Social Media for Small Businesses: When It’s Time to Hire Someone

social media for small business

One of the greatest advantages of using social media to promote your business is the cost: simply get an Internet connection, type in a Tweet and press hit, and you have just launched your company’s newest advertising campaign. Of course, it isn’t quite that easy—to be done well, social media marketing requires expertise, time and resources. Aaron Shaprio, CEO of Huge, told Mashable that business owners could commit as little as one percent of their marketing budgets to social media services and make a big difference. If you’re thinking about hiring someone to manage your small business’ social networks, here’s who you should be looking for.

Set a Goal

You can have the best pilot in the world manning a jet, but when your company does not provide any flight routes, how can you expect to make money? A social media team requires direction. Social media should further a business interest, not the other way around. The business’ manager or owner needs to determine realistic and measurable objectives of a social media team. Don’t focus on too many goals at once: Either promote your brand and product or try to get traffic, but do not focus on both concurrently. This lets you work within the limits of your resources instead of stretching them too far.

Look for Someone With Ideas

Create your own template for success instead of following another company’s playbook. Look for a social media consultant who has his or her own track record of success and his or her own ideas to execute. Creativity in social media circles leads to massive success, while following the beaten path very rarely mimics the productivity of prior campaigns. You likely will not need to spend a lot of money to bring in original ideas—after all, they’d command a higher premium if they could prove success—but you will need to gamble on their execution. This has risk but ultimately proves a better solution than the status quo.

Get Business Skills and Media Skills

If nothing else, a social media consultant needs to be able to adapt on the fly. You need someone who can do much more than upload a video on YouTube. Look for someone with practical business skills who can interact with existing departments and employees and be moved around when necessary. This can save money over the long run in cases where a social media campaign has hit a rut and you need to shift attention to a new priority.

Find someone who can manage regular media and digital platforms, as well as create communications for mass mailings and send letters with postage meters, and your company will be able to appeal to a far greater customer demographic. Social media ties into the physical mail coming into or out of the office, especially if your company uses a mailing promotional system, and employees who can quickly and easily shift between digital and traditional workplaces are worth their weight in gold.

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Reico is the owner and team member of The Applied VIsual, website design and development company. Reico is available on Twitter @AppliedVisual

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