It is inarguable that social media offers the potential to help your business reach different audiences, and increase your credibility with said audiences. Many business owners have come to realize the impact of social media and are either choosing to ramp up their efforts on their own or else, they’re outsourcing to social media management companies. However, we, social media managers, are noticing another particularly alarming trend; many business owners want to hand over the social media reigns and have nothing further to do with their efforts, and this just isn’t possible. Social media is not a fix it and forget it kind of thing.
When you first bring a new client into your business, there is a handful of questions you ask right from the jump. You want the client to be able to articulate some solid and feasible goals. You need to know what the client is going to expect from you during the course of your business relationship, and exactly what they’re looking to attain in pursuing a larger presence on social sites. While this question can elicit any number of strange responses, the one we least like to hear is that the client wants to just hand it over and forget about it.
It’s hard to explain to a client why this isn’t a viable option if you’re actually looking to attain something from social media. Most of the clients we encounter don’t understand why their social media will require their feedback, especially if they intend to accomplish something. They think that the idea of outsourcing it means they are able to simply hand it over and we’ll take care of the rest for them. Unfortunately, this isn’t even a remote possibility. A working social media relationship exists in symbiosis; we have to work together.
First, we must explain that an outsourced social media relationship doesn’t mean we take the ball and run away with it. In order to make things work, we need, at the very least, your feedback. We need to know if we’re handling things the way you want them to be handled. There needs to be an approval process for content and if the client is dissatisfied. Too often, clients wait until the last possible moment to let us know that we’re not doing things in line with their desires, and this puts a wrench in the works because the social media manager is then left scrambling to realign.
Second, when someone else is handling your social media, it pulls the personal aspect out of the equation, so without a client’s notes and thoughts, we just have to phone it in. We try to find things that may be relevant to your business, but what we’re going to find lacks a human touch that is necessary for a successful social media campaign. If you’re looking to bring someone new through the doors of your business, they want to know a little bit about where they’re headed. For the same reason that websites have an “about us” page, social media has to get a little bit personal, and this can’t be done without your input unless we’re supposed to make it up.
Washing your hands of your social media isn’t going to provide you peace of mind, either. It’s assumed that stepping back will make things easier, but you’ll be focused on all of the wrong things. Think about it, when you separate yourself too far from a situation, you’re on the outside looking in and it leaves you ill at ease. The same thing happens if you’re too far removed from what is happening with your social media. It’s too easy for your mind to wander to what social media isn’t doing, versus what it has been accomplishing for your business.
Social media isn’t about what someone else can do for your business, it’s about creating a functional working relationship to achieve goals together. Your social media isn’t a crock pot meal that you can set aside and have all the work done for you. While your social media manager is going to do the heavy lifting, we may need your help to pick up a corner every so often.