If you are just getting started with social media marketing (SEM), you are not alone. This is new territory for most a lot of small companies. I work with a lot of elder care companies, acupuncturists and other caring professionals who are behind the curve in using this type of marketing. Have you been resistant to using social media?
A lot of companies I work with are resistant. The main reason I have heard is fear that someone may post something negative about your company on your page. Or you may not be using social media marketing because you don’t really understand how it works. A lot of companies turn the duties over to someone in the office. It may be an additional duty of the marketer, or the receptionist or business manager may be given the task to update the Facebook page. And that is the extent of the plan. Or for a lot of home care companies, your franchise may update your page for you. The problem with this is, they are posting the same thing to every franchise page. If you are part of a large assisted living company, your corporate office may have a page for the whole company. What you may not understand is that social media is so much more than just posting stuff on your page. There is much more involved in a social media strategy. Just like any other marketing strategy, goals need to be set, and plans need to be made. You will want to look at your engagement statistics to see not only how many people you are reaching but also how many people are responding to your message. How are you strategically connecting with others in your community? Here are some reasons you should outsource your social media marketing: An Employee Gone Rogue! Even that prize employee could be prone to turning on your company. It is hard to imagine, but the truth is, it happens every day. A disgruntled employee can do a lot of damage to your business and they can keep you locked out of your own page on FB, LI or any of the other channels you use. Not only may you be locked out of your own page, but negative posts and rants may be added to your page as well. This is a PR nightmare! Part Time Efforts = Part Time Results The employee who is also in charge of your Facebook page, may either put social media last on the list of things to do or they may drop some of their other job duties to spend time on social. How much of that time is really devoted to marketing your business and how much is just pleasure surfing? An outside company, on the other hand, wants to keep your business. They will work hard to make sure you are seeing results. Educated Efforts Social Media changes constantly. In order to keep up, it is important that whoever is managing your social accounts knows what they are doing. If you task this to an employee, you need to make sure you invest both the time and money into monthly training classes to keep them up to date on changes. Your employee should be attending at least one advanced (paid) training each month and should also spend a few hours a week reading industry best practices articles. Do they have the time to devote to becoming an an expert in social media best practices?
Make Sure You Have The Right Tools There are a lot of great tools available to help you create and get the most from your sharing on social media. Knowing which ones and when to use them is the key to a successful social media campaign.A social media management company will stay on top of the latest changes to make sure their clients are best served. There is More To Social Media Marketing Than Posting Yes, you are right, it doesn’t take that long to post 5 or 6 times a week on your FB page. You probably are wondering why it costs so much. The truth is, posting is just a small part of what a social media agency can and should be doing for you. Much of the day is spent creating and curating shareable content for clients. You want to have a variety of different types of posts. It is also important to reach out to the other businesses who have connected with your brand and like, comment and share their posts. This will help you to stay connected with them and to be on the top of their mind. These are all great referral partners.
Hire Someone Who Understands Your Business If you do hire an outside agency to manage social media for you make sure they are knowledgeable of your type of business. The company you hire should also be connecting and engaging with others who you would like as referral partners. Do they understand what types of companies make good referral partners for you? Your company should be following up on all new connections, comments and shares. This can be part of the social media management plan you create. Quick Response to Comments Customer service is the name of the game. If you are not responding to customer complaints and frustrations, you will not be in business long. These days, customers have a lot of options for complaining. While it used to be they would tell 4 or 5 people, now they post their frustrations online and guess what happens? That’s right hundreds or even thousands of other customers and potential customers will be hearing about it. If you have a FB page, they may post to your page. Actually, this is a good thing. The ball is now in your court. If your page is set up correctly it will not show in your major news feed area but to the left side. You can choose to delete but I would suggest that you respond.
Don't Respond When You Are Upset If you are angry when you read the post, let someone else respond. Sometimes it is hard not to take criticism personal, especially if you happen to be the business owner. The response should show empathy and offer a solution if possible. Remember, other eyeballs will be paying attention to how you respond and how long it takes for you to respond. Having an outsourced Social Media manager can help to make sure you respond in a swift manner. It’s Your Reputation You need to be careful with who you allow to be your voice online. The person you put in charge is your face on your social media channels. If they are pushy or too salesy in their posts, it will hurt your business rather than help. Their posts should never sound like an advertisement. It you want an advertisement, you should pay for one. I have seen marketers push their services in caregiver support groups and elsewhere. I cringe every time I see this happening. It is very pushy and not how social media marketing is done. They rarely like or share anyone else’s posts and the impression I am left with is “It’s all about me! “
You Have to Give to Receive.
This principal holds true in both online and offline marketing efforts. How are you giving back? Are you sharing helpful information without expecting someone to buy your services? What value are you offering to others? Whoever is in charge of your social media should be thoroughly checked out online prior to hiring them. Remember, their personal page will also be connected to your business page. How a person conducts their life on their personal page may be a direct reflection of what others will think about your company. Outsourcing your social media marketing, just makes sense. This is an important part of your business and it should be entrusted to someone who knows your industry and the ins and outs of social media.
If you would like a complimentary consultation to discuss your online marketing needs Give Kathryn Watson a Call @ 281-0827-7090 or send an email to schedule a time.