Whether you plan to use social media for better PR outreach, marketing, or just listening to what customers have to say, the social media tools you use can play an important role in your business. What’s equally important is who uses those tools in your company’s name. Should you handle social media profiles yourself, or should you turn to a professional who can help you develop a solid social media strategy?
There’s no single right or wrong answer here. Sometimes it will make sense to take the DIY approach to social media. Sometimes that isn’t feasible, and it makes more sense to hire help.
When to Handle Your Own Social Media Efforts
If the following apply to you or your business, you might be in a good position to take the DIY approach to social media management.
- You’re experienced using various social media tools, so there won’t be a big learning curve.
- You have a good idea of what you want to get out of your social media use right now. Better yet, you can articulate that by setting measurable goals. Still better, you actually know how you can measure your progress (not always easy).
- Your brand is very closely tied to you as an individual, so customers (or readers or fans or whomever you want to connect with) expect you to be more than just the face behind the social media profiles.
- You have the time. Social media outreach is an investment, not a one-shot deal.
When to Bring in a Professional
On the other hand, here are some signs you might be in a good position to hire social media pros (or pros in the area you’re targeting — like marketing or PR — who just happen to be knowledgeable in social media efforts).
- Your business is made up of several different departments or divisions and you need someone who can coordinate social media activities between them (without any one of them “taking over”).
- Whether you run a large company or work as an independent contractor, you don’t have enough time to effectively manage your social media profiles on your own.
- You’re an awful writer (or public speaker if you plan to use podcasts and videos). If you don’t have specific skills required, hire help. You don’t always need an all-out social media manager. Sometimes a professional blogger, editor, or even an assistant to keep things organized will be enough.
These certainly aren’t the only signs that you should take the DIY path or hire a social media professional of one sort or another. If you’ve faced this decision personally, leave a comment and tell us what drove your choice.
I think you can easily train someone in-house to make regular updates to Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else a brand is running, but where does that training come from? Hire an outside agency for some social media curation training or guides. If you’re going for a more extensive social campaign, I would suggest looking into hiring an agency for an extended period of time.
I think a lot of companies (especially larger ones) have folks who don’t necessarily even need training. If they already manage marketing or PR campaigns, they’re well ahead of many so-called social media professionals. For them it’s about adapting to new tools, which they may be doing already anyway.If you’re going to hire a new person to handle your social media accounts, then I agree completely — adequate training is a necessity.
I have heard from my pal that in his girl friend’s office, they have a special inhouse marketing team. The basic job of the team is to go to the various networking sites and try to market their websites. They do all the standard SEO related work in diverting traffic into their website. Isn’t that interesting?