A Social Media Manager will use the web differently to traditional marketing philosophies. Social Media is a trendy term to describe a new kind of mass media. It involves both listening, and talking. It’s about being there for friends as well as engaging strangers. It’s all done on a daily basis by thousands of people in your town. Be under no illusion… it’s where the people are.
Sell kitchen products? You can bet your core customers are on Twitter or Facebook right now, this minute, sharing recipes, asking for advice on new products and yes, complaining about brands like yours.
How about a service? Say you’re a lawyer or a dentist. Your clients are online today – people in your area – letting their followers and friends know about their upcoming trip to your office probably before your assistant even pens the appointment in your diary.
The examples of how social media and business are converging online are almost endless. The point of all these examples is as visible as an elephant in a goldfish bowl: ignore these people and your business will suffer. Immensely over time. Your choice, the only one you have right now, frankly, is to engage these people on their turf, to meet them where they gather. And if you want to get ahead, you’d better do it fast.
Decide before it’s too late whether or not you need a social media manager. To provide a better understanding why you might need a social media manager, here’s 10 solid arguments:
1. The Sin Bin
In Rugby Union, if a player commits a serious foul then the referee can send him to the Sin Bin. His team are forced to go a man down for ten minutes. If you are on the end of social media spectrum where you aren’t engaging users on a daily basis in multiple ways and on multiple networks then you are, in essence, a member of the penalized team.
You’re playing at a major disadvantage to the people and competitors in your industry who are actively using social media to win new business. And if you aren’t even a member of these key sites, how can you ever know what is being said about you or your profession by your customers and potential customers?
2. You Need A Social Media Manager As The Extra Man
Conversely, if you choose to step into the social media realm with a calculated plan and a clear strategy then you acquire a major competitive advantage. In effect it is you who is now playing with the extra man.
You might have the chance to be one of the first in your niche to build a truly loyal following. Sure, the technologies are massive, but they’re also young. No one ‘owns’ the space yet. It’s game on – in every sector and every town. Now is your chance to do what you wished you’d done when the first wave of internet successes started emerging over twenty years ago.
You don’t have a choice to enter the game. It’s already started. Your only choice is which team you want to play on – the one that is advantaged, or the one that isn’t. That’s the only choice you’ve got right now.
3. A Community Following
By far the biggest benefit of using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn is the ability for you to build a community around your cause.
If you sell car valeting products how valuable would it be to have tens of thousands of car enthusiasts accessible to your business right now? What if you could have them help you develop your new products, test it for you, and then spread the good word to ten friends each? If every one of them did that (and they can and will if you do this properly) then that’d make you some serious cash, and wouldn’t hurt your brand reputation either.
Community is about engaging. It’s about listening, and responding appropriately. It is NOT just shouting about me, me, me and your new idea. It’s about caring for others. Do this, and you will help your brand and reputation in such a way that you will always have people willing to help you accomplish your goals. It’s powerful stuff.
4. The New Internet Marketing
The goal of any internet marketer is to get people to visit a specific website. So then, if several of the most visited websites in the world are already allowing people to use their sites to freely guide people to specific websites, why wouldn’t you want a chunky piece of the action?
Why does Google make so much money from its ‘pay-per-click’ advertising? Because most people who use the internet use Google to find what they want. NEWSFLASH: most people who use the internet use Facebook, (Facebook has over a billion users) and Twitter isn’t too far behind.
Internet marketing is already beginning to manifest itself into social media because the truth is, the opportunity on these sites is as big as anything that’s ever happened on the web.
5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Google is now recognising social media in their organic results – and high up, too. There are hundreds of thousands of social profiles showing on Page 1 of Google for valuable keyword terms. Google recognises social profiles, as well as social pages like Facebook pages and LinkedIn company pages to rank as well.
Effective use of social media builds relationships which turn into links. Instead of trying to put your content where it’s not wanted (high Page Rank sites that dislike spam) why not put it on sites which are SEO friendly, which like fresh content, and allow you to post virtually anything you want, anytime you want? The obvious answer here is that SEO and social media are like strawberries and cream – both are better when they are together.
Bottom line: SEO will deeply depend on social media in the future, and therefore utilising it is a must for anyone who wants web traffic.
6. Your Reputation Matters
What have people said about you, your industry, your company or your competitors on Twitter or Facebook today? This week?
With a Social Media Manager you will always know.
How valuable is it when a disgruntled customer grouches about you online and you are able to spot it and respond constructively and positively – within hours? Or Minutes? Your relationship with them isn’t just preserved, it’s enhanced.
How valuable is it to be able to collect the nice things that people say about you (that you wouldn’t normally even see) and magnify their exposure. This is big stuff.
7. You Don’t Know What to Do
No disrespect, but it’s probably true. 90% of UK business owners have little or no idea how to properly tap into and exploit social media – even those who are dabbling with it already.
- Which platforms are right to expand the exposure for your business and your target market?
- How will you maximise the impact of your social media strategies?
- How do you build the right audience?
- How do you leverage social interest and convert into quantifiable results?
- What are your social media KPIs and how do you measure them?
A Social Media Manager can be a game changer…
8. You Haven’t Got Time To Do It Properly
Oh sure, you can dip in and out and dabble. You can tweet a few times each day. But if you’re running a business the reality is that haven’t got the capacity to do social media properly. You probably won’t be able to fully exploit the enormous opportunities that it presents.
9. Your Blog Probably Isn’t Very Good
When you go to somebody’s house for the first time, what do you do? You look around for photographs, check out the books and magazines lying around, you form a picture of this person. The same needs to be true of your blog – it needs to be a window on you.
So people that visit feel like they know you and your business. They can see pictures, learn what you’re interested in, read all about you.
Here’s the thing – all you have to be is more interesting than an advert. They have to feel that they know you just a little bit better than they know your competitors. That’s all. Make a personal connection with them via your blog and they’ll trust you.
There’s also a bundle of SEO reasons why your blog is important. Bottom line is, you’ve got to have a great blog – and you probably don’t, right now. But don’t worry, a Social Media Manager can fix that for you.
10. You’re Not Keeping Score…
It doesn’t matter what it is in life, if you’re not measuring it, then it’s impossible to know how well – or badly – you’re doing.
Periodically, detailed reports should be gathered. They will tell you exactly how you’re doing across the full spectrum of social media platforms. Social Media Managers can track your progress and the trends, keeping score for you.
As I mentioned earlier, the fact is, Social Media is transforming the way the world does business. In your town and your city, this week. Today. The implications are huge and the prizes are enormous for those businesses with the wisdom and foresight to get involved – properly.
There is a window of opportunity now open which is likely to close in the future. Even if you are one of the (very small) minority of business owners who has the technical knowledge and knows what to do to properly utilise social media across the different platforms to build your business, the reality is that you don’t have the necessary time to devote to social media to do it properly. So you’re missing out. Big time.
And if you don’t know what to do, or aren’t doing it, then you’re not even in the game.
This is just too big and too important – for your business – to be left unaddressed.