Social media is often overlooked at companies of all sizes because—and we hear it time and time again—the ROI is difficult to measure. Managing social media for a brand is a time consuming business and whether we like to admit it, ever increasing likes and followers are difficult to qualify. In the high-tech world of digital marketing, there are so many new ways to determine the success of your team’s efforts. There are myriad social media management tools out there that promise robust reporting, but at the end of the day there is a lack of confidence in the true value of a social media program.
Outsourcing social media management may feel full of risks. You need someone who knows not only your brand, verticals and value propositions, but the landscape of your industry—your competitors, major influencers, target audiences, etc.
So why hire an agency like SSPR for social media services instead of bringing someone onto your team to manage your social media channels? The most compelling reasons I like to present as the five points of a star. Ultimately, the effort of an agency team dedicated to your social media channels far outweighs the potential impact of one person running social media in-house—and the financial ROI is there too.
1. Aligning social media with PR goals and strategies—An agency social media team will work closely with your PR team to understand your industry, your business, your product or service and your social media footprint. Agency social media teams can help amplify your media coverage and develop and maintain relationships with journalists and publications. As the media grows increasingly social media literate, journalists are reaching out via social media for interviews, images and product samples. Agency social media teams can help to close that loop and ensure that you are taking advantage of all opportunities that exist.
2. Resources—Any social media professional will tell you that social media monitoring alone can be a full time job. For a medium with such immediacy, it is critical that you are following the right accounts and monitoring conversations on a regular basis. A team of people can divide the work and be effective on multiple fronts without getting bogged down. Additionally, team support comes in handy for major industry events. If you aren’t on social media during a major event like CES or Dreamforce, you don’t exist. Anyone who has been on the showroom floor at these events can testify that most people are walking around in an overstimulated haze. Social media—Twitter especially—is a great tool for rising above all of the hoopla. Agency teams can help you divide and conquer the fray, so you can focus on the event itself.
3. Thought leadership—striking a balance between self-promotion and establishing your brand as a leader in the industry is critical in the social media realm. We recommend the content posted on your social media channels focus on industry thought leadership. What does this mean? It means knowing the news. What is hot in your industry right now? What are people talking about? What’s up next? What will they be talking about tomorrow and how can you either catalyze or contribute to that conversation? If you’re with the right agency, they know you’re industry and can make recommendations about where and how to enter these conversations.
4. Strategy—what is the nature of your business? Who do you need to reach in order for your business to grow and flourish? Are you talking directly to customers and potential customers (Twitter)? Are you offering customer support through social (Facebook)? Or are you a B2B looking to prospect and solidify leads and new partnerships through social media (LinkedIn)? An agency team can help you put effort where you’re going to see the greatest return and help you get on the right track toward achieving your business goals with social media.
5. Experience—an agency social media team like ours at SSPR is composed of social media professionals with varied experience and expertise. Whether you are launching a product, promoting a funding announcement or spreading the word about a crowdfunding campaign, an agency social media team has likely seen and done it all—and chances are we’ve done it successfully in your industry. We can help take the guesswork out of those important moments when you have only one chance to get things right.
At the end of the day, social media ROI is best demonstrated through practice. You must solidify your brand/voice and develop and maintain relationships with customers. Social media communities reinforce your identity and keep your customers engaged and interested in your latest news. The 1440-minute news cycle is tough to manage. Trusting an agency team to drive your social media community can help you stay on top longer—shining like a star.