IT generally isn't who you typically imagine when you think of social media gurus - but why not? After all, social media was born and bred on the Web, and in many ways successful social media marketing relies on careful analysis of trends and organization of content. Usually, there is nothing a skilled computer technician does better than study, systematize, and solve problems. Thus, IT departments seem like a logical choice to become leaders of any social media marketing campaign - if they weren't already busy with keeping the whole company connected.
Still, it is possible for small businesses to take advantage of their IT personnel for social media schemes. In fact, many small businesses may be able to cut costs by doubling up the duties of certain computer-bound workers. Here are a few reasons the computer geeks in your IT department might be the social media gurus you've been looking for.
The goal of most IT departments is to ensure that a business remains connected: amongst employees, to fellow businesses, and with customers. Coincidentally, that is largely the motivation behind most social media campaigns. Social media is not a place for sales; rather, it is a means to spread a business's message and maintain contact with networks of beneficial individuals. With the same motivation guiding their actions, IT professionals could easily integrate basic social media tasks into their daily work.
No two jobs in any company are exactly alike; each includes projects and goals that require distinct expertise. However, that doesn't mean IT professionals and social media marketers don't share quite a few skills that make them excel at their jobs. Actually, because both positions require a close relationship with the Web, the overlap is often quite vast.
For example, both groups must be adroit at pattern recognition and analysis. Being able to navigate social sites with ease is not a stagnant skill; social media continues to mature and change, and social media marketers must be adept at adapting to such changes with ease. So too with IT: In the digital age, technology seems to be progressing at an unbelievable rate, and IT professionals devote much of their time to staying abreast of the changes and practiced with new systems. Then, both marketers and IT employees must be skillful at identifying and analyzing trends to guide them during their next few seasons of work. IT workers should be able to transfer this ability from one purpose to another.
This example holds true with a number of skills, including:
- Improvisation. Obstacles in social media and IT are rarely run-of-the-mill, which means both sets of professionals must be able to solve problems quickly and creatively.
- Communication. Though it seems IT professionals are just holed up with glowing screens, in actuality, they must be able to communicate clearly with each other and less-technical workers. Thus, IT workers gain the ability to engage all sorts of people.
- Writing. A grammatical error in a social media message is more than embarrassing, but fortunately, IT departments must master writing skills to submit professional-sounding reports.
- Optimization. Marketing workers must complete a number of tasks in a limited time, which means they must have reliable social media tools to make their jobs easier. The same is true among IT professionals, who can even develop their own specialized software.
Even if you have the budget for two distinctly devoted teams - one for social media and one for IT - your business will benefit from incorporating your IT department in online marketing endeavors. Indeed, your entire company should have a hand in your social media strategy, from development to execution. By involving non-marketing workers in marketing efforts, you will gain a broader picture of how your marketing tactics will be received. Additionally, those outside the marketing sphere may have progressive ideas that bolster your social media messages. Ideally, your marketing will become more diverse and intriguing when you unite your entire workforce under the social media umbrella, and adding your IT team to the fray will provide technical skill, creativity, and more.
Even as your IT team struggles to maintain your network, fix your computer bugs, and optimize your digital performance, your IT professionals have clever ideas and valuable talents for your social media marketing campaigns. Whether you pull them aside for a single meeting to dip their toes or ask them to jump into social media with two feet, you won't be disappointed with your IT-marketing match.