It does not matter what you think about it personally – social media presence has become a must for companies, no matter what industry they are in, how large they are or who their customers are. With a bit of savvy social media marketing, a company can attract new customers, help retain them, provide quick customer support and even attract top talent using various social media platforms.
In order to achieve all of this, someone has to be tasked with taking care of your corporate social media accounts and for a certain percentage of companies, this is easier said than done.
So, who should handle your company’s social media accounts?
For certain type of companies, hiring a person to handle their social media accounts is perfectly viable. Mid-sized companies can afford such a position and larger corporations can have entire teams dedicated to doing nothing but boosting their social media presence.
The main problem with this approach is that it is simply not affordable for smaller companies that are struggling paying their employees as is. Taking on another person just for social media efforts is probably the last thing they would do with extra money.
Some companies decide to go to an outside agency or a freelance social media marketer. Such agencies and freelancers usually offer certain packages and services that come as part of these packages.
While this can work perfectly well, it can still be pricy and there is always the danger that you might not end up one of their “priority clients” and thus end up with subpar service and results.
Taking on an Intern
One of the more common practices today is for companies to take on an intern who would handle their social media accounts for them.
On paper, this really does sound like a win-win situation. The intern gets the chance to put his or her foot in the door and the company does not spend money or someone else’s time (we’ll get to this later).
Unfortunately, the thing that sounds so good on paper turns out to be less-than-spectacular in the real world, at least in the majority of cases. Often times, the amazing social media skills that this intern is supposed to have cannot translate to corporate accounts in any way imaginable. God forbid you ask them to give you some numbers or tell you how they are doing in terms of KPIs you set or ROI that you expected.
It is also not unheard of to take on an intern and end up with someone who is absolutely disinterested in what they are supposed to be doing. They come up with innumerable excuses for not doing their job and they end up as glorified coffee-fetchers for the rest of the company.
Assigning it to an Existing Employee
This is an especially common solution in companies where no one really knows what they are trying to do with their social media presence. They see everyone doing it, they have a few ideas and they decide to throw something at it, so to say.
The obvious solution is to find the most social media-savvy person in the company and assign them with running a few social media accounts on various channels. Perhaps someone even volunteers, thinking that it is the same as having their own personal Twitter profile.
This is a solution that very rarely works out fine because this person is often not exactly versed in the intricacies of social media marketing. They try their best and they may come up with a few ideas, but once again, no one is tracking results, no one is measuring ROI and it all becomes an afterthought after a month or two.
The worst thing, perhaps, is that this employee starts neglecting their other tasks, since doing social media seems like an easier assignment. They think they’ll come to their actual work later, but they end up wasting time on social media efforts that do nothing.
A Company-Wide Effort
If pulled off the right way, the best approach to social media for companies that cannot afford to hire experts to do this long-term for them is to come up with a company-wide strategy that will be as comprehensive as possible.
For example, the owner or someone who is interested in these kinds of things can spend some time reading up on social media marketing and talking to people who actually do it for a living. Maybe the company can even hire a consultant for a few days, just to clear up the basics. At this stage, it is absolutely crucial that it is decided what the goals are and what the KPIs will be that have to be tracked closely.
The next step is to get the employees together and ask them if there are ways in which they would like to contribute. It is more likely than not that a few hands will go up and from there on it is just a matter of organizing everything so that everyone knows their assignments and schedules. This can be done using Basecamp or a similar Basecamp alternative, for example.
It is important to encourage input from the entire company but still have someone who will be in charge and who will monitor the results that are hopefully leading to a successful social media presence for the company.