While most businesses have realized the necessity of being on social media in some form, most are still trying to go at it alone or hiring a social media agency that is not adequate in terms of actual marketing strategy and business goals. When you take on social media for your company, it needs to be part of an overall strategy to produce ROI, not just throwing up random posts on Facebook.
The idea that using social media is free is true only in the fact that you don’t need to pay for a profile on most sites. In order to gain success for your business using social media, it will cost time and effort which means money. There are, of course, cases when a business can run its own social media program without help, but more often than not, a helping hand will prove to be a much greater resource for turning social media into dollar signs for your business. Just like I’m capable of hammering a nail, that doesn’t mean I can build a house.
When you are a business just getting started on social media, sure it’s easy to create your own Twitter and Facebook profiles and send an email to your friends and existing contacts to connect with you. But that’s not going to increase your revenue at all.
You might only need a helping hand to coach you through getting started, but a social media professional can certainly help answer all your questions in the beginning with the different networks and how to manage more efficiently with some great tools that are available.
It’s smart for you to leverage someone else’s experience to leap frog much of the trial and error phase of getting over any new learning curve, especially when it comes to technology and marketing.
If you are set up on a few social sites and ready to get started, now what do you do?
By now, everyone knows that you don’t sign up for Twitter just to tell people what you had for breakfast. It’s not your personal journal.
What are different ways you can leverage social media to get in front of more customers?
A social media agency has the experience of working with different businesses and helping them grow to know what works and what doesn’t. More importantly, a social media agency is able to make adjustments based on research and analysis to make sure you’re getting the most out of you social media investment.
Do you want to spend time researching and analyzing? No, you want to be out serving your customers so that you can make more money.
Your plan of attack is important to get in front of more people who are potentially your customers, getting that audience to become your customers, and getting those customers to come back to your business time and time again.
A sound social media plan can, and done well it will, increase your customer base and your average customer value.
Are you measuring your customer base, your company’s social reach, and the value it’s bringing to your business?
What strategies work and which fell flat when you thought they were surefire tricks?
How can you learn from those social media mishaps?
Your plan is in place, your social media strategy is laid out, tactics are decided and action is ready to be taken.
If you don’t want to spend the time sitting down every day at your computer learning new social media tools and then putting in the sweat equity, then a social media agency is a great way to save you time.
If you’re a business owner or employee, most likely you are a professional in something other than social media or online marketing. This means you have a real job to do in addition to now getting your business active enough online to see some real business growth.
The experience that a social media agency has means that not only do they free up your time by doing the legwork, the man hours invested are going to go down because they know what they’re doing and have been doing it for quite some time. There’s no fiddling around, figuring things out and testing out different ideas that may or may not work. A good social media agency has a plan, knows what will work and knows how to help your business gain success online.
Staying on top of all of the new social media sites is hard enough as it is.
“Which social profile does my business need?”
“Why is Twitter different than Facebook and Google Plus?”
“Is LinkedIn just for business relationships?”
Then there are different tools to manage each of your accounts, some better than others. Many tools are similar with only slight differences while others are head and shoulders above the competition in launching your social media presence. Do you have the time to keep up with all the new tools for social media management, testing them all out and determining which is best for your business?
I personally have a dozen websites that I read every morning and hundreds of people I follow on Twitter to keep up with the constantly new information, ideas, strategies and tools in the social media industry.
It’s a social media agency’s job to keep up with this stuff so that it doesn’t have to be your job, too.
A social media company should always have your business goals aligned with your social media plan and be bringing a return on your investment, providing analysis of your growth and the positive effects it has had on your business.
When companies say that they are doing the work, but there is no way to tell that you have been successful, they’re lying to you or worse, they think that they are telling the truth which means they don’t know what they’re doing.
Before you dive into social media, make sure you have a very transparent and honest conversation with your agency about whether or not it’s right for your company given your market and target audience and if you’ll be able to see a positive return on the investment that you’re willing to make.
How much time are you saving by not needing to put in the legwork on a daily basis executing your social media tactics not to mention keeping up with industry news and new social media tools? That alone can help you determine if spending money on a social agency is worth it for you.
How has your business grown because of social media?
Are you reaching more people and raising your brand awareness?
Have you been able to leverage social media campaigns and contests into new customers?
Are you regularly bringing back customers for return business by engaging them through social media?
These are all ways for your business to have a real reason for being involved in social media and how you can see tangible results to whether or not your social media agency is working for you or just trading off their time for your money.
Have you hired a social media agency? How are things working out? If you are part of a social media agency, how do you work with your clients to ensure they are getting their money’s worth of your services and you’re not just paying them social lip service?
Are you looking for an agency to help with your social media marketing?