It makes sense for well-known brands and large corporations to have in-house marketing teams that include a full team of social media experts tweeting and vlogging exclusively for the company.
For small or growing businesses – having a dedicated social media team can be hard to financially justify. Often, individuals inside the marketing, PR and design teams get asked to spend some of their time on social media.
Unfortunately, when this happens social media is often put on the back burner, and the social networking channels are left untouched. In today’s digital world, not having a social presence is no longer an option for businesses that want to grow and thrive.
Social media gives small businesses, large corporations, and brands a chance to get their products and services seen by the masses in a creative and engaging way. Not only is it a way to creatively showcase your products and services, social networking accounts for a large majority of customer support efforts as well as reputation management. It’s not simply about posting the cutest dog image or the masterpiece recipe you made for dinner – unless of course, your brand is a restaurant or vet clinic!
Why do I need a dedicated Social Media Manager?
When some businesses are growing, they may have one marketing person handling an array of tasks that include social posting, content creation, blogging, vlogging, ads, reputation management, and customer support. That’s a lot of stuff for one person to handle!
In reality, you should focus on having a marketing person who oversees a small team of 1-2 people and the rest of those tasks should be outsourced – with social media being the first to outsource.
You see, the social media team should work as an extension of the marketing, PR, customers service and leadership teams. With so many moving pieces to social media – it’s important you have someone dedicated to checking and replying to comments, engaging with audiences, creating campaigns, creating content, staying up to date on each platform’s regulations, and analyzing social data.
Managers often underestimate the time and effort it takes to properly run a full plate of social channels for a business. It’s a common mistake to assume creating and implementing a social strategy is as simple (and fun) as posting to personal pages.
Believe us, it is a full-time job!
Some of the typical daily tasks for a social media team include:
- Writing, editing and cultivating content to be shared (blog posts, videos, graphics, and other media)
- Checking industry-related news
- Replying to incoming social media posts
- Researching new influencers to connect with
- Publishing new social media posts
- Meetings with business leaders and stakeholders to approve and edit content
- Scheduling social media posts for the week/month/important dates
- Reviewing social media analytics
- Engage with followers
- Follow up with emails, phone calls, and social media conversations
These tasks are all just the daily to-do list for a social media team. The team also is responsible for developing the actual marketing strategies, designing the brand look and feel, and consistently creating new campaigns. There is a lot to do.
The responsibilities are too much for one person to handle and too specialized for interns or part-timers to manage properly.
Can I incorporate a social media agency without a marketing team?
Yes. If you don’t have the bandwidth for a full marketing team or just a marketing person, you can still outsource your social media marketing to a social media agency or digital marketing agency that will handle it for you.
Where to look for social media help
Many growing companies find social media agencies to pick up the baton where the PR, marketing and design departments pass it on, and for good reason. The agency will have the expertise to create innovative and effective strategies and can allocate specialized resources like videographers, designers, and writers when it’s necessary without wasting money to hire someone when it’s not.
So, where can you find social media help?
- On social media! Social media is the easiest way to find social media agencies
- Through Google searches or on other search engines. Try “Social Media Agency” or “Social Media Agency + Your City”
- From referrals or word of mouth. Ask your friends or other business leaders for their recommendations
- At networking events. Most networking events will have someone who is either a social media marketer or who knows someone who is. It’s ok to ask, that’s networking!
- Check local newspaper or ads in your city
- Craigslist is another great place to see companies in your area that are listed as Social Media Agencies
When a marketing team leverages a top-notch social media agency, great things can happen. You can have a nimble and interactive team getting powerful results, without the high cost of hiring a full-time, in-house team.
Not sure if your team will work with an outside vendor? Here are three ways to ensure your in-house team and social media agency work together seamlessly:
Define your business goals
Even before you hire an agency, get clear on what your business goals are. What do you want to accomplish together? Telling an agency you want to be more active on social media is too vague.
- Do you want to generate new leads?
- Expand your brand?
- Engage more with your current customers?
- Are you trying to promote a new product or service?
- Redefine your business goals
After you’ve established your goals, decide which ones should be handled in-house and which would be better handled by the social media team. There may be some overlap, and be clear on where that gray area might be.
For example, if you only want to use social media to talk directly to customers and manage client relationships, an agency may not be your best solution. If you’re trying to generate new leads and have no idea how to start, an agency is a perfect option.
Be honest when business goals change. Tell your agency and engage it in ways to adjust to the changes. Otherwise, the agency will keep moving toward outdated goals, and everyone will be frustrated.
Create and change your workflow
Most agencies will propose a standard workflow before signing a contract. They see this as a living document, to be changed as you work together. The flow will be awkward and bumpy at first because every team works differently.
Don’t be afraid to suggest a reorganization of tasks or removing steps that seem redundant. If mistakes are slipping through the cracks, add an extra layer of edits before posting.
Nobody expects the standard workflow to be flawless, but don’t let it be the thing slowing down your brand’s growth. Remember that you share a common goal, and success benefits everyone.
Use smarter data
The agency you hire is most likely managing dozens or even hundreds of other clients. This gives them access to a huge amount of data that will benefit your company.
Unlike personal social media accounts, which allow you to see a few basic statistics on your activity, agencies use sophisticated technology to track and analyze data that can benefit your brand. You aren’t just hiring someone to post to your Twitter feed, you are paying for access to an expansive real-time library of knowledge.
When you have identified specific business goals and developed a targeted social strategy, you can learn about your potential customers, your competition, and larger industry trends. This information can inform and support all areas of business development and growth.
Social media teams love data. Let your agency help you build big data analysis into your social strategy. Social media is not only a place to promote your business but to listen. Your agency will provide you with the tools, team, and expertise to understand and use this data.
Working with an external social media team may be the solution to growing your brand’s online presence. With open communication and flexibility, you can build a strong relationship with a team of experts that will strengthen your internal marketing and PR efforts.
If you think working with Dream Local Digital could help you grow your business, get in touch with our team to schedule a consultation.