Congratulations, you’re finally ready to start a social media initiative for your company! Although you might not have worked out all the details, you are ready to make Social Media Marketing a priority. It’s so important for your brand to be visible on social networks, and there are some critical decisions you need to make about the goals of your campaign and which platforms you are going to use. But just as importantly, have you decided who will be running your campaign?
So often, the “who” is an afterthought, a part of the process to be dealt with later, but this should actually be one of the first decisions you make. It will help you to determine which of these tasks you’ll take on yourself, and which you can delegate. If you are planning to have a colleague manage your company’s social media efforts, bring in that person or group early in the process. This allows you all to collaborate as a team, and become more invested in this project. Plus, it is more productive, and typically more fun, when you don’t have to tackle the project alone.
Depending on your company structure and resources, there are several good options for social media management. Below we have featured some of these options, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each. Deciding which strategy suits your business is an important first step toward taking the leap into social media marketing.
Social Media Marketing
Your CEO has an awesome personality that everyone loves. They’re the face of your company, so why not make them the face and voice of your social campaign?
- The CEO’s “celebrity” recognition allows you to more easily gain followers based on their popularity
- Setting the tone of the campaign is easy; just use their personal voice!
- There is a clear hierarchy about who is posting for your company
Since the CEO is in charge, they know the vision of the company and know what messages to convey
- This is perfect for a small company that is based on personal relationships
- The CEO has a company to run, so prioritizing might become an issue
- If your CEO can’t post, no one is posting
- Collaboration is not inherent with this option
If your CEO has the time and inclination, go for it! For those instances when they need to wear their CEO hat and handle other tasks, you’ll want a backup plan in place, or be prepared to put your social media campaign on hold.
Your Communications Director oversees all other communications, so this is a natural fit.
- Their full-time job is to think about and execute communications
- This ensures the company’s messaging across all channels will be consistent and working in sync
- They know who your audience is and what platforms they use most
- They know how to run a campaign and measure the metrics that determine success
- Your CEO can simply approve the idea and goals, and can trust your Communications Director to execute the strategy independently
- Your company might not be big enough or have the budget to support this as a full-time position
- Your Communications Director may have larger projects on their plate, so social media might not be a good use of their time
- Finding a Communications Director with the experience and industry knowledge might not be as versed in new technology and social platforms
Again, this comes down to ensuring that managing social campaigns is a good use of the Communications Director’s time, and that they have the expertise to pull it off.
Internal Staff Member/Office Administrator.
Internal communications are funneled through this staff member, so it’s an easy jump for them to funnel messages out to the public.
- This staff member already knows about the company and what is going on, so they have plenty of fresh content to post
- Social media management will only be part of their job, so the cost is minimal
- The staff member might not have the time to devote to do this right, and it may become a burden
- Although he or she is good at communicating within the office, this staff member might not have the skills to communicate with the general public in a marketing setting
- This is a small part of their job, so it might end up prioritized lower than other projects
More often than not, this option is better in theory than in reality. However, if you have a staff member who is passionate about social media and marketing, it can be a great choice. Be sure to set clear goals so you both know when it’s working, and when you may need to reevaluate.
You brought on some young college-aged interns who are very familiar with social media. They already know the technology!
- Interns are great for a trial run on social media, because you won’t have to burden a staff member with the initial workload
- Interns are more affordable
- Let’s face it, they probably know more about social media and how to navigate the Internet than you do!
- Just because they can login and know where to post doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to run a campaign
- They lack the messaging and marketing experience to set goals and track metrics
- Since an intern’s time is generally limited to a few months with the company, they may not be as invested in the project
- There will need to be more involvement from senior management to make sure the message is appropriate and in line with your brand.
This is a great option if you want to test out a social media campaign and don’t have anyone on your staff who can take it on. It’s also a great option if your business has a busy season and only needs seasonal support. If this is the case, be sure to have a plan and guidelines ready to for the intern to implement.
You don’t have any staff members or their days are already too full, but you have a family member who wants to help.
- They are invested in the company and excited to help
- They usually come to the table with new ideas they want to try
- With family members especially, you can be brutally honest with them about ideas and goals
- They are very affordable (maybe even free!)
- You only get the time they are willing to give, so their commitment might not be consistent
- They may be brutally honest right back at you
- You get what you pay for … And family can be hard to fire!
Sometimes a close friend or family member is all the help you have, and it’s a great place to start. However, it’s not really a feasible marketing solution in the long term. Learn what is working and growing your businesses so you can hire someone in the future to take on this revenue-generating project.
You prefer to outsource your social media marketing to a specialized company that does this every day.
- Contractors do this full-time. They have tons of experience with a variety of campaigns and platforms
- They know how to set up a successful campaign and track the results
- They cut their teeth on their previous clients, so there will be less guessing and more knowing
- You need to have the budget and a return on the campaign to justify this expense
- Contractors are not in the office every day, so you will need to supply them with additional content
- You will have more up-front work with them, such as setting goals and developing content and approval systems
You and your team need to be focused on what you do best, and it may be worthwhile to bring on a contractor who is already the best at social media. If you have the budget and infrastructure, this is a great option.
As you can see, there isn’t one correct answer in terms of who will be managing your company’s social media marketing. Depending on the size and structure of your business, there are multiple options to choose from. It’s up to you to decide what is the best fit for you.
Once you know which direction you want to take, figuring out the goals of your social campaign is critical. This is something you may want to have mapped out in advance so you and your team have a clear vision when you start.
Not sure where to begin? Well, you are in luck! Our next installment will be focused on setting goals for your social media marketing and learning how to measure success. Stay tuned!