Over the past decade social media has effectively shaped the way that many people around the world live their lives and communicate. This notion is exemplified by the fact that there were reportedly over 2.46 billion social media users worldwide in 2017.
Given the popularity of social media, it has naturally become a highly valuable and cost-effective way of establishing and maintaining business relationships. There are literally thousands of unique social media applications available today and this figure is constantly increasing. So how do businesses, particularly smaller businesses, keep on top of managing their social media presence and engaging with their target audiences? This article will aim to address this question and outline the key benefits of outsourcing your social media management to a specialist company.
Social media involves real-time marketing and response, yet according to industry reports a staggering 89% of social media requests go unanswered by brands, which often leads to those consumers heading straight into their competitor’s arms. That means you can’t take a break from social because you had a weeklong expo or because someone is on holiday. It also means you can’t pick and choose which comments you want to respond to. People are waiting on you and they want a response instantly. Many companies launch social media channels with no predetermined strategy and start strongly but soon after their social page will become a ghost town and inevitably do more damage than not having a company page at all. By using a social media management company their team will have you covered during evening hours, weekends and holidays (we do!). Essentially, time is money and social media takes time!
Read about some ‘Smart Ways to Manage Time on Social Media’ by clicking here
A good social media manager can cost you in the region of £25-30,000 per year, they will be qualified with a degree or have years of experience and have certain expectations of you and your time. For example, gathering content and copy for the campaign can take many hours. There are of course benefits to having the right person doing that for you if you can afford their salary. However, there are so many aspects to hiring the right person that getting it wrong is very risky business. How do you know that they will be good at managing a social media campaign?
If you do decide to outsource social media management, not only are you guaranteed a professional who knows the ins and outs of social media but you get one for significantly less money than recruiting and hiring a full time member of staff. Furthermore, this person will be supported by an entire team, so for less money you get much more.
In order to truly reap the benefits of social media you will need a highly knowledgeable individual running your campaigns and creating your social media posts. However, being knowledgeable is not enough and that individual must also be supported by others with experience in different sectors or with different channels, who can help build a highly effective digital marketing campaign. Obviously, most companies are not in a financial position to be able to dedicate an entire team to manage their social media activity but if you decide to outsource your social media management services then that individual account manager who runs your campaign will no doubt be supported by many other professional digital marketing experts.
Your social media content needs to reflect your brand and your company voice. How you behave online should be the same way you behave with your staff and your clients. Although old habits die hard, mistakes are made and the odd roughly edged comment could completely devastate your social media efforts and potentially even devalue your brand.
Although internal content creators may well have superior product or service knowledge they also may have tendencies to speak in technical jargon and to simply talk about the company constantly, which may not be the best approach. When writing online, we strongly advise using customer-focused, simplistic, language that encourages two way communications. Agencies often implement a sign off system to avoid such errors whether they be grammatical errors or off-message posts that do more harm than good. In most cases, the client of the company has full control.
What will you post? How often? Remember, you can’t just talk about yourself! A content strategy is critical to continued success; social media professionals are superheroes when it comes to creating content in a publishing calendar that is approved by the client; collaboration is key.
Read about ’10 Ways To Create Contagious Content for Your Social Media Marketing’ by clicking here
Social media undeniably gives businesses an unprecedented opportunity for connecting with customers and prospects. While there are numerous social networks that provide you with a vast array of tools for providing customer service, explaining how your products work, and much more, it is important to realise that simply having a social media presence is no guarantee of success. It is essential to test and track your results so that you can identify the most effective strategies, which is why social media analytics are so important.
Many beginners actually get overly attached to these raw numbers. If you’re on social sites simply to socialise, you can measure your success or popularity in these terms. If you’re in business, however, you need to go much deeper. While it’s always nice to increase your Twitter following, Facebook likes, YouTube views and so forth, it’s even more important to focus on the quality of your followers. How engaged are they? Are they likely to become customers or return customers? Detailed analytics allows you to answer these and related questions. This lets you plan your social media actions with a purpose rather than simply hoping something will work. If you’re spending time on social, you better know how it’s improving your business if not this could be another reason to outsource.
