So You Think You Can Do Social Media Marketing?

Ana Hussey
Ana Hussey Creative Director/Founder, Dragana Marketing Works, LLC

Posted on December 11th 2012

So You Think You Can Do Social Media Marketing?

So, you think you can do Social Media marketing?Everyone can create a business Facebook page.  My friend admitted that her 19 year old neighbor created one for her father’s small business. "It was for free," she said, "about a year ago." Soon afterwards, the guy was nowhere to be found. "No biggie," she commented. Her father, the owner of the business, totally forgot about it. Until last week.

On Wednesday afternoon, one of his customers stopped by the store and reluctantly asked him why is he allowing people to post vulgar messages on his Facebook page. She politely added that she really likes his store but wondered what is going on behind the scenes… It took my friend’s father a minute or two to get a grip on what she was talking about. He was not aware of such activity and had no idea where to go for help. The administrator of the page, was long gone and the road to take care of situations like this is a bumpy one.

A similar scenario is happening everywhere: Social Media Marketing excited everyone a few years ago. Many small businesses and shops created a page or two either on their own, or by their techy-friends. They posted a few posts and then totally abandoned the whole idea…  The same with the page administrators: they were nowhere to be found. 

It is common knowledge that almost everyone knows how, and can create a basic social media profile. Upload a few a few pictures, get a few friends and family to know about it and call it good. Everyone can generate some spotty social engagement, the same way everyone can cook, take a picture, or do some handy work at home…. Unfortunately, that does not make them a restaurant chef, professional photographer, construction company manager or Social Media marketer. And there is always the question they ask themselves at the end: why did all this effort not pay off? It did not pay off because it was not done professionally. 

Fixing a window on your own, why not? Creating your own in-store price tags, it will take forever, but hey - why not? 

Creating your business' professional reputation in front of 700 million people nationwide on your own? Heck NO!!!! 

I don’t think small business owners realize how big Social Media is about to become. They do not believe that anyone is really looking for their business or checking out who they are. A BIG mistake. Nowadays, consumers check on line for everything first. If your business profile page is abandoned, as far as a regular consumer can tell, they may think that your company is out of business. Once it was created, your profile page had a chance; someone discovered it, posted a few words, liked it or followed it. Since they never received any response and/or acknowledgment, they quickly lost their interest. You lost your potential customers! 

The other thing is, you abandoned your page. What does that say about you? Now, your abandoned page may become a liability - remember my friend’s father's story? They are still working with Facebook to resolve the issue. 

There are other things that can damage your business' reputation as much as abandoning your pages. For example, having the wrong person handle your Social Media Marketing. As you know, your business Social Media image should be all about care for your customers, great service, quality of your product and your general "awesomeness."

Unfortunately, most of the Social Media contributors nowadays are untrained and illiterate about Social Media Marketing. They are usually unclear about their role, unaware of Social Marketing goals and completely out of tune with the company's mission. They were usually chosen to manage this aspect of the business for the wrong reasons (tight marketing budget, person has a Facebook page and "knows how to do it", she or he is a member of the "new generation" and "knows computers"…etc).

The perfect Social Media marketer is an “out of this world creature,” a mixture of winning content copywriter, professional graphic designer, Social Media guru, Web application developer geek, sales manager, trainer… all rolled into one. Hard to find… 

All joking aside, successful Social Media Marketing requires a team. 

- Creatives who are able to deliver high quality content for your interactions and professionally create your visual image.

- An IT guru who will put in place quick and reliable communication tools to keep in touch with you 24/7.

- A Web application developer and coder who will develop useful Social Media apps for your pages and integrate them with your website. 

-An experienced project manager who will help you integrate your CRM (customer relationship management) system into your sales pipeline and much, much more…  

Admit it folks, there is more to Social Media Marketing than meets the eye!

What to say? I will say the thing we have all heard at least once before: “…This is performed by a trained proffesional so please do not try doing this at home!...”

