Biased, Moi? I know it’s easy to think that as a social media consultant myself, of course, I’m going to think it’s a marvellous idea that you hire someone to do your social dirty work. But I’m also a business owner, and i’m used to rolling my sleeves up when I think I can do a job (and do it well) myself. However, wearing many hats is challenging (and not a strong look), so if you’re thinking about hiring a social media manager or consultant, here are 5 considerations to help you decide.
1. Time, time, time
If you run your own business (at any scale) sure, money is tight – but time is tighter. It’s funny that the reason many of us work for ourselves is to own our own time, but the reality is that we’ve probably just enabled ourselves to work evenings, weekends and more. Sponsored by Starbucks, we mainline the caffeine and sling out the odd few social posts, make a few Instagram comments or share an article on Linkedin, but every 5 minutes you spend doing that without a clear goal, or strategy to get there, is 5 minutes wasted.
2. Keeping Ahead of the Latest Social Media Trends
However far you dip your proverbial toe into the soupy waters of social, you probably hear a lot of noise around algorithms, engagement, beta developments and more. I don’t blame you for not having it all crystal clear; even as a social media consultant, a huge part of my job is keeping on top of the social media trends. And I’m not talking about the latest, cool ‘potato face’ filter (my kids can keep me up to date on those), but the real game-changing advancements that are going to make a significant difference to your campaigns. Slight changes in a social media platforms algorithm or interface adjustments can massively affect your ROI on social, so it’s good to have an expert at the helm.
3. Setting a Clear Social Media Strategy
We’ve spoken before about how social media without a strategy is like shopping on a hungry stomach. Impulsive, random and based entirely on what’s easy and instantly satisfying, the short-term gain isn’t going to see you fed and nourished for the week ahead. Having a strategy allows you to analytically assess the efficacy of your efforts. Without a goal, how do you know you’re winning? Also, this strategy should align with your other marketing outputs. If you’re already looking after your email marketing or sending direct mail out to potential clients, that’s a lot of plates to spin on your own. A social media consultant will talk to you about your wider business goals, your granular social goals and the budgets for achieving them.
4. Community Management
Depending on the service level agreement between you and your social media consultant, you may opt for them to take responsibility for replying to your comments and DMs (direct messages). The importance of replying swiftly can’t be underplayed; according to CRM big players, Keap, “44% of clients move on to another company if you don’t respond fast enough”. Yeesh, come back!
Now, we all manage so many forms of communication these days that you’d be forgiven for not noticing that a potential client has just slid into your DMs, but wouldn’t it be good to know that there was someone being tasked for doing just that?
5. It Can – and Should – Directly Save or Make You Money
It’s a bold claim to make, but let’s think about this logically. If you’re looking after your own social right now, it’s already costing you. So often we’re guilty of not placing a monetary value on our own time, but every minute spent on a job that isn’t our discipline is money that could be better directed. I get it; as I said before, I’m a business owner, I’m cost-conscious, but wherever I feel a job could be done quicker, or better by someone else, I make the call to invest in that area. Your initial goal should be to save time, which ultimately equates to money, but done right, with a clear strategy and KPIs around revenue set, you’ll find that your social media consultant pays for itself – and some.
There is so much that you can, and should be learning yourself, and as you know, I’m on a mission to educate as many business owners as I can, but if you think having a social buddy would help you reach your business goals quicker, you know where I am.