Who is the best person to manage your day-to-day social media content? Many small businesses turn the responsibility over to someone on the team who is young and hip, roughly between the ages of 18 to 25, also known as the Millennial or Generation Y crowd. This demographic grew up with technology and social media integrated into their lives. They take to technology and all things on the Internet quickly, so why not hand over your business’s social media content to them, right? Here’s why you may want to rethink that strategy.
Social media may be fun, but it’s serious business.
Yes, social media is conversational in tone, giving it a lighter air of fun. However, it is serious business. It’s a touch point of your brand. The content you post, the tone of your conversation, the frequency in which you engage your audience, all say something about who you are as a company or organization. You need someone who is organized and understands how you want your brand conveyed. Say the wrong thing on the internet and suddenly it goes viral. Don’t follow up with a customer who posts a comment and they feel left out. You need someone who has the maturity to understand that although social media content and interaction may be fun, it is all business.
Think of it this way, if you have a dream prospect that you want to land as a customer, and you have the chance to connect with them, whom would you want as your spokesperson? What would you want them to say about your business and its benefits? You need to look at your social media engagement in the same way. If you would want your best salesperson to be your spokesperson, you probably don’t have the luxury of giving them the responsibility of managing your social media profiles. Nor should you. But you need to view your social media content and strategies in the same way because if you do it right, you will be building relationships with ideal prospects and customers, and not just a random group of people.
Don’t forget to train them.
Once you’ve selected the right people to manage your social media content, you need to train them. While many Millennials learn their social media skills organically through their own personal use, you must have a strategy to succeed. Part of your strategy needs to include training. Social media, your market, and your business evolve. You can’t hope that someone young, who may lack business experience, will take the initiative to further their training. Here are three primary areas you need to consider.
1. Train them on the benefits, the personality, and the culture of your organization.
2. Teach them about your goals with social media and how you want certain situations handled. What rules would you like them to follow regarding content, tone, language, frequency of engagement? If a customer has an issue and addresses it in public on your Facebook wall, how should your social media person respond? If one of your followers sends a direct message via Twitter that they are interested in learning more about your products or services or they are ready to buy, who should your person direct them to?
3. Give your marketing person the opportunity to stay educated about the evolutions of social media. Not all social media platforms are the same. What works on one platform, may not work on another. For example, how you engage your audience on LinkedIn is very different than the culture on Pinterest. Hire a social media marketing company to perform training with your staff.
If you don’t have a qualified social media person in-house, you can outsource it. However, if you do, don’t assume that you can simply turn the task over to a social media firm without any interaction on your part. While a talented firm will know why social media makes a difference for your business and the best practices to accomplish your goals, they still need to get insight from you as to the top two items above. As a matter of fact, if you are interviewing companies and they don’t ask you questions about similar questions to those above, run the other way.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide