3 Benefits of Hiring a Small Business Social Media Manager – Bottom Line, More Leads!

As a small business owner, it is important to establish an online presence to connect with the online consumer. This is what social media marketing is all about. Social media is a revolution as far as business interactions are concerned. In today’s world, brands are built and torn apart on social platforms. Because of this, you would do well as a business owner to make sure you use the available platforms to grow your brand and your reputation. Unless you fall in the lesser percentage, it is very likely that you are one of those business owners who can’t keep up with technology and media advancements.

Yes, you may know how to transform an idea into a million bucks but you don’t know the first thing about LinkedIn or Twitter. How do you make use of social marketing when you are lacking in expertise in the said field? Simple, hire a social media manager.

A social media manager is a professional who is skilled in taking care of the communication and marketing aspects of your business. In basic terms, this is the person who gets in touch with the consumer on your behalf on the social platforms. There are various reasons why hiring a small business social media manager is a good idea.

In this article we will outline 3 reasons;

1. Social marketing platforms are constantly changing. What may have worked last year will not necessarily work this year, even last month. As a business owner, you may not have the time, energy or knowledge to keep up with changing trends. Because they do change often! It is the job of the SM manager to keep up with these trends for the sake of your business.

Remember, if you ignore current trends you run the risk of being irrelevant and losing your clients/customers to your competitors. If there’s one thing that’s certain about the online consumer, it’s their erratic and impatient nature. They are not willing to waste too much time on a brand that does not seem to care about its online image and presence.

2. As a business owner, you may already know how important it is to have an online presence. You have definitely heard this before. However, you may not know how to get the right audience for your brand.

For instance, if you sell products targeted at older people, you want to make sure that you reach out to them and not anyone else. It is one thing to have an audience and it is another to have the right audience. Your social media manager will help you identify avenues that will lead your brand to the right audience.

3. SM managers are also able to monitor the progress made through digital campaigns. If you embark on a marketing campaign, it is important to track any milestones reached by the campaign. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing too much in a campaign that yields nothing. The best person to keep tabs on the digital campaign is your SM manager. They will also recommend new ways to do things if the current methods are not achieving the intended goals.

Instead of worrying that you don’t know how to take advantage of social media, hire someone who does and watch your business grow.

What to Expect As Business Social Media Marketing Progresses

Business social media marketing companies who are in their pioneering year of operation would most probably have one thing in mind: how is social media faring nowadays, and what is the trend that should be watched out for? Since the internet is evolving quite randomly, it is important to have a foresight to secure your business in the years to come.

In one of the studies conducted recently, there were five major outcomes and trends which were observed. Here they are for your convenience and consumption:

One of the major trends found out in business social media marketing is that outsourcing of these businesses was not used. Contrary to expectations, it was just used sparingly. In this regard, the level of expertise was not heavily associated with the time based experience. Many companies who were involved with online businesses felt that they could pull it off and be experts in the field even without proper application. Many fell short of productivity fell short in the process.

Another trend with business social media marketing is that companies who got involved with networks found themselves spending more and more time as time went by. Expect to follow this trend since logically, this would be caused by the increasing network which you should be handling, replying to, sending emails, and processing. If for the first few months, you only spent 2 to three hours, a good sign that your community is growing is finding yourself spending more time online.

A logical and supposed trend when with online businesses would be to observe a direct proportion between expertise and return of investment. As companies become more established with their online communities, customers and followers would be more trusting, therefore seeing more conversion and profit from sales. New businesses should expect that time is a big factor in their productivity metrics.

The fourth trend shows that businesses who have been involved in business to business collaboration produced more sales than those who focused only with customers. This seems rational in a way that business empowerment provides better sales because of business to business cooperation and increased customer assurance.

It is also a very accepted inclination that social networks are the most used media for businesses to promote and advertise. Statistical findings showed that as of current, the top two networks used are Twitter and Facebook, with almost 90% of business involved in this.

