Social media is an important part of any modern digital marketing campaign. But there are a number of factors that cause companies to stay away from social media, neglect their social presence and worse, damage their brand’s reputation by doing social media badly.
It might be time constraints, lack of knowledge, or bad advice that they’ve come across. Whatever the reason, we’re going to look at some of the signs to watch out for that indicate you should invest in a social media management company or consultant.
Why should my business be available on social media?
Simple: social media is where your customers are.
Which platform your specific customers spend the most time on will depend on your industry and your target audience, but in the modern digital world, you can be sure that your customers are consuming and sharing content on one or more social media platforms.
Because of this, it’s important for your business to maintain an active (and importantly, engaging) presence on the relevant social media channels frequented by your audience.
However, starting and running an ongoing social media campaign isn’t always easy and sometimes businesses need some help to make the most of these valuable lead generating platforms.
Here’s our top signs to watch out for that mean you should invest in a social media management company. Do you recognise any of them in your business?
Sign 1 - your business doesn’t have a social media presence
Without a strong social media presence your business is potentially missing out on large sections of available markets.
Whilst you don’t have to be present on every social media platform known to man, your ideal customers will be active on one or more social channels and will most likely expect to find products and services like yours through a quick search.
However, deciding on which platforms will work best for your business, setting up accounts on those channels, and then learning how to leverage those channels to the fullest is no small feat. By using a social media company, your investment will pay dividends as you’ll be up and running faster with a solid strategy in place.
Sign 2 - you have large gaps in your social media activity
Marketing is about consistency; a firm plan of action carried out with a degree of regularity. Successful social media campaigns are no different.
To get the best from social media for your business, you need to maintain an active and regular presence all year round. You don’t have to be available 24 hours a day, nor do you have to post content all day long.
If you have a flurry of activity in one month, however, and then no activity for several more, this can look bad to your potential customers. Have you gone out of business? Will you respond to enquiries? Have you been up to anything interesting lately or not?
If you find your activity on social media is either sporadic, or a little haphazard, you’ll benefit from working with a consultant or management company who will be able to put a content calendar in place and highlight some scheduling tools to help you maintain a consistent, and regular social presence.
Sign 3 - you don’t have the time to manage your social media accounts effectively
This sign also links into sign 2. Many small businesses are owner operated and most owner operators find they have very volatile schedules. Some days you have lots of time, some days you’re busy from dusk ‘til dawn.
Finding time to keep up with your social media is difficult if you’ve got a busy schedule on the books and it often gets shunted down the priorities.
If you find you’re struggling to keep up with regular posting and activity on your social media accounts, using a consultant or management company can help in a number of ways, from exploring some tools to help you do more in less time, through to part or full management of your social media.
Sign 4 - your competitors are generating business from social media
Whether you’re available on social media or not, you can almost guarantee that at least one of your competitors is.
There are a number of ways to hunt for leads and business opportunities through social media, whether it’s Twitter hours for online networking, or Facebook groups for getting involved with your local community.
If you’re not exploiting these opportunities then you could genuinely be missing out on new business and giving your competitors an advantage. At the very least, when people are searching for a solution to their problems, being available on social media gives them something to compare against with other companies in your niche.
Sign 5 - your social media presence is disjointed or messy
One of the pain points when it comes to businesses exploring social media is being active on multiple accounts. People can focus on one or maybe two, but the more accounts you introduce, the more you invite the potential for making mistakes and sending out a mixed message when it comes to your brand and company.
If you act one way on one social media and completely differently on another, you can offer a disjointed or fragmented image of your company. Whilst it’s important to leverage each social media platform’s unique attributes, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your brand and business vision and values.
The same holds true for graphic design. Our free design templates can help you unify your business' branding across your social media channels.
A social media consultant or management company will be able to advise you on best practices, put a social brand guidelines in place for you, and ensure consistency across your chosen platforms. They’ll also be able to help you create a set of consistent designs to use on each channel that really show off your company to its best no matter where your customers find you.
Sign 6 - customer enquiries and opportunities are being missed
If you’re doing well with your social activities and are getting noticed then you’ll find that prospects will approach you to ask more about your products and services.
However, when it comes to social media, people expect quick answers. Quick responses mean the difference between business won and lost so it’s key to have a system in place to respond to enquiries within a short space of time.
Channels such as Facebook display an average response rate and expected time and this can influence your buyers as to whether they proceed with their enquiry.
There are a few ways to handle this if you’re not always available immediately. Tools such as Crowdfire for Twitter and Facebook’s built-in autoresponders allow you to automatically reply to incoming messages and set expectations or provide alternative means of communication, such as phone numbers.
Some management companies will happily help look after the communication aspect of your social accounts, replying to enquiries, dealing with requests, and responding to open questions posted in, say, Facebook groups.
Sign 7 - social media advertising is something you’d like to explore
The vast majority of social media platforms make their money from advertising. In fact, numerous social channels shorten the natural reach of your content to promote their advertising model. Basically, more people will see your content if you pay for some advertising.
There’s nothing wrong with this, and paid social media advertising is a popular part of the marketing mix for an increasing number of businesses. However, it’s not always as straightforward as it sounds to start advertising through social media.
Especially when each platform has its own advertising platform and way of doing things…
There are a number of helpful guides on how to start advertising on social media, but a management company can help your budget go further and better target your ideal customers where they like to spend their time.
Hiring a social media company or social media consultant
If you think you could benefit from investing in a social media company then we have a great article on the best questions to ask when hiring a social media consultant.
Think about what you’d like to achieve on social media. Having a set of goals will help you apply a more focused strategy when it comes to your social approach, rather than simply having a go for a while and not seeing any results.