Social Media has quickly evolved from the glittery “showin some love” gifs of MySpace to a full blown world of platforms we use every day to communicate and express ourselves. No one just has a single profile anymore, you share your photo’s on Instagram, your personal life through Facebook, you use Yelp to find a great restaurant, and on and on. Social Media has intertwined with modern society in ways we never would’ve forseen 10 – 15 years ago.
If you’re a company without a social presence you are way behind. Most modern corporations not only have active social teams and marketing campaigns, they also encourage all employees to maintain a social presence or represent the company in the social media space.
Apex does a lot of social media management for small businesses as well as large corporations. It used to be that “social media expert” was a laughable term in the marketing industry “an expert at tweeting? lol” but social media of today is extremely nuanced and one of the best ways to gain new customers and audience so it’s something to take very seriously. Each platform has something different to offer and depending on what type of business you run you can take advantage of this nuance. Pinterest for example is a widely underrated tool for driving traffic to a website. You can post high res photos of your products that link directly back to your site. Pinterest works as a recommendation engine so if there are users who like fishing poles and you sell high end fishing poles, the chances are good the right people will see your products and might even click through to your website to purchase.
In researching best practices for social media management, we came across this article from Forbes that does a great job of illustrating the diverse set of skills a quality social media management rep, firm or team would have. We paraphrased them for you, but recommend you read the full article here if you’re seriously seeking information on the subject.
- Advertising Experience (Specifically, Social Advertising): Just about every platform now has a paid advertising model that savvy businesses can utilize to their benefit. Having someone on board with the knowledge of how these programs work and how to take advantage of them is important. As an example, Facebook gives you the ability to target people by what they like. This is a HUGE advantage to businesses trying to get the word out about a product that already has a built in fan base. As an example, if you’re advertising for the new “DC Comics” Superhero movie, you already know you’ve got the eyeballs of the fans who like DC Comics, but you can target advertising to people who like Marvel comics. An audience with a known interest in comics and superheros, that you don’t currently have access to via your organic channels. It only gets better from there, you can target age demographics, DMA’s, and just about anything else you can imagine. Once you start spending in these channels you’ll also want to have someone who can look at the analytics data and make intelligent decisions and adjustments with that information. This is probably one of the most important attributes to look for when hiring a social media management expert or firm to represent your company’s best interests.
- Graphic Design Skills: Posts with images always get more love. Think about it for yourself, as you scroll through your social feed you’re more likely to click on or like a post that has a funny image or an interesting image. That’s not to say there’s no value to the text, but it’s human nature to go with the pretty visual. This is why it’s important that your social manager have a solid understanding of graphic design. This person may need to resize images, color correct, or even create images on behalf of your company. One of the things that Apex provides our clients with is Infographic Creation. We have seen that social shares with infographics or funny meme’s will garner much more traction with a brands audience than posts without. These graphic images can also be used to distinguish you from competition. Brands that are sharing interesting or valuable things to an audience free from a sales pitch, just for the sake of sharing tend to gain popularity very quickly on social platforms and eventually this loyal audience translates into new business.
- Understanding of SEO / Native Advertising / Content Marketing: Let’s face it at this point in time Google search pretty much powers the internet, accept that reality. If people are looking for something they are going to Google it. I don’t discount the value of Bing, Yahoo and other independent search engines but they are all following in Google’s wake… (in much the same way any smart phone is following in the iPhone’s wake, but I won’t get into that here!). Google’s organic search algorithms now incorporate “social value” as a big part of ranking content. The more social value and traffic referrals your content has from social platforms – the better it’s going to rank in search engines. Anyone who works with you in a Social Media context should be aware of these basic facts and have a strategy that aligns with your overall content production to help drive new traffic and business to your brand.
- Excellent Communication / Writing Skills: In a business setting anyone who’s working for you should be able to read and write at a college level. That aside, your social person or team should be communicating daily with your customer base (if you’re doing things right). With that in mind this person or team should have great writing skills and be able to effectively express the things that need to be conveyed to your audience. A social feed rife with spelling errors and mistakes can make a brand look extremely unprofessional and sloppy. When you’re considering a person or firm for this role ask yourself can they clearly convey ideas in writing? Are they able to maintain a consistent voice when writing on behalf of your brand? Do they convey passion and excitement for your brand in their interactions? Can they maintain top-notch professionalism and avoid embarrassing grammatical or spelling errors… or worse yet politically incorrect statements that can create PR nightmares? Make sure you take these types of questions into consideration before making a decision.
- A Customer Service Mentality: One of the questions I ask of anyone who works with Apex is if they’ve ever read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. The reason is that this book does one thing incredibly well – it helps foster a sense of empathy. If you can empathize with your customers you will always provide incredible service! The person or team representing you on social media needs to be quick to respond to questions and complaints. Your social presence is the face of your brand online, everything they say or do is a representation of your brand and your business so it’s not something to be taken lightly!
These are 5 good qualities to consider when looking for a person or firm to handle social media management on your behalf. The industry evolves so quickly though, the needs have evolved even over just the past couple years. Look for updated posts and information about social media management on our blog in the future.
To learn more about how Apex Digital Media can help you with social media management, click here.
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