Don’t have a social media manager on your staff? You’re not alone. Many businesses (small ones, especially) hesitate to invest in an in-house social media expert.
What you may not realize, however, is the tremendous value added by employing a social media marketer at your company. While many responsibilities are easy to outsource, social media is at its strongest when managed by a closely connected member of your organization.
Here’s why on-staff social media professionals are so important—and how to effectively leverage their creativity and insights.
Building Your Social Media Strategy from the Inside Out
Let’s begin by remembering that content marketing—which includes blog posts, social media, digital advertising, newsletters, and more—isn’t a packaged product you simply order online or pick up at the store.
Effective content requires consistent, customized creation. And tailoring content to your company’s ideal audience requires input from team members who understand your brand, your audience, your goals, and the platforms themselves.
Outside agencies vs. in-house experts
External agencies are valuable resources when you don’t have an in-house expert who can 100% own your social media content. But to truly benefit from a third-party content creator, you need someone on your team to oversee every post, image, and video before it goes live.
Whether you hire one person for the role or divvy up content tasks across your team, internal involvement is a must to ensure your social engagement stays on track with on-brand assets.
If an outside agency makes the most sense for your company right now, plan to assign oversight responsibilities to someone on your team. This social media manager can collaborate with your content agency to help build a strategy, brainstorm creative ideas, and ensure all your content stays true to your brand’s messaging.
Start small, but stay smart
Smaller companies regularly launch their social media with the support of a lower-risk hire, like a college intern or a part-time contractor. Interns and contractors can be great resources for ramping up your social media presence, but taking this route isn’t risk-free.
Just because someone knows how to use social media doesn’t mean they’re good at it.
Before you trust someone with your social media presence, ask yourself: What does my company stand to lose if the social media manager gets it WRONG? Poorly crafted, insensitive, and off-brand content can do more harm than you may imagine.
Checks and balances are imperative for content creation teams.
Even the most accomplished content creators occasionally make a mistake. I’ve seen businesses suffer because an employee believed they were posting relevant content, but the content either fell on deaf ears or—worse—isolated and offended the audience.
Remember that every word counts. Don’t burden an intern with strategizing, creating, and approving all of your company’s content. Pre-publication approvals should come from a leadership team member with a deep understanding of your brand and communications strategy.
Keep your content—and your reputation—secure.
A content creator needn’t be malicious to inadvertently cause problems. If your content manager experiences a sudden health crisis, is there someone else on your team who can log in to your accounts? Do you know which tools and platforms are being utilized and paid for? Is anyone equipped to engage with comments and DMs that come in through social media?
I’ve also worked with several companies that trusted their social media logins to other employees who left and either conveniently “forgot” or flat-out refused to provide the logins and passwords for those accounts! Don’t let this happen to you!
By securing your social media logins and getting those checks and balances in place, you can avoid unfortunate content decisions and maintain your hard-won reputation.
You Can’t Stand Out If You Don’t Show Up
Successful social media amplifies your brand, showcases your company culture, and builds brand affinity among your audience. But you can’t stand out if you don’t show up!
Make your social media presence a priority by investing in the right content partners, team members, and tools. Reach out to me, and you’ll have a powerful social media presence in no time!