Social media has created a multitude of marketing opportunities for businesses of all industries and sizes. It’s inexpensive, it’s instant, it’s easily refreshed, and can help you break into new segments.
But if you want to reap these and other benefits, you’ll have to devote enough time to your social media marketing. And for many businesses, this is easier said than done.
Perhaps you tried social media marketing in the past and failed. Perhaps you’re already using social media for business but aren’t seeing any results. Or maybe you’ve developed a solid social media strategy that’s working wonderfully.
In any regard, hiring a social media manager to handle your social media activities can provide a valuable addition to your company, both in time spend and end results. Take a look at why you partner with a social media manager and learn what to look for before you hand over your profiles:
Hiring a Social Media Manager
While partnering with a social media manager might mean another line item on your P & L, the results could very well pay for themselves several times over. Here’s why you should consider using a professional social media manager instead of handling it in-house:
A Social Media Manager Understands the Business Aspect
Social media is everywhere these days, with over 80% of Americans engaged in some form of social channel. Chances are, you’re one of them.
So why hire a social media manager for your business if you already know how to use social media?
Here’s the thing: social media for personal goals and social media for business exist in two separate worlds.
While some businesses make social media look like child’s play, there’s an art to it if you want to see the right results. Effective social media is more than posting a blog article or status update.
A/B testing campaigns, using images to drive traffic, responding to comments and reviews, knowing when to post, and what platforms are right for your business all play a role in the success (or lack of) your social media plan.
A good social media manager will know how to work these things into your strategy for optimal results.
You Have More Time to Focus on Other Activities
As a business owner, you constantly have tasks clamoring for your attention. Making payroll, ordering supplies, scheduling repairs, hiring and training new employees – business owners have a never-ending list of to do’s, and social media can easily be pushed to the bottom.
On the flip side, those who do make social media a priority often do so by putting other tasks on the back burner.
Either way, hiring a social media manager can take one extra thing off your plate and let you focus on other important aspects of your business.
You Gain Consistency and Currency in Social Media Posts
Give five people a topic to write about, and you’ll receive five different responses in return.
It’s important for your social media posts to remain consistent, both with your brand voice and with other posts. The last thing you want is a patchwork of social media posts that looks like it came from several different people rather than a unified brand. After all, your brand is ultimately doing the talking, not the people posting the messages.
In addition to sounding consistent, you also need to post consistently if you want your efforts to work for you. One study shows that Google Plus users who posted consistently and then decreased their posting frequency lost up to half of their traffic.
The last thing you want is for a prospect to visit your social media profile and see your last post was from two years ago. This could make you appear as though you have a hard time committing to an activity, you lack detail or initiative or, worse, like you’ve gone out of business altogether.
Using a social media manager means your social media channels will be full of current, relevant content that looks as though it was generated from the same source.
It Can Be More Cost Effective Than Doing It Yourself
While you might look at hiring a social media manager as an extra expense, the business their actions generate could catapult you well above the break even mark.
Consider how much your time is worth, that is, what you gauge your hourly rate to be. Multiply that rate by the amount of time you should be spending on social media each week. Add in how much time it will take you to learn the ins and outs of social media for business and the expenses you’ll incur by not focusing on other elements of your business while you’re working on social media.
You might find it’s fairly expensive to handle it on your own, especially if you’re working from hunches and “instinct” rather than proven techniques and well-researched ideas.
Having a social media manager who’s already familiar with each platform successfully can get you the results you expect sooner. In addition, you won’t be wasting valuable ad budgets experimenting with different tactics.
What to Look For When Hiring a Social Media Manager
Just as there are good and bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, and disc jockeys, not all social media managers will be able to get you the results you expect. Before you hand over your admin rights, here are seven things you should look for in a social media manager:
1. Experience With Each Platform You Use
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest YouTube – these are just some of the key players in the social media landscape, and each one works a little differently.
It’s not enough to find someone experienced in social media for business. You should take care to find one that has experience in the various platforms you currently use (or want to include in your strategy).
If you are outsourcing a freelancer, keep in mind that you might not be their only client. You’ll want to make sure they have enough time in their schedule to manage your social media adequately.
If you are planning to hire a social media manager as an employee in your company, consider how much time he or she will need to devote each week. You might discover that a part-time person can give you the results you expect, which can help keep your costs low.
3. Services Offered
A social media manager can do more than schedule posts to your profiles. They can respond to user comments and reviews, track results of ad campaigns, change profile pictures, and work with sales, marketing, and HR departments on social media-related projects.
If you are working with a freelance social media manager, find out what services they offer to ensure you’re getting the most for your buck. Don’t just assume they’ll handle certain activities – be specific as to what you need them to do.
4. Current Client Base
Working with a social media manager or agency who is also handling accounts for your competition may create a conflict of interest. Ask who some of their current clients are and explain why you want to know. If they are working with some of your competitors, you might consider having them sign a confidentiality agreement (or find another social media manager).
5. Sample Work With References
If you want to get a good feel for the candidate’s quality of work, ask them for links or examples of campaigns they’ve done. These samples may not align with your unique goals, but it can give you an idea of what the candidate is capable of.
However, unless the candidate has a byline on their work, it can be hard to determine the validity of their sample work. Ask for references from some of their clients to verify their examples and see how satisfied others have been with their results.
6. Contract Agreement
When working with some freelancers, you might have to sign a contract agreement. This agreement may contain information about pay, the length of contract, and expectations from both parties.
If the contract terms look unsuitable to you, consider asking for an amendment that will better satisfy your needs. For instance, you might ask for a three-month trial period before moving forward with a long-term agreement.
You should also be aware of what it will take to get out of the contract if need be, or what will happen with the contract expires.
One of the tricky parts of hiring a social media manager that hasn’t been previously associated with your company is ensuring they capture your brand voice. You want your social media persona to match that of your website and other channels your customers experience your company.
Give them a couple test assignments to see how they fare. You’ll gain insight into their technique, writing style, and other methods to see what kind of a fit they’ll make for your company.
Social media for business is becoming too important to ignore. You need to make a priority in your marketing – you can rest assured your competitors are doing the same.
The sooner you can launch a consistent, quality social media presence, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy its benefits.
How are you managing your social media? Drop a comment below.