Read about ‘5 Benefits of a Social Media Report’ by clicking here
As mentioned previously there are literally thousands of unique social media applications available today, some of which have stood the test of time, such as Facebook and YouTube, and others that have gradually died off; Myspace being a prime example of this. An individual marketer will no doubt find it difficult to spend a lot of time researching social media trends while doing their day-to-day requirements. It is impossible for a single member of staff to specialize in all areas of social media. A social media management company on the other hand is not focused on one individual and is instead spread over several members of staff who all have an input into campaigns. They would have enjoyed the reach of Facebook a few years ago and now they know how to manipulate the algorithm and how to create Facebook adverts to achieve excellent results. A specialised social media company will have proven strategies and procedures that they have developed over the years.
An experienced consultant will know how many posts to send at optimised times, the best practice for the different platforms, and the best places to find content. They also have the flexibility to change strategies and processes as and when needed. For example, we have recently been implementing a strategy for blogging and guest blogging on other sites with relevant audiences. Processes are monitored, measured, tweaked and tested every week and are continually developed to ensure that you are getting the very best from the efforts of the consultant once you outsource social media management.
Social media campaigns must be run by people that fully understand the platforms they are operating and be able to use these channels to drive engagement and maximize the company’s online presence. As this is a professional service there are also certain levels of accountability required in relation to expectations; results need to be measured and proven. If a member of staff is not fully equipped to manage a business’ social media then outsourcing could be the best option. This then not only takes the pressure off internal members of staff but also passes the accountability over to a talent pool that does it for a living and hence does a great job. There is nothing worse than looking at a blog on a website and the last post was in 2015 or the last tweet was over a month ago. Employing an agency keeps the content flowing and in turn enhances your SEO.
Outsourcing the management of your social media channels ultimately means that the job will get done no matter what and regardless of what other requirements arise. If your designated account manager is sick or on holiday, then the agency will brief an alternative account manager to look after your account. This process should be seamless and you shouldn’t even notice the difference. We all know that the key to success online comes down to consistency. Furthermore, your account manager will also no doubt schedule social media posts on your behalf in advance anyways as they will want posting to be done at optimal times for the various different social channels.
Learning how to effectively schedule social media content saves time and money, but it also makes your business adaptable and better organized. For specialised social media companies, message approval is critical to any social media calendar. With an approval workflow, content owners know their posts are curated, edited and on topic. Otherwise, you run of risk of scheduling content too quickly and carelessly.
GFM ClearComms has been at the forefront of digital marketing applications for almost 30 years and through our expert team of social media professionals we can deliver valuable, targeted and highly effective campaigns on your behalf, which are guaranteed to optimise and grow your online presence. Find out how we can boost your brand awareness and increase your online visibility today by clicking here!
There is a real misconception that social media and social media management is exclusively for larger companies who possess significant marketing budgets, but this is far from the truth and countless small businesses are benefiting from the use of social media; with many of them outsourcing this management so they can focus on their day-to-day operations.
That being said, at GFM ClearComms we work with a diverse portfolio of companies ranging from some of the UK’s largest and most well known brands to many small independent local businesses; so whatever you are looking to achieve through social media we can help you do this working to your specific business needs and budgetary requirements.
At GFM ClearComms we recognise that no two businesses are the same and our social media management pricing packages reflect this as they are specifically calculated based on your individual needs in order to help deliver to you the most value no matter what your budget is. Social media management clients can benefit from not only having all their channels looked after and optimised but we can also help you communicate with your target audience who aren’t actively searching for you through cost-effective and highly engaging social advertising.
After learning a bit more about GFM ClearComms and the key benefits of outsourcing your social media management, hopefully you can see that although maybe not suitable for everyone utilising social media management services can deliver real tangible benefits for you and your company. That being said, if you are interested in arranging a meeting and receiving a free social media management proposal please do get in touch now by calling us on 01206 226444 or alternatively emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.