Supporting social media managers

I think we can all agree by now that social media are here to stay. After all, Facebook has surpassed Google in activity and Twitter users are way up at more than 145 million. As we move into the social age of media, it is clear that a good marketing program is going to rely less on advertising and more on the buzz and conversations that take place through social media outlets.

This relatively new area of expertise requires that businesses bring someone on board who is savvy in all the mores and folkways, the ins and outs of the field. It is more about keeping people in a conversation about you than it is about buying space or time and sharing your message that way.

Having a strategy for your social media efforts is critical, and thus, who you hire — whether an employee or an outside consultant — becomes very important.

A business needs to find someone good and then give him or her time to build relationships. This isn’t going to happen in a few weeks or even a month or two. There isn’t a magic formula that will shorten the process. You are building a community, not a web site.

Also, be sure to give the person your complete support and give him or her access to top management. Social media truly is a 24/7 kind of job so don’t force the person into a 9-5 schedule. They need scheduling flexibility if you want the job done right.

If you hire an outside consultant to do the work, make sure you are comfortable with his or her brand, with his or her reputation because it is about to become yours, too.

That being said, it probably makes sense to ease into it by hiring someone a few hours a day to take care of the most important social media activities. Find out I can help you build your community.

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