Who should manage social media marketing in your business?

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If you’re at a point in your business where you’re trying to decide who should manage your social presence, you’ve probably been doing your fair share of worrying. After all, social media horror stories abound. There’s the Kenneth Cole case where an employee insensitively tweeted about the Cairo uprisings and their supposed link to the company’s new fashion collection. Then, there is epicurious’s response to the Boston bombing – using the bombing to promote their breakfast cereal products to Bostoners that needed a bit of cheering up. An obvious no-no but clearly not so obvious for those managing the accounts.

In mentioning these mistakes, I’m not trying to discourage you from undertaking social media marketing, in fact, quite the opposite. I want to put the control in your hands and I want to help you manage your social presence in such a way as to minimise publicity fails that in the world of social, go viral as fast as wildfire spreads. I also want to help you make the most of the platforms you do use and one of the best ways to do this is to guide you through the process of figuring out who should be managing social media in your business in the first place. I’m going to do this by dispelling 6 myths regarding who should and should not get involved.

Myth 1 – Don’t let the intern do it

This advice appears as frequently as does ‘let the intern do it’ and it assumes there’s no one advising or guiding the intern in the first place (not really fair on the intern in any business context). It is also incredibly presumptuous to presume that just because someone is young, he/she is not astute.

If you do take on an intern or a new graduate with the intention of having them manage your company’s social media presence, you need to make sure that you have clearly explained your company’s USP. Also, make sure he/she understands your brand and your target audience. For a while, I’d recommend having someone monitor the posts they make (more on who should be managing below). It can’t hurt to have an extra eye on the game anyway.

Myth 2 – Have the intern do it!

There’s nothing wrong with getting an intern involved in your social media marketing plan (given you will set aside time to train them), but using interns to run your entire plan, seriously undermines this channel’s importance and potential. Plus, interns are not slaves.

The other important thing to remember is that when you delegate your entire social media presence to one or two interns, you are putting your company’s reputation in the hands of people who don’t know the ins and outs like you and some of your more seasoned employees do. As Lindsey Lavine, writing for Entrepreneur.com says,

“If a television reporter wants to interview the company, you’d send the CEO. The same goes for social media. If you absolutely can’t make time for social media, make sure you find someone you trust that knows your brand inside and out and how to represent it over social media.”

If you do decide to hire an intern, make sure you train him/her properly. Don’t let them intermingle their personal social accounts with their work accounts. Tools like Hootsuite and other browser extensions make this too easy and increase the risk of something going wrong.

Myth 3 – One person can manage all five of your social accounts

According to Eve Mayer, CEO of consulting company Social Media Delivered, a single social media account, well-managed will take approximately 32 hours of time a month. This should really help to put things into perspective, especially if you’re just lumping social media into the whole marketing mix. If you want to do it properly, you really do need dedicated ‘man-power’. Otherwise, you should probably expect not to expect too much.

And, if you don’t have a social media marketing strategy, you honestly do need one, if just to keep track of whether the work you’re putting in is making a difference. If you need help creating one, do get in touch.

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Myth 4 – Have someone review every post before it goes out

This is excessive. If you are that worried about it, it probably means that firstly you do not trust your employees understand your USP and indeed your brand/business strategy and secondly, that you don’t have a social media strategy to guide their efforts and to give you peace of mind. In this case, you’d feel a lot better if you sat down with your social manager/team to discuss the things you want to achieve by having a social presence.

If you are more concerned about the tone of voice your employees will take and of the content they will post/the conversations they will have, you don’t just need a social media strategy, you need a social media policy! This is also an extra security net as it will function to guide your employees through best practice posting.

If your worry is more focused about whether or not they really get your ‘brand’ and where your business is headed, you need to consider how good a job you are doing training them, and for that matter, everyone else in your company. People can offer a lot more help if they know what they are supposed to be working toward.

Myth 5 – Social is an entirely separate department within your business

Wrong. Social is tightly integrated with just about every aspect of a business. An effective social media strategy will definitely involve the Marketing Department but probably also the Sales and Customer Service Departments.

According to Hubspot, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service should all play their part in managing the company’s social media presence.

The Marketing Department will definitely need to oversee content curation, sharing and generally making sure that the way social media is being used is in line with the company’s overall marketing strategy. But, the Marketing Department will also defer to the Sales and Customer Service Departments, outsourcing specific queries that need responses, as and when they come in.

The Customer Service Department will certainly need to be involved in the overall process, especially if you consider that

“46% of customers want to solve a problem when they’re engaging with a brand on social media, and 39% are looking to give feedback about a product or service.” 

Then there’s the sales team who will of course be valuable assets as they will be used to speaking with customers and dealing with specific requests. These people will know how to get engaging.

If your teams aren’t socially savvy, you will need to train them. This isn’t a huge expense given the value you could get from these platforms.

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Myth 6 – I’m the CEO, I don’t have to do social

If you’re an active CEO and if your company is doing social media marketing, you’d be crazy not to at least be on LinkedIn or Google+ (doesn’t everyone have a Gmail account anyway?). Furthermore, how can you expect your employees to manage your personal accounts? After all, only you know your connections and only you know how to move them closer to a sale or meeting.

Naturally, the CEO won’t have time to run the social media department (they shouldn’t anyway – unless their business is social media marketing!), so delegating will be the best possible solution, barring a few personal social networks which can be used for networking purposes.

What’s the Conclusion? Who should manage the department?

There isn’t any hard and fast rule in answer to this question as the person/people you choose to manage your company’s social media marketing department will entirely depend on the size of your business. As a small business, you may want to take on an intern, bearing in mind that you will probably want someone to check up on them or to make sure that the things they are doing reflect how you would like your brand portrayed.

If you are a larger company with distinct Sales, PR, Marketing and Customer Service Departments, I would go for cohesion between these departments or at least good communication. I would definitely recommend having someone oversee the entire social media marketing process, not to check every message or interaction, but to monitor the account as a whole and to ensure that the correct message is being relayed to followers and fans.

 Do you need a Social Media Marketing Plan?

If you’re still worried about social media and the impact it will have on your business, why not get in touch? We can help you figure out how to fit it into your overall business strategy and to help you develop a better understanding of the things you need to be doing in order to generate engagement and therefore improves sales/leads.

Or, find out more about the social media marketing services we offer. Request a quote for a tailor-made plan.