Contributed by Social Outreach & Business Development Coordinator, Kelli Komondor
This is 2015, people. Your organization can’t survive without a social presence. I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, or even something you aren’t already doing. But – are you doing it correctly? Are you using resources to the fullest and getting all you can out of your social pages? Here are a few ways to determine if you should be contracting your social efforts to an outside professional, categorized in true 4C fashion.
Content Creation: If the content on your social sites isn’t being read, what’s the sense in posting? You need a writer who will keep your audience engaged and can adapt the posts for multiple social sites. If you want a reader to click a link on Twitter, those characters prior to the link better be engaging and cause a call to action! Social media professionals will take the time to curate posts, rich with eye-catching graphics, that will not only gain followers, but will keep the ones you have engaged and interested.
Customer Service: You need an individual with strong communication skills who can provide top-notch problem solving in an area viewed by the most important people: your audience and clients. Although a negative post or complaint on your Facebook page isn’t ideal, it is an opportunity to showcase your organization’s professionalism and desire to make it right and please the customer. Unless the customer’s post is laden with foul language or straight-up lies, it should remain on your site and should be dealt with in a clear, concise, level-headed response. Those who work directly for you are more likely to take offense and reply with a hot-headed comment that can cause more harm than good. Someone on the outside is ideal to respond and handle the situation without any feelings attached; they’re more likely to handle things professionally without emotion.
Community Connector: “It’s not who you know, it’s who they know.” is something I’ve heard repeatedly from Paul O’Donnell, my co-worker and fellow lover of all things networking. Hiring an outside source as your social representative can be beneficial in so many ways beyond what they post and how many of your followers they engage. Your social specialist should be someone who uses sites such as LinkedIn to keep connected and up-to-date with happenings within the industry and business community. They would bring their own circle of business and personal associates to the party – anyone with a loyalty to them, would become involved with your company. This individual should also be out attending networking events and promoting your organization face-to-face. The right person will spend time on follow-up after an event and make sure to stay connected to the people who can benefit your company.
Communication Junkie: Your social media manager needs to be in the thick of news about your industry. They should follow the rule of thirds: One-third of the posts they create should be about your company – promoting your business and generating profit; one-third about your industry – sharing ideas and stories from industry pros and like-minded businesses; and one-third should be personal – posts about your company culture and the individuals who make your organization what it is. Think about sharing company picnic photos, spotlighting an employee with a Q & A, sharing employee posts, and so on.
If the individual you have in place to handle your social media doesn’t have a clear understanding of SEO and keywords and if you’re seeing a lull in your company’s social posts, if you’re finding the posts to be dry or uninteresting, or if you’re noticing a decline in your followers and the amount of engagement – it may be time to explore taking on a social media specialist. Think about this – if your office manager or team accountant is supposed to be the one posting on social, you’re doing it wrong. Free up their time to do what they were hired for and let a professional take over. Someone who is big on content creation and customer service and an individual who is a community connector and communication junkie – someone who follows my 4C’s of social media.