What is Social Media Management?
The increasing importance of social media services for small business owners has become apparent. Including social media into an overall marketing strategy plan in order to stay competitive is a MUST. So what is social media management? This article gives answers about social media services for small business owners who need to know.
If you are the owner or manager a small business, it’s likely you’ve been too busy to get involved. You may not know if there’s anyone else in the company who is able to take on such a critical aspect of your marketing effort. Even if you have a technical specialist on board, integrating social media with your marketing activities is another challenge.
With so many things to consider and if you don’t have experienced digital marketing director on staff, it is likely the decision-making burden for investigating social media rests with you. And that’s why Compass Marketing has created a series of mini-informational segments. These segments are specifically designed to help the small business owner or manager to get an overall understanding of what is involved in social media marketing so you can effectively delegate the responsibility to others. And, it can be done at a cost that won’t break the bank.
3 Most Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What IS Social Media Management?
When defining the concept of social media management, it is not simply having a presence on one of the available platforms. It isn’t enough to just be on social media. If your presence on social media is to be considered a marketing activity, your business needs to be on all of the major social media channels that are frequented by your customers or clients and potential buyers. Whether you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or any other option, you’ll need a branded, well-composed and graphically appealing header across all channels.
Providing compelling content that is of interest to the viewer is key to successful social media marketing. It adds value to your products and/or services and establishes a connection with your customer base. Quality content also enables your interaction with potential buyers in a meaningful way, actually engaging them. It’s important at this point to mention the content doesn’t create itself. It takes marketing knowledge and focused creative talent.
Social media content includes articles, videos, ads, product announcements and blog posts, as well as plenty of photographs and other kinds of visuals. The content needs to be created and designed to support your overall marketing objectives. It needs to be delivered in the right way to the right audience, so the right kind of customer engagement is encouraged. In other words, in order to produce a winning social media marketing presence, it takes talent in writing, design and layout skills, along with a creative effort!
The ultimate goal after a social media post is to get your viewers to engage. After that happens, your company then needs to respond by interacting with your social media audience in a positive, engaging way. It’s vital that all queries, comments and messages from the various social media channels be responded to quickly and/or positive action taken. This is the key to moving potential buyers along in the sales process, as well as managing your company’s reputation with its online audience.
If designed and implemented correctly, social media marketing quickly creates a gold mine of possibilities that you will want to take advantage of. And, there are so many opportunities for you to use social media to increase your brand awareness. The value of brand awareness cannot be overstated, as the goal of any business is obviously to sell more products and/or services.
Once you commit to establishing a social media presence on the internet as a part of your marketing plan, it really comes down to answering these three questions:
- What is the most effective strategy for increasing the market share of your business?
- What is the best way to promote brand awareness of your products and/or services?
- How do you achieve those objectives in the most cost-effective way?
Q: What Are the Advantages of Social Media Marketing?
Compete with larger companies at a cost you can afford.
Using social media is a great way to grow market share without the costs associated with traditional marketing and advertising. For the small business, it provides the opportunity to engage in the market place and compete with larger companies. And some businesses can do it without a sales force and without incurring the costs associated with print, television or radio advertising and expensive direct mail campaigns.
Interact with customers and potential buyers on a personal level.
Social media has many different channels to choose from, and each social media platform appeals to a specific segment of your potential market. For example, a younger audience might choose Snapchat to interact with friends. By using age-appropriate language and images, you make it easy for them to share information about your products and services with their friends.
Know who your followers are and how to satisfy them.
Social media creates an arena in which you can market more effectively to your audience. High-value social media interactions help you better understanding your audience so you can more effectively promote your particular brand to prospects. Building rapport through social media will be invaluable when those people are ready to make a buying decision.
Satisfy customers and it results in future sales.
Every business owner knows that satisfied customers are important to business survival. Did you know that for every dissatisfied customer, it takes two new satisfied ones to increase sales? A prospect might be online looking for recommendations for a product or service like yours. If your online customer base is giving your product or service a glowing report, you can use these online comments to drive potential buyers to your website pages, which are designed to convert them into paying customers.
Being on social media also gives you the opportunity to interact with and support existing customers and your online community. Your online presence may be used to effectively answer questions, to provide solutions to problems, or just to respond to general queries about your products and/or services. This saves both time and money when you compare it with the cost of an in-person visit or phone conversation with numerous people having a similar issue or concern.
Effectively tell your brand’s story.
One more really important thing. Social media marketing gives you the ability to tell your brand’s story! It’s the place to spotlight the many things you are doing to help customers and potential buyers. You can easily keep them informed of changes, improvements, and how you can help them. And you can highlight other activities, such as what you are doing for your employees and the community. All for a relatively low cost!
Q: What Are the Challenges of Social Media Marketing?
A full-time commitment and substantial investment.
As you may have guessed by now, grabbing the social media marketing “bull by the horns” is not for the faint of heart. For real success, maintaining a social media presence is really a full-time commitment and an investment in both time and money. And finding your way through the jungle of information is challenging. Therefore, the most important thing to accomplish is for you to become clear on what it is you need or want to achieve so that you can incorporate it into your overall marketing strategy plan.
There is a vast amount of information available.
It doesn’t take long to discover there is an enormous amount of information available on the internet to read and attempt to absorb. Even an innocent Google search can unexpectedly and quickly consume valuable time. And there are plenty of social media management articles and podcasts that inform and educate on all the various facets of social media marketing. As you read and listen, you ca n (and most likely will) become overwhelmed and convinced there is no WAY on earth you have the time to do it all.
There are more questions than answers.
As you uncover more and more information, you discover that social media marketing is big business; and the people who are doing it successfully are spending a great deal of money on it. The deeper you delve into it, the more you’ll see everyone seems to have a different idea of what works. Before long, your head will start to spin with questions, such as: What channels should I post in? What content should I post? How do I post? How can I be sure that this effort translates into dollars or more business for my company? How can I even afford to do this?
There is at least some anxiety and/or fear involved.
Like any other important business investment of company resources, it causes at least a little anxiety or fear (it’s helpful to interpret the fear as excitement). If this is you, you are not alone. This is probably the single greatest challenge of social media marketing for the small business owner or manager — getting started.
There are a few things to remember to minimize concerns.
Remember, in order to move forward and be successful in social media marketing, it requires more than just a presence on social media. It takes planning and a commitment to resources. The good news is, there is all kinds of help available if you choose to focus on social media for your business. And the benefits to your business and the payoff resulting from its implementation cannot be ignored.
Hopefully, you’ve gained a bit more insight into the question, “What is social media management?” And, that you better understand how important social media is for your marketing strategy plan as it will be crucial to your business growth. In our upcoming blog post in this Social Media Services for Small Business Owner series, we will address “8 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy”. If you’d like to be notified by email of the release of this blog post, please subscribe to our blog or join our mailing list. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more helpful and interesting marketing ideas.
Check out our Knowledgebase Article: Social Media For Business: Helpful Basics for the Small Business Owners