With social media being the hot thing right now, more and more companies are offering social media management, which has prompted several clients to ask us about this service. What I tell an inquiring client first is, “Social media is best done by you,” and I believe this to be true. Who better than you to represent your company at a networking event? Who better than you to promote your business? The same holds true for online networking.
Having said that, however, if you don’t want to engage in social media yourself, or don’t have the time, then second best is to pay someone else to do it, whether that means an in-house staff member or a company. Better to have someone else do it than not do it at all due to lack of time or will.
When we provide social media management for a client, we first explain what it is, what the proper expectations are, and how often we do it. Simply stated, social networking is like personal networking, and your expectations from both should be about the same. It’s an effective way to market your business, but it takes time to see results and should be viewed as “farming” rather than “hunting.” You’re planting seeds; keeping your name out there so you’re on people’s minds, so that when the need for your product or service arises, they will think of you.
Just like you don’t want to annoy people at a networking event by constantly passing out business cards and over-promoting yourself, annoying people online can also have a negative effect. In most cases, daily promotions are too much. We typically will update a status weekly, using a mix of informative info, tips, trivia, contests, photos, and some promotion. You must provide some value and engage others in order to stay interesting and not annoy them with self-promotion. This has proven to be a successful formula for us. If done right, social media can be a great tool for any business.