Investment in social media is a necessity – not a luxury any longer. Businesses and interest groups today must integrate their social media efforts with an effective content strategy. Businesses must use their social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and increasing their bottom line in sales. Organizations and interest groups must use their social media to raise awareness to their priorities and to profile and position ideas.
The benefits of an active social media outreach are many:
- branding – both reputation management and positioning
- raising awareness of brand(s) and issues
- word-of-mouth advertising / promotion
- increasing loyalty and trust with active engagement
- improving audience reach and influence
To maximize on-line success, it might prove useful for businesses and organizations to employ someone to manage social media activities. Success with social media is all about good, engaging content. (Given this imperative for quality content, it may be startling to know that only 9% of American US companies employ a full-time blogger – even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013.)
A social media manager can make a difference in a number of tangible ways. A skilled communicator can be expected to:
- craft and ensure your business will communicate in a unified voice — A social media manager meets with different stakeholders within and outside your company to create an effective social media message. The manager will ensure your message is consistent over your various social media platforms.
- develop and track campaigns — A social media manager can create and deploy promotional campaigns – and be responsible to adjust your efforts depending on what works and what doesn’t.
- manage your online dialogue — A social media manager can orchestrate your on-line activities; listening and responding to your customers and on-line audience. Managers can also be responsible to reach out to news outlets and bloggers who can help your business grow.
- save time — Effective on-line activity and proper business strategy execution takes time. Having people contribute to a social media process without defined responsibilities and goals won’t help your marketing efforts. A dedicated social media management can ensure your on-line activity is done right.
Surf through the By George Journal articles tagged “social media” for an idea of how this activity might enhance your communications efforts.
As a last thought, consider that social media managers should not only execute social media activities, but they must also understand all facets of your business or organization. They should know what is integral to your success; the objectives and trends that are critical; and, how to best interact with your customers and targeted audiences. Think of social media managers as your ambassadors as they are often the first impression one has of your business or organization. They are more than Internet whizzes – social media managers are your front line communicators and issue managers.