With these pointers as information on current trends, you are now able to assess how your business social media marketing is doing and would be prepared for the succeeding months to come.

Small Business Social Media – Is It a Viable Option?

In a world that is becoming smaller because of our access to the Internet, it gets larger at the same time because of our ability to reach more people with our message through the use of the Internet. Small Business Social Media use is in it’s infancy whereas large businesses use it successfully now. Large business success is due partly because of the huge budgets they throw at it. Money can buy results. So where does that leave the small business owner trying to compete with the big guys? In a difficult position.

Small business Social Media needs to be addressed with a different filter. Large businesses that have millions of customers don’t really interact with their customers on Twitter or Facebook, they talk to them instead. The keyword here is “to”. The greatest asset the small business owner has is a small customer base that can be drawn into the conversation because they know you, they have probably met you and have a feeling about you. Can the SEO of Ford say that? No. So using this more personal connection what can the small business owner do to capitalize on this?

  • Ask all of your current customers to follow your Twitter account and Like you on Facebook.
  • Ask them to leave comments about you on their own social media accounts.
  • Reward them for being proactive in helping you – Discounts, specials, etc.
  • Ask for reviews when they are happy! (Set up Google, Yelp and other review accounts)
  • Talk with them, ask them what they like, what they want, what they do for fun and recreation on your Twitter page.
  • Retweet their tweets – promote them as people others should know.
  • Use their quotes on Twitter and Facebook. People love to be quoted – it makes them an authority and it spreads positives about you.

In other words have a conversation that is more than telling them what your current sale or promotion is. Think of it this way, Twitter is the old water cooler in the office. People take breaks from their work to hang out and talk about anything but work! They talk about sports, travel, wine, dining out, craft beer. Who is seeing who and who no longer is seeing anyone and why. People by nature are social, they love to communicate, talk, get to know each other. That’s what Twitter does in 140 characters. And just like in real life if someone constantly runs over 140 characters we get bored with the boar because they tend to talk only about themselves. We all want to be heard, so keep in mind how important it is to hear your customers.

Facebook allows for more space and therefore interaction. Give them something to talk about like, themselves. Call them out by name, by what they have done in their business or personal lives that others might enjoy hearing. Ask them to comment on it. Ask everyone to share it with others. Do not over sell on any social media site, always undersell yourself and oversell how great your customers are. You don’t exist without your customers not the other way around. Your customers made you, help them in the same way.

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome in small business social media is time involved in updating and what to say. I covered the basics of what to say but the time issue is real. Small business owners can get sucked into a very large black hole that destroys hours and even days if they let. So have someone within your company handle the basic social media duties. They can tweet and retweet, just don’t let them build relationships with other business owners that think they are getting to know you. You must spend about 15 minutes a day talking to peers on your Social Media sites and occasionally give a personal tweet, comment or status update about your customers. Easiest way to do this is as you wrap up just before lunch and give 10 or 15 minutes on you smart phone as you head out to eat. It really is that easy.

The second biggest obstacle in the mind of a small business owner is their Return on Investment of ROI. Business coaches, seminars, college lectures all talk about the need to measure your ROI. Small Business Social Media has a different ROI than money you put into direct marketing or an email campaign. Social media is about building relationships. Have you ever met someone, built a relationship with them but never did business with them? Of course you have, every day. But have you ever received a referral from that same person to someone they know that needs your service or product. Probably. ROI in social media is tough to measure but it is there. Just retaining loyal customers because they feel they have a personal connection with you is a form of ROI.

ROI for social media also shows up in your search engine rankings. SEO firms are known for poo pooing Small Business Social Media as a waste of time. However all major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing use social media in their measurement of how popular your web site is. They look at how many people are talking about you or your site. They measure the quality of the relationships (is the person or site talking about you related to your field?) and the quantity of those relationships (how many different sites). Shares by others of your social media is rated very important by Google and Bing. Remember that Bing has a Joint Venture with Facebook. For no other reason than to help your SEO page rank you need to be using small business social media to help your business grow.