A recent Clutch survey found that 89 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) now use Facebook, while nearly half use Twitter and LinkedIn. These companies are well-positioned to reap the benefits of having an online presence. As Tech.co notes, social content has a much higher engagement rate than email marketing and comes with the potential to go viral. For many SMBs, however, the promise of social success seems out of reach, as other business tasks take top priority. Here are four questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not to outsource social media responsibilities:
Are You Out of Time?
In order for smaller organizations to succeed, employees often need to fulfill multiple roles. Unfortunately, as noted by Business 2 Community, "the tasks for social media roles are time-consuming," while successful strategies and tactics must change quickly as public sentiment and social platform use shift. It's also worth noting that social-savvy companies are ready to respond and capitalize on popular events 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your employees are already strapped for time, they may struggle to design and implement a social plan that is as effective and responsive as some of your competitors.
Can You Effectively Measure Metrics?
As eMarketer points out, most SMBs measure social media success using the number of views generated by each post, tweet or image. But there is a host of other metrics that can help you judge the effectiveness of any social marketing effort, such as audience growth and the number of shares or interactions. While total views tells part of the story, this metric doesn't always correlate with campaign success. Think about outsourcing social media if your team is struggling to measure other data points.
Do You Have "the Knack"?
According to the Financial Post, the success of social media accounts stems in part from their ability to "humanize" corporations and executives. For example, a number of social-savvy CEOs have been able to establish significant followings on Facebook by posting short videos or compelling posts. If you're not experiencing the desired social success, the problem may not be your brand or your content but a lack of "knack" for blending artful communication and data science to create compelling stories.
Have You Made Mistakes?
While social media platforms offer a variety of benefits for SMBs, this technology also comes with potentially devastating drawbacks. As noted by Forbes, human error remains the top risk of adopting social media, as employees may post or tweet something that reflects poorly on your brand or is unintentionally offensive. These types of mistakes may partially be due to the fact that some campaigns simply aren't vetted well enough before going live. Rather than making costly missteps, it may be time to outsource social media tasks to ensure that the necessary attention is paid to every detail.
Social media has huge potential for SMBs, as long as you have all the key factors that successful campaigns require: ample time, effective metrics, great talent and the necessary attention to detail.
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