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That is the question.
There’s a raging debate in the world of business right now and it has to do with social media. No, it doesn’t involve getting reprimanded for using Facebook during office hours and it has nothing to do with accidentally tweeting scandalous content under the company account (though, this seems to be quite the issue lately– US Airways, anyone?). This debate has to do with whether or not to implement social media management within company boundaries or hire an outside company to do it for them.
While many business leaders believe updating social media is as simple as posting and responding to comments, the truth is that it is not enough to generate the level of success they expect.
It comes down to two major factors: money and skill. If a business has the resources to hire a talented, full-time social media specialist in-house, that’s great! But randomly assigning the task of social management to another employee when they have plenty of other tasks to get done is not the way to go.
Why? Here are five reasons it pays to have a social media company manage your platforms for you:
1. You can focus on running your business
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Social media management is not a “wham-bam” job. Just like your career, it takes skill, continuing education and a thorough understanding of digital marketing and social behaviors to effectively carry out a social strategy. Why burden your employees with the task when you can easily hire a specialist to do the work for you? With the time you save, you can focus on what matters most: running your company.
2. Social media strategy is more than just posting to Facebook
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One of the greatest misconceptions about social media is that all it takes is just a few minutes every day. Wrong! There is so much more that goes into successful social media implementation. A winning strategy includes:
* Analyzing and understanding analytics, target audience demographics and web traffic behaviors
* Serving as a fast-acting customer service agent
* Using digital advertising to boost visibility with Facebook ads, LinkedIn Sponsored Posts, Google AdWords, etc
* Engaging current customers with content they can relate to
* Using creative storytelling about your brand through social posts and blogs
3. You don’t have to worry about legal issues
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Let’s face it: there are so many ways you could get in legal trouble through social media and digital marketing and the last thing you want is a lawsuit on your company’s hands. For instance, is that photo or video you’re sharing someone’s copyrighted property? Did you just post confidential information protected under HIPAA that should’ve been left off your company’s page? Are you disclosing any paid endorsements? Did you double-check that your email newsletter follows the CAN-SPAM Act? If you’re unsure about any of these and other online legal issues, it may be better relying on a trusted social media management company that keeps up with the ever-changing digital media laws.
4. Your customers get swift customer service
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Whether you realize it or not, social media has become one of the primary ways users go about the customer service process. Let’s look at a few statistics:
* 71% of of 16-24 year olds go online when they have a problem with a product (2012 Sitel Study);
of 23,000 consumers in a J.D. Power and Associates study
had used a company’s social media site for servicing; and
* 87% of consumers in the J.D. Power and Associates study said their online social interaction with the company positively impacted the likelihood that they’ll purchase from the brand, and that the responsiveness of the service representatives were a key of that satisfaction.
While consumers utilize many of a company’s social sites in this instance, the number one platform for customer service is Twitter. Are you using your Twitter account to answer the influx of questions and concerns from your customers? This is another time-consuming portion of social media and it helps having someone always there to help out.
5. Always on top of trends
The world of social media is always changing. Research into trends, predictions, and insight from industry leaders is the only way to stay on top of the social media landscape. If you don’t have 2 to 4 hours in a workday to dedicate to research and staying up-to-date with issues, you may want to consider hiring an outside social media specialist to help.
Are you thinking about hiring a company to help you out with your social networks? Let us help.