Written by: Brandon
Recently, I read a blog post titled “Why an agency should not be your brands voice on social media”. The post is direct and to the point. Although there is not a lot of support to the argument, I understand the point the author is trying to make. I have to say, I do not agree. If we have learned anything over the years and through the evolution of social media it is that time is the key factor of determining whether a business will be successful or not. Business owners do not have it. We have seen this too often. People try to do social media themselves and they give up. They are not getting the results the results they are looking for. Give them the benefit of the doubt, when you are active and you do not get any satisfaction, naturally you lose interest. Imagine if you wanted to lose 20 lbs in nine months. You went to the gym five times a week. You ate very healthy and you maintained the lifestyle for the duration of the goal. At the end of that period, you managed to lose just 5 lbs. How would you feel? Would you feel discouraged, frustrated, and even angry? These are the same emotions one feels as they embark on the journey of social media marketing, only to find themselves a couple of steps ahead of where they were nine months ago. There are a number of factors that play it to these situations. Most people do not have time. Others, lack the knowledge. And in a lot of cases they have problems in both areas. A lot of small business owners, entrepreneurs, start-up companies and even medium-sized businesses lack knowledge, expertise, and time for social media. Money becomes an issue as well. There are only three good ways to resolve these conundrums:
- Handle the Social Media marketing yourself
- Hire an employee to manage the social media activities
- Hire an outsourcing firm to do it for the company
There are complications and difficult ties to handing the responsibilities over to another person. It is hard to have someone else be a spokesperson for your brand however it is not impossible. It happens all the time. You need to find the right person. There are agencies or even individuals who will not do you justice. They even have BOT programs that are setup for small business owners for the social media accounts. This dilutes your efforts and results with social media. You do not want just a large following, you want a community. A community builds off of relationships. If you do not have time to do to lay the foundations of the relationships yourself, outsource the activities to a social media marketing firm that will add customer service and inside sales tactics. That is essentially what a social media marketing firm will do for your company any way. Yes, there is the option to hire someone to do it for you as an employee of the company. There are risks to this as well. The turnover ratio is high. The investment is as high or even higher, than doing it yourself. The amount of time it takes to train someone on the brand is enormous. Certificates and degrees in social media marketing have not yet arrived, so you never know what an intern or recent college graduate can really offer your company. Payroll taxes are a factor in this scenario. You have benefits and possible bonuses to keep in mind.
Hiring an agency is not a good idea if they are only going to create generic messages. You will have to do your research and interview the right candidates to find an outsourcing company that will get you results. That is ultimately what everyone is looking for. The key is to find a company that trains their employees as brand ambassadors, customer service agents, and inside sales people all in one. Even if a person works for another company and is not in your business all 40 hours of the work week, they can still accomplish the results you are looking for and more. Possessing the necessary skills is the key to success with social media, period. Whether you are an owner of the company, a hired employee, or a representative of an outsourcing firm everyone needs to possess a certain skill set to complete the goals of most businesses on social media.
In your particular situation, what have you done to better the companies presence on social media? Tell us your story, so we all can learn.