A social media presence for businesses is no longer an option, but a necessity. However, is it possible to do it yourself or is it better to hire a professional? If you look at the salaries of Social Media specialists or the cost of outsourcing work to agencies, one wonders – is it worth hiring an Social Media Manager (SMM) to pay him a full salary for just sitting on social networks all day?
To understand this, we need to establish who is an SMM, how he can help your business and how he can harm it. Denis Lagutenko, the founder of AdsProfit advertising agency and ADSbase, will help us in this: he not only answered, but also asked the main questions to those who do not know whether they need one.
Who is a Social Media Manager?
Social media is becoming an increasingly mainstream channel for building brand awareness, expanding audiences and increasing customer loyalty. An SMM is an expert who should help you do all of this on a regular basis, consistently and with a strategic vision. He or she is responsible for creating publications on behalf of the brand on social media, the overall concept of those publications, and interaction with the audience. At least in an ideal world.
In fact, behind this position could be someone who will make regular short posts once a day to make your social networks look like ones of a living company, or a specialist who will build a comprehensive marketing strategy, produce creatives and campaigns, expand your social media presence through influencers and maintain brand image interaction with users.
The main thing to understand is that social media is not a separate sphere of advertising, but rather an instrument. This means that you don’t need some random millennial who knows how to tweet, but a solution to your business’ problems through specific channels.
So you need to start by listening to your business and figuring out what it needs on social media. Maybe you can handle it on your own. Or maybe it is time to hire an entire team.
What are the signs that you need an SMM?
In order to understand this, you may try to ask yourself these questions:
- Is my brand present enough on social media?
- I effectively use all relevant social media and channels to promote my brand?
- Do I manage to interact with the brand’s audience personally and publicly?
If the answer to at least one of these questions is “no,” you probably need a specialist to solve this very problem. Let’s list these problems.
Lack of presence
If you feel like you’re not present on all the social networks you need, your postings aren’t regular enough or of sufficient quality, you’re missing your audience – maybe you need someone to take over those responsibilities.
This person should not just “maintain the facade” by filling an empty feed but have an overall strategy for creating the image you want on social media – from the style of the posts to the topics they cover.
He needs to know how the social media tools and opportunities he specializes in can give you a competitive edge, which will be expressed in an engaged live audience and a measurable increase in your business’ presence where it needs to be.
An SMM in this position should have a good understanding of the PR strategy of your brand and your audience because he becomes essentially its voice. One bad publication or even a tweet can do irreparable damage to a brand’s reputation, especially a new one.
A good specialist will not just prevent it – he will help you look at your product with fresh eyes, and show the advantages and disadvantages that you would not have noticed.
Lack of conversion
Let’s say you or your advertising department is doing a good job of posting regularly, being present on all relevant social media, and not missing congratulations to your audience on all the important holidays. However, your competitors are getting shout-outs from reputable Influencers, launching viral hashtags and filling all content with ads. Will a Social Media Manager help you in this case?
It depends. You may simply not know how to work with a particular social network or its advertising tools, and an SMM can help you properly set up Facebook ads or write a series of hot tweets.
But often the problem can lie deeper. Do you have an advertising strategy in place? Who’s in charge of the ad campaigns? How are they built, how is their effectiveness measured, how are channels selected for promotion, where does the advertising budget go?
The fact is that one, even a rockstar Social Media Manager, can’t fix the systemic problems of your advertising department. And if you are that advertising department, then perhaps you should think not about an SM manager, but about a competent marketer – who also understands Social Media marketing.
Lack of engagement
The “social” in these media is for a reason – it doesn’t involve just publishing, they revolve around constant interaction with your audience. It increases conversions, retains customers, and creates a personal relationship with them. But you sigh every time you see 100 notifications in your inbox or new comments under a recent publication.
In this case, you need a community manager who can not just write posts, but interact with the audience, correspond with the public on behalf of the brand, and keep their hand on the pulse. Another important task for this person will be to filter the noise that comes into your social networks and send you valuable feedback or interesting opportunities.
Think of this person as a “brand secretary”-he is always polite, knows what to say to clients and does nothing else. The specifics of such a job rarely leave time for building complex advertising campaigns and brand vision. On the other hand, such a specialist can be hired on a part-time basis if your social networks are not yet burning 24/7.
When you don’t need to hire a Social Media Manager?
As you have noticed, in each case you need to solve specific problems effectively, for which you will need to find the particular person who can do it best. If you don’t know what problems you’re facing, the person you hire for the position won’t guess that either.
So before you weigh the pros and cons, look at what exactly you need a Social Media Manager for. If you can handle these tasks yourself or distribute them in your existing team – perhaps there is no need for a dedicated person for this area yet.
The best way to make sure is to consult with a professional in advertising or an agency dealing with social media promotion. Often the right question is half the answer, and you can get them from an advertisement expert Denis Lagutenko on Instagram or Crunchbase, or articulate those questions with AdsProfit.