“Life is so fast-paced these days, we can’t keep up”. “There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything”. “I don’t get this Twitter stuff”. “There are so many people on Facebook is there even any point joining?” These are just some of the comments we’ve heard from businesses struggling with their online presence. And this is why we are here to help.
What is a Social Media Manager anyway?
A social media manager is someone, either freelance or in-house, who creates a social media strategy along with you, one which will best promote your business, and then carries it out, always working closely with you to redefine the strategy as often as needed to achieve the company goals. Basically that means they take care of the digital media end of your business (be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc., depending on the strategy adopted) while you take care of the other aspects of your business.
Which is better – freelance or in-house?
There are pros and cons to both:
· Less expensive – fixed amount paid per month (no extras).
· Flexible time – usually around for late evening Twitter chats (most start after 9pm).
· More experience – they’re probably running other accounts at the same time (see con).
· Not always around, although you can probably schedule weekly/monthly meetings to get updates – via Skype if they’re international.
· Yours probably isn’t the only account they’re running so they might not be 100% focused.
· Around the office if you have any questions (from 9-5).
· Focused solely on your account.
· Easier to keep an eye on them.
· More expensive – salary, plus pension, holiday pay, sick leave, etc.
· Need to find a specific place for them in the office – desk, supplies, etc.
· Not as much experience (in many cases) because they only run one account at a time.
· Not flexible and usually charge more for evening Twitter chats.
After reviewing the pros and cons (and there are more) you need to decide which suits your business better.
So, why hire a Social Media Manager?
There is so much to be done in a company at any given time, especially in an SME. You need to focus on your strengths. If accounting isn’t your forte you wouldn’t think twice about hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to run that end of your business. So why do so few consider hiring a social media manager? Social media is no longer an “optional extra” for businesses. 83% of people search the Internet before making a purchase, so if your business is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. they will find you (and the reviews you have received) and be able to make a decision. If you’re not there, they won’t be able to compare you to others, and will likely go with someone they have been able to find and interact with before making a purchase.
A social media manager can make your business life so much easier – they deal with all the day-to-day running of your networks (whichever you choose), which includes content (writing posts/tweets etc.), interaction with people who like, comment, follow, send messages etc., - and therefore take your business to the next level, leaving your competitors behind. As hard to believe as it is, there are still businesses in 2016 that have no social media presence. That gives their competitors a huge advantage (remember – 83% search online before making a purchase) – so what will happen if they can’t find you? It’s unimaginable.
A great social media manager with a clear goal will make your business shine online, generating more leads, prospects and eventually clients. Like everything else, there are no “sure things” in social media, and less so in traditional media. The good thing is it’s easier to calculate the ROI of social media than traditional media, although nothing will happen overnight – a minimum of 6 months is recommended to be able to define your strategy, review your analytics and advance towards the overall goal.
Whether you decide to hire a freelance social media manager, or prefer an in-house one, one thing is clear – we are living in an age where social media is the backbone of society so it cannot be ignored. Think about it – do you have 3-4 hours (minimum) spare every day to devote to your social media – creating content, answering questions, interacting with followers, participating in “chats” etc. etc.? If not, then it is clear you need to hire someone who has. If it’s only 3-4 hours with no extra duties in the office (e.g. filing, receptionist, sales calls etc.), then the best option is a freelancer, and in this case your best option is IPA Group.