Who Should Manage Social Media Accounts?

You run a business. You’re busy. Handling your company’s social media presence takes time.

So what do you do?

The Problem

Social media is still relatively new, and many companies don’t have anyone deemed responsible for it. No responsibility = it’s not done well, or even consistently. Some businesses haphazardly allow an employee to setup and run accounts – but do so without any strategy or particular goal, which often ends up just being a waste of time.

There isn’t a canned answer you can give for who should take care of social media accounts, because companies that do a great job take different approaches. Some have an owner that does it all, some found employees that could handle it, plenty have hired social media managers, and yet another group prefers to hand it over to a social media agency or freelancer.

The Options

Founder/CEO

Social media accounts are a great way to express a company’s personality. Does anyone else understand just who you want your company to be as well as you?

Running your company’s social media presence yourself makes sense if it’s going to be a key piece of your company’s marketing strategy, and you really want your personality to shine through. You see this a lot with consultancies or professional services where the company really is all about the owner. Just remember, your time is valuable. It will be well worth your while to make use of any tools or processes that speed up handling your social media campaigns.

Train An Employee

For many businesses the path of least resistance is to hand off social media to a current employee. They’re probably not an expert, but they understand your company, and there is little additional cost. For many small companies this is an excellent idea. There are industries where social media is never going to be a primary lead source – and if you have a small marketing budget, it’s silly to spend lots of money on a new person or outside service.

There are a few caveats in using someone currently working for your business, however. Even if they spend lots of time online, they will need some training – at least consisting of guidelines for how your business should be portrayed (How do you deal with critical comments? Is your company’s attitude friendly and casual, or serious and professional? etc). To do a good job, they should learn some best practices. If you are an expert that can teach them, great – but for most, this is a situation where it may make sense to shell out for some outside training.

Hire A New Employee

Hiring a new employee solely for social media is a luxury most small companies cannot afford. If, however, you expect social media to be a key piece of your marketing strategy, it may make sense to bring someone in. Many people knowledgeable in social media are also fairly fluent in PR, customer service, or marketing, and will be able to wear more than one hat.

Hire An Agency/Freelancer

Social Media HelpThe final option for most companies is to work with an outside provider. This can run the gamut from a college student who helps out in his spare time to a high-end agency charging hundreds of dollars an hour. What you choose will depend on what you need.

Many companies experience great success working with a reputable agency, but keeping most of the actual work in-house. Outside help is brought in for training, ideas, and key campaigns.

If you prefer to outsource all of your work, you will likely want to watch the hourly rate. This pushes many small companies to work with freelancers, some of whom are well-established and very skilled – although it can be hard to distinguish the good from the bad up front. Either way, this avoids placing an additional burden on your existing employees, and you’ll get someone who hopefully has considerable expertise in the area.

Conclusion

A variety of people can be tasked with managing social media campaigns – and with nearly any option, it can be done well. But it’s important not to just hand it off without thought, as your social media manager is permanently affecting the reputation of your business.

Spend some time learning social media basics, and reading about social media success stories. You’ll get ideas as to what your company could accomplish, and then can get the strategy – and people – in place to reach your goals.

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