I have spoken to many business leaders who know the benefits of using Social Media in their marketing program. The best Social Media programs all share certain characteristics that are predictive of success. One is that the company either has an in-house team member with Social Media Marketing experience or has outsourced it to a company that specializes in Social Media Marketing.
But once in a while I speak to someone who tells me they have their general marketing team do their Social Media Marketing. When I am asked to review the Social Media results from a company that is not using a specialist, I will see higher numbers of followers, but lower engagement statistics, and fewer conversions. So, what do Social Media Marketing professionals know that other marketers don’t?
I asked my colleague, Patti Singer, owner of Follow Me Social Media. If you don’t know Patti, you can look her up at www.besttofollowme.com. Here’s what she told me: “Managing your Social Media presence is not a part time affair. Creating content, engaging with your audience and monitoring all your platforms takes a great deal of time and effort. You just can’t ‘set it and forget it’.”
Patti is right, but she’s also too modest. You see, Patti’s team needs to know not just what to post or tweet, but also how to respond and interact in ways that make your Social Media, well, social. Her team knows that the posts and responses need to be carefully worded to avoid confusion, and that sometimes the best response is no response at all. But she’s not taking a gamble on these decisions. She has a strategy to follow, as well as objectives and goals to meet.
When I work with a client, I set an overall strategy for achieving your business goals that integrates various marketing platforms and tools. My focus is to lead prospects through the Buyer’s Journey across all media in use, but then I need to rely on each of the professionals I collaborate with to make their platform, in this case Social Media, work in a way that complements the results we get from the other parts of the marketing program.
What happens when the company uses in-house staff who are not specialists, or who are really good at using Social Media but not marketers? It may work fine, but not usually. In these cases, I will frequently see inconsistency in posts, replies, and results. This could be due to a lack of time or different people managing the same account. Using a platform to automate posts might help, but the interactions on your Social Media need to be monitored and nurtured. At the end of the day, success in Social Media Marketing is about getting people to know, like, and trust you enough to hire or buy from you.
Do your Social Media conversations produce leads and sales? They really should be.