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Does Your Small Business Need a Social Media Expert?

Regardless of your personal feelings about social media, as a small business owner you probably realize its potential for promoting your brand and driving customers to your door. So, the question becomes who will manage your social media efforts — you or a dedicated social media expert?

Keep in mind that many experts agree that social media management can be extremely time consuming. While getting set up on Facebook, Twitter, your blogspot and other outlets is relatively quick and easy, the time required for posting and updating can add up fast. You will need to decide if that’s the best use of your valuable time and effort, or if it makes sense to hire someone to do the not-so-heavy lifting.

If you choose the latter, there are a few points to keep in mind when choosing your social media manager. Some small business owners assume that younger is better, given the fact that they’re comfortable with both the concept and technology involved. However, knowledge and experience should also be major criteria when sorting through candidates.

A thorough knowledge of the major platforms and an understanding of how they operate should be givens when considering potential managers. They should have experience writing online content; producing videos, webinars and podcasts; and an excellent grasp of at least the basics of SEO (search engine optimization).

Determining whether your social media manager will be a part- or full-time employee will depend primarily on how extensive a social media effort you’re planning. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be all over the Web. Dozens of networks already exist and more are emerging on a regular basis, so keeping up with all social media is impossible.

As a small business owner, you have limited time and money to expend in this area, so concentrate on choosing one or two of the most relevant channels for your small business. This means trying to determine where the bulk of your potential customers spend their time.

One option worth considering is outsourcing your social media efforts to one of the many professional SEO consulting companies that can take care of everything that needs to be done for you (for a price, of course). All you need to do is consult with them on a regular basis, stay on top of the work they’re producing for your company to make sure it’s up to your standards, and pay the bill.

Whether you hire a social media manager directly or contract for one through a professional company, the move should have a positive impact on your business and your bottom line. Neglecting your social media presence is just not an option these days and will reflect poorly on your business.

Author:- Sarah Levy is a blogger currently working with Merchant Express. She covers a wide range of topics from small business marketing to mobile payment technology. Follow Sarah on twitter @sarah_levy81

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