Despite the tempting offer to have an agency man your social accounts, managing first impressions online should be insider-only.
Let’s be real – your customers are finding you online before they ever walk into your storefront or facility. They’ve found your website, they are reading through your social media accounts, and they are forming opinions about your business before ever experiencing your service. With such rapid decisions being made online, you may be tempted to hire an “expert” to manage your social media accounts, but before you sign on that dotted line, let me tell you that outsourcing your social media presence is the wrong approach.
No one tells your story like you do.
Every business has something that distinguishes them from the other guy. Stop for a minute and think about your elevator pitch. If you have 45 seconds in an elevator to tell a stranger what you do and why you are amazing, what would you say? What if you only had 140 characters?
Taking what is unique about your business and expressing it to a complete stranger is something that only you can do. Sure, you could tell a social media management company all the talking points, but customers crave intimate relationships with businesses. That one-on-one, warm-and-fuzzy feeling just doesn’t come from a recent college grad tweeting about your Philadelphia-based custom cabinetry business from her Brooklyn studio apartment.
You control the conversation
More and more frequently customers are turning to social media to interact directly with businesses for both the positive and the negative. Maybe they are looking for a good promotional code, or perhaps they are dissatisfied with the service they were provided. Whatever the reason, having an internal member of your team fielding this interaction is imperative to steer those conversations in the best possible direction.
Social media presence is as vital as a heartbeat in today’s tech-savvy economy, but someone is going to have to adapt and adopt social media from within your organization.
Think of this as online public relations. Each time you answer a customer comment on Facebook, it is a mini press release. What you say and how you react is publicly available to all your other customers, and they take their cues from your behavior. An external service provider will not have the agility and autonomy to pivot quickly in reaction to these situations. Your social media management company can’t quickly ask the warehouse manager what the status of an order is, or issue a refund, and these social interactions are happening in real time.
Enabling an internal team member with the autonomy and decision-making power to react to customer service situations online will smoothly transition a customer complaint into long-term customer loyalty. For a great example of customer service via social, check out L.L. Bean, who uses Facebook to handle even the most mundane customer service tasks with empathy and exceptionality.
You have the ability
We know that successfully building communities and authority on social platforms isn’t easy. And let’s not forget that building communities is the entire purpose of social media. You have all the industry knowledge and experience that your audience needs, and while you are building an army of loyal customers online they are rewarding you with invaluable word-of-mouth advertising in exchange for your amazing service. The return on investment via social media is immeasurable in most cases, which is why we recommend hiring a social media consulting service that also provides reporting for your social marketing efforts.
You may not have the know-how to track all your social media campaigns to boil it all down to what is working and what isn’t, which is why we do. We can educate you on the best ways to build communities, how to express your brand tone online, and how to view your marketing efforts holistically. What we can’t do is be you.
The moral of the story is that your social media presence is as vital as a heartbeat in today’s tech-savvy economy, but someone is going to have to adapt and adopt social media from within your organization. Like your college professors taught you the ins and outs of business, your digital marketing agency should teach you how to best manage your own social and set your business up for future success.
Have questions about how your business is performing socially? Contact us today for an evaluation of your online presence.
“The Art of Social Media” by mkhmarketing is licensed under CC BY 2.0