It’s getting to the point where social media isn’t a part of every business’s web strategy – it is their strategy. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but no one can dispute the amazing growth of social media or its impact on businesses and the way that they interact with their customers. Within the next five years, social media is expected to become a $3.1 billion industry!
In a lot of ways, using social media – like Facebook, Twitter, or even a company blog – is a far more cost-effective way for companies to reach their audience than traditional media, but too many dive right in without knowing what they are doing. Very quickly, they learn that there’s a lot more to social media than they thought. There are a number of dos and don’ts to interacting through the various platforms, and maintaining things like blog entries, tweets, friend and follower lists, and comments can be incredibly time-consuming.
That’s why many organizations end up hiring a social media manager. This is a relatively new position, but one that’s growing quickly in popularity. Essentially, a social media manager is a person who understands the various platforms and knows how to effectively manage all of that time-consuming stuff listed above.
Driving yourself crazy going to 20 different social networks every day? A good social media manager knows how to consolidate your online presence and handle everything from a single master source. Using a Facebook Profile instead of a Facebook Store for your company page? A good social media manager will fix this.
You may wonder if the “gain” you get from your social media presence is worth the cost of a full-time employee – or even a dedicated group of individuals – but consider the facts:
- While only 14 percent of people trust ads, 73 percent trust recommendations from their peers like they get through social media “likes”
- A positive Facebook friend referral makes 68 percent of people more likely to buy something
- 84 percent of businesses have described their own social media presence as “average”
- 28 percent of businesses say that social media has directly led to an increase in sales
But since everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, your social media has to be clear and well thought out for you to stand out from the pack. This means keeping up with new trends and responding to everything in a timely (read: instantaneous) fashion. If you find that you can’t take the time to adequately do this yourself, hiring an experienced social media manager with knowledge of the platforms best suited to your business on a full-time, part-time, or even contract basis might be an enormous help.