school or who has a small amount of experience is probably not a wise choice and you very possibly might regret it if you go that route. Additionally, once your vendor has set up your online marketing campaign and has trained various members of your staff, you should bear in mind that there is always the potential for your staff members to leave in a disgruntled manner and to harm your online presence in some way. It is a very good idea to learn as much as you can as the owner of the business so that you can protect what you have built.
There are many objectives that business owners should have in mind when it comes to considering their online needs and in which direction they need to go. There are usually two very different objectives that business owners have and identifying which one of those needs applies to their business will determine how they go about deciding whether they can handle the social media on their own or should hire someone else to handle it.
- Day-to-day engagement: Daily social media engagement is consistent and reliable. It is like Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. A business’ long-term social media campaign falls into this category. The campaign is a long-term investment. It is very common for businesses to hire people who are experts in working with internet marketing campaigns. This is a wise investment on the part of the business owner. Leaving the campaign to outside experts (or at least parts of it) will pay off in the long run. Of course, you must be extremely careful when choosing the company to fulfill your social media needs. Even though you will have put the social media needs of your business in their hands, you still need to pay close attention to what they are doing so that they continue to give you what you need and want for your business.
- Time-constrained campaign: One of the main purposes of this type of campaign is to create an immediate buzz about the brand and the business. This type of campaign can be handled more easily by you and your staff. The campaign is more short-lived and will not go on indefinitely. It is much more intense than the other type of social media strategy and once you have launched that strategy, you can sit back and collect the results and reap the benefits.
Getting back to the daily social media campaign, it is very important to remember that you need to have some time and resources dedicated to keeping a watchful eye on what your vendor is doing, if you choose to outsource the campaign. There are many important reasons for this, including:
- The culture of your business: You know the culture of your business better than anyone possibly could if they are not actually inside your business. Who could possibly understand what your business represents and which values are important to your business? Another important part of the culture is a deep understanding of how to handle your customers most effectively, including customer support, relationships with your customers, etc.
- Collaborating: Collaboration within your business is critical to the success of your business. The concept of social media is based on collaboration and interaction; however, it cannot all be done online if you want it to be done successfully. Some of that collaboration must be among the people who “live” in your organization.
- Transparency: Transparency is a vital part of a successful business. Your vendor can choose to share what they are doing with your social media campaign (down to the last, minute detail) but if they choose not to be completely transparent, it could end badly.
There is a great deal to be said for hiring an outside vendor to handle the social media campaign for your business, as long as there is a clear agreement on both sides that your vendor will be totally forthcoming with any and all information pertaining to your business. If social media is done properly, the online presence for the company will be strong and memorable. The more people remember, the more inclined they will be to build a relationship with the business and its people.
For many businesses, especially those businesses that are in completely different niches, it is wise to leave it to the experts. There are different levels of involvement that can work for different types of businesses. Some business owners prefer to pay someone to set everything up and then want to be trained so that they can manage the social media campaign on a lighter level. Often, it makes no sense to be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to social media. You need to make sure that whichever way you go regarding social media, it is the best choice for your business. You will be able to tell if the efforts are paying off and then you will know for sure that you have made the correct decision.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.