Ana Hussey

Ana Hussey

Creative Director/Founder, Dragana Marketing Works, LLC

Ana is a sales and marketing enthusiast with more than 20 years of strategic marketing experience. For the past few years Ana has invested her boundless energy and enthusiasm into projects at Dragana Marketing Works.

Prior to Dragana Marketing Works, Ana has managed both, Sales and Marketing and that experience has given her a unique perspective. Ana gets really excited in making her customer’s brand succeed online while helping them make a meaningful connection with their customers. Ana holds a BA in Fine Arts in Graphic Design and is a certified Social Media consultant

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Comments

Hi Ana,

Great article!
I work as a digital marketer handling my organization's advertising activities across the social media. Our setup very closely resembles that. We do have a web/graphic designer, two programmers and IT guys,  a project manager, and then there's me. The only addition I'd like to add to your social media marketing team is indeed the Advertiser. 

The role of the Advertiser includes the active management of corporate advertising accounts, formulate targeting strategies (I'm devoted to intent-based targeting principles and wrote about it here: Intent-based targeting: Evolving Search and Social Media Marketing model), and to optimize, monitor, further optimize the performance of these ads. My lineup for a reasonably-sized social media marketing team would be:

- Graphics
- IT guys
- Web developers
- Advertisers
- Project Manager

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

Samuel Chan

Thank you Samuel, I agree! Businesses are looking for new, modern, and effective ways to grow and Social Media is here to do just that. It will help businesses connect with their potential customers locally and worldwide by using modern technology in addition to the old marketing techniques. I think businesses are ready to go where their customers are...

Great article Ana!

'Out of this world creature' - well said, all of those talents and skills at a competent level would be very difficult to find. That is why I tell so many that there are very few experts in this field and to beware.

Sure thing! Beware is good advice. Thank you Dennis.

Companies are beginning to develop social media positions because it is becoming a full time position and can no longer be added to a marketing employee's job description.  Newberry College even added a social media major to their curriculum because it is becoming such an important position!

Thank you for your comment Hannah. That's interesting information.
Good to know that schools are aware of the Social Media marketing impact.

Ana,

I see this all the time. Especially from small businesses. They create a page and then don't follow up. Since Social Media is all about relationships, this is like that friend who never calls you back, eventually you stop calling them. Almost as bad is when the Social Media content is not consistent with overall brand strategy. My friend Brittany Botti wrote a piece called Why an intern running your social media is a bad idea that speaks to this second problem as well, that I'd love to hear your point of view on this issue as well.

 

Thanks!

I agree Tim, great article! Social Media is a new media outlet and it should be taken seriously. Due to the modern digital/online age, small businesses are embracing technology alongside the Internet to propel their sales and marketing; however, many of them do not know where to start, or how social media can be leveraged into creating customer engagement and lead generation. That’s where professional Social Media services will come into focus. Just like with any other media.

Thank you very much for your feedback! 

I have to say I disagree Ana. That sounds like a lot of people to handle social media for a small business. As a Social Media Marketer myself, I am well aware of the persons with no background or experience who think they can do it because they have a personal profile or they 'like computers.

However, I think one person is sufficient to handle social media for a small business providing they have a marketing background (which often covers PR, advertising, sales) and this person should be able to effectively outsource the other functions such as web development (or use ShortStack or Pagemodo) and graphic designing.

It's not something anyone can do but it's not exactly rocket science either IMO. Looking forward to hearing your response...

(PS. These people are certainly needed for larger companies with significantly higher traffic and content needs.)

Hi Stacy, thank you for your feedback. I agree that Social Media Marketing can be managed by one person. As you  mentioned, single marketers do need to outsource some aspects of it, like graphic design and web development; that's exactly what I meant under the term of the "team". The "team" can be in the house (like you said, for larger companies) or outsourced to various companies that handle different aspects. The term "team" does not necessarily refer to one group on site. I remember the time when one graphic designer could handle a complete campaign, without outsourcing any aspect of it. I would say that technology nowadays made things more complicated for small marketers and very small companies...