Companies are becoming more aware of the value of social media. They understand the importance of having a presence and being 'engaged', but beyond that, they really don't have a clue.
Many companies look to their younger generation employees to handle their social media hoping 'they're young they'll know what's cool these days'. The problem is you should be cautious about doing social media without a plan.
That's not to say that you can't have your internet savvy young employee handle your social media posting, but you want to be sure that you have ground rules, and a plan in place.
Don't go it alone
I used to believe that companies should not handle their social media, as I've seen time and time again it ends in failure. The employee spends all hours of the day chatting up their friends on random platforms, or doesn't post at all, or even worse, acting as the company voice posts inappropriate content for the world to see. Having ground rules of what and what not to do is critical.
So companies have turned to outsourcing their social media posting to the experts, the problem is, outsourcing your social media may be an initial investment that some small businesses don't plan for.
As a social media expert and seeing both sides of the spectrum, I think there is a happy medium.
Recent shift in social media outsourcing
As a company, you know your business best. You are the company voice, you know who your target audience is and you may have the resources to do social media by yourself. So why would you need an expert? Planning your strategy.
- Running a solid social media plan is not about getting the most posts.
- Knowing which platforms your audience visits
- Providing value
- Speaking with your audience
- Creating a community around your brand
Its certainly not about blasting your sales messages to anyone who happens to like your page. You really have to dig deep and understand the wants, needs, concerns that your customers face and communicate with them about it.
As this shift occurs in the social media world, I think we'll see more and more companies handling their own social media, with an expert guiding them throughout the way.