The meteoric rise of social media in the last decade has been an unprecedented boon to businesses of all kinds. It’s an incredibly effective way to engage your customers, get their feedback, and encourage them to advertise for you, all at a very low cost.
The key is to handle it correctly. Doing a good job with your social media management will permit you to capture these advantages, but if you make mistakes with the program, it could destroy you.
When things are first starting out for your business, you will probably handle all the social media yourself. But just as you will with human resources, office management, and a thousand other tasks, you will one day want to bring in a person or staff to handle these things for you. It’s the surest way to get an effective social media presence, and it helps in several key areas.
Controlling The Narrative
One very important aspect of social media that your manager must be able to do is to control the direction of the conversation. If you set them up, people will knock them down. Don’t open the door for a potentially destructive reply, re-tweet, or other response. Bill Cosby’s social media manager found this out the hard way, and the result has been nothing less than a flood of sexual assault claims with charges filed in at least one.
Similar results can come from needless aggression on social media, such as calling out competitors or politicians. Remember that if you are going to stick your business’ neck out, you had better be at least as well-prepared as those whom you attack.
As websites and blogs became common, one of the cardinal sins was a failure to update regularly. If viewers weren’t regularly seeing new content, they would stop checking.
Social media is exactly the same, but the pace is even more demanding. If you aren’t posting at least daily, you will quickly fade from people’s consciousness as you get bumped further down the feed.
In the early days, it may be easy…”4 new contracts today, ready to serve these new customers! #growingbiz” or “Hiring now! Need experienced coders! #ITjobs” will roll right off your phone easily.
But when there’s a water leak in the warehouse, two employees turning in resignations, and a truck that can’t find you, you will no longer have time for a nonstop stream of social media. And that’s when a staff needs to take over.
While it’s true to some extent that anything goes in social media, there is a certain “hipness” factor that must be maintained. If your posts don’t follow certain unwritten rules, they will be seen as a halfhearted attempt to fit in with more stylish companies.
Bear in mind that this perception is not generational! There are people of all ages who deftly use social media in a way consistent with other users.
Your posts should also be standardized so that searchability and trending are fully functional. You need a manager who will spell correctly and be alert to popular topics so that you can capitalize on them. Otherwise, you are just another random poster, lost in the millions.
Knowing that you need a social media presence is an important first step for your business. Knowing when to bring in a dedicated staff to manage it is another important step. If you make these two realizations before too much time gets past you, you’re a long way down the road toward using these unique tools to build your enterprise.