In this day and age social media has become commonplace amongst both individuals and businesses alike, but as more and more outlets make their ways into the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to effectively manage those outlets.  Facebook broke ground when it introduced its “check in” feature, which allowed users to publicly announce their location, whether it be hiking somewhere in the Adirondacks (if there still happened to be 4G), or at a nearby coffee shop.  A few months earlier, Google, being the all-seeing corporate giant that it is, released their “Near Me Now” application for mobile devices to help users find nearby businesses or events based on their GPS locations.  From there, companies began to realize the benefits of users that “checked in” once they arrived.  It was a virtual smorgasbord of free advertising.  One friend might see another friend’s check in posted to their Facebook page and think, “Hey, if So and So eats there, I should eat there too!”  What’s more, with so many people using Facebook purely for networking, users often have hundreds of friends who might see that post.  As a result, it suddenly became much more intensive to keep up with the networks that began utilizing features like these.

Enter you, the business owner interested in learning how to cope.  You’ve found that a significant portion of your day has been dedicated to sifting through the mass of customer questions, comments, and concerns, generating new or updating current content, managing any ads you may have running at the time, or updating price listings for your annual holiday sale.  In fact, it seems like you hardly have time to run your business at all anymore.  You’ve thought about hiring a social media manager, but worry it is not worth the added expense.  If you’re reading this, obviously you’re still on the verge of making that decision.  Let’s look at some of the benefits of hiring a social media manager.

You will get more done, more quickly

Letting someone else take control of your networks frees you up for other, more important tasks–like running your business!  You will be able to spend more time in person with your customers, more time selling, and more time handling aspects such as taxes, pricing, and bills, without the added worry of finding time to keep your brand in the public eye.  Plus, when you hire someone with a better understanding of these networks, they can spend less time managing, which means increased savings for you.

Your reputation is still under your control

For some, the idea of handing their business’ reputation over to someone else can be a bit daunting.  Recognize though, that just because you are letting someone else handle your content does not mean you cannot supervise!  Your social media manager’s business outlook should be very similar to your own to lessen the chance of any miscommunications or misunderstandings when it comes to customer service or appropriate content.  They should have a vested interest in your company’s success–the better you do, the better they do!

Improved customer service

When a customer reaches out to you with a comment or concern, being able to respond in a timely fashion increases both your credibility and your professionalism.  Your audience will appreciate your interest, and in a day and age with so many choices, it is important to make sure your brand stands out against the competition.

Understand your competition

What is your competitor doing that is gaining them so much attention from their customers?  How do they get so many “likes?”  Why are their posts being shared, while yours sit lonely and forgotten in their own little corner of the social web?  A social media manager can help you understand what you are doing differently from your competition, and whether it is helping or hurting your business.  Plus, they can keep you up to date on what is happening with your competition, their products, and their services.

Expand your customer base

We’ve already discussed how useful social media is for advertising as a rule.  While you are interacting with customers in person at your stores, events, or meetings, your social media manager is interacting with additional customers on the web.  You now have access to twice as many potential clients.   As the saying goes, “two heads are better than one!”

Do you have experience transitioning from self-managed networks to allowing someone to manage them for you?  Did you find things were easier or more difficult?  What are some of the benefits you saw?  Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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