First things first. I realise that not everyone in the world os familiar with the term, or more specifically, the role of Social Media Manager. In the grand scheme of things, the position is in it’s infancy, and essentially refers to the person within an organisation or group, responsible for handling the social media output, and response. For larger brands, for whom the online conversation is voluminous, this can mean a lot of work. A dedicated resource is quite often the bare minimum, and social management teams are becoming more commonplace.
Investment in social media, for marketing and customer service effort, as well as reputation management, market research and myriad other business cases, is on the increase across a broad range of industries, at all levels from owner-manager to global corporation. Social media is facilitating higher levels of success at lower cost to the business … fact!
And so it falls upon someone to be the social media manager, and with more and more “experts” out there, eager to show you how to manage the social conversation for yourself, there’s one BIG factor no-one seems to consider … You have a business to run! So, you don’t want to be a social media manager? Too right! That’s not what you got into business for. It never was part of your mission, or vision for a better future – to be writing blog posts, recording and sharing video messages, or condensing your incredible insights down to 140 characters!
And yet outsourcing quite often isn’t the answer either. It takes a special person to be able to adequately speak for a business for whom they are not a permanent fixture. Situations arise on a regular basis, where a stakeholder response is required. In a world where the social web is readily available in our pockets, all you’ve achieved is to create a proxy. You’ve bought a dog, and done much of the barking yourself!
So what IS the solution? The answer is … it depends! For businesses of a certain size, a team effort will always prevail. A united front, shown in the very public world of social media, can do wonders for the reputation of the organisation, and generate the kind of word-of-mouth that keeps the financial fires burning for a very long time. For the owner-manager business, it’s a different story. Whilst it’s important to spend time on your online profile, and to fuel the pull marketing that small businesses crave, that quite often means time you simply don’t have. Luckily, technology has come to the rescue – especially in recent months – with the likes of social automation service ifttt.com, and curation sites like scoop.it making time management a lot easier. What is hugely important, though, is to be sharing and thanking others for the content they provide, too. Think of it as a business networking event – not only will you have to do some of the talking – you should also do MOST of the listening!
The point is, that to make a difference to the bottom line of your business, you don’t have to be a thought leader. You don’t have to create endless streams of content, and spend your days sharing. You could simply be a thought provider. The thoughts of others – those you respect – can be just as powerful to your networks, and reflect well on you for being the arbiter, and connector.
So you’re not ready to be a social media manager? Never mind … there’s always the day job!