Today I am tackling a common barrier that comes up from business owners, friends and family alike;

“Why hire someone to do social media marketing?”

Many small businesses feel that hiring a social media manager is a potential waste of money. This is especially true for millennial business owners who have grown up in the digital world and know their way round the social space pretty well. A question I get asked often is “Can’t I just handle that myself?” and the correct answer is; YES! Of course you can. In fact, social accounts handled in house can be very effective. Nobody knows your business as well as you, or one of your staff.

However, when thinking about social media marketing, consider the following:

1. Do you have time to create content for your social channels?

Hopefully, your business is thriving! So do you have time to source content, create content and post it too?

2.  Are you available to respond quickly to your customers questions online?

42% of customers approaching via a social channel expect a response within 60 minutes. Can you be available to chat via your social channels? If you are in a meeting, front of house, crafting your goods or actually providing your service, is that achievable?

3. Do you even like doing it yourself?

Social media management isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but with the average person having 5 social accounts and spending 1 hour 40 minutes on them each day, it is an important place to spend your marketing efforts. Half-hearted posts wont make engaging content. Also, if you don’t like doing it, you’ll give up after a while.

4. Can you create professional looking posts?

Make sure if you are posting yourself that your copywriting and creative skills are up to scratch. Nothing is a more public display of amateurism than shoddy social media posts!

5. Are you aware of the necessary copyright laws?

Sorry guys, but you can’t just pinch other people’s images or text. Content, must be reliably sourced. Sadly, this slows down content sourcing but it is essential to stay out of trouble.

So, when is the right time to hire?

There will, (fingers crossed!) come a time when you are so busy that you wont have time to do your own social media posts, let alone monitor them and businesses shouldn’t be on call to their social 24/7.

Most business owners are prepared to invest in their website and as part of this package, often developers set up social profiles to correspond with them which ultimately should help drive traffic to the site. It is a shame that after such an investment, social channels get used for maybe the first couple of months at best, then go dry due to lack of time or expertise.

This is when you should hire a social media manager. You could either hire someone within your team, or a freelancer. Of course, this would be my biased suggestion! Freelancers can bill their time more effectively and in house staff often get torn away to other duties.

There is another key reason to hire a social media manager. You just don’t know how to do it yourself, at least not effectively. Social Media Marketing requires strategy, long term goals and relationship building with your audience. Channel fluency doesn’t come naturally to everyone and, not everyone likes it. Some people (e.g. my mum) don’t even use social media personally so to manage professional channels effectively would be impossible. No doubt, there are less tech-savvy business owners who have been very successful in their careers. Social media managers allow these well established businesses to continue into the future by driving customers to the door via online channels. Often social media managers can help with much more too. It’s a win-win!