Why Smart Companies Hire Social Media Experts & You Should Too

Social Media ExpertToday I was at a friend’s house and she asked me, “Now what do you do again?”

To be honest, I thought I had answered this pretty straight forward several months ago, when I said “social media”, but this time she begged “what does that mean?” and then it hit me.

Most people, even small businesses, have no idea what “social media” is, what it means, and what it encompasses.

Usually I can get away with saying “I take care of Facebook pages for companies, like a social media manager” but even this left her baffled. “What does that mean, what does a fanpage need you for, what does a company pay you for?”

To many of us this sounds silly, we know what social media is, it’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest. It’s connecting with a company’s or client’s followers and fans, and… well, any number of things.

Why Does a Company Pay A Social Media Expert ‘Me’?

McDonalds for example has a Facebook fanpage. That is where all of the people on Facebook can go visit to talk about them, leave them messages, look at what they have to say, express their support for them.

On the other side of the fanpage, there is a person like me, a social media manager, expert, specialist, strategist, consultant, etc that writes all of the information that McDonalds puts on that page.

In essence, McDonalds is paying a person (like me) to write the posts/updates that fans (people who like the page) see.

Doesn’t Sound Like Much? Prepare to Be Surprised

You’ve no doubt seen ads for interns, college students, high school students, and other inexperienced people to handle these pages.

Why should a company hire someone like an ‘expert’ when they can just as easily get an intern for free, or on the very cheap?

From the outside, it looks like all someone like me has to do is get on Facebook a few times a day and write up a silly post, share a picture, or answer a question. Any monkey can do that for $8 an hour, couldn’t they?

Scenarios Where A Social Media Expert Helps

Well, consider these scenarios:

  • Your intern sees that ‘everyone else’ is doing giveaways and contests on their fanpage, so they run one too. Then you get on and realize your fanpage has been suspended or deleted, because you aren’t following the terms agreed to, when using Facebook.
  • You pay a designer a lot of money to have a picture made for your fanpage, only to have it removed shortly after you put it live, because it has too much text in it.
  • You get a message from a fan telling you they don’t see all of your updates, and you want to fix it, so that all of your fans see them, because after all, this is how you communicate with them. Where do you turn?
  • You start using Facebook ads to get more fans, but it’s costing $3 a click, and you aren’t even getting a like from each one. After spending a few hundred dollars you have 80 new fans to show for it, but that still isn’t enough to get the results you want. Now what?

Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and the bigger your company is the more scenarios you’ll have where you need to ask an expert that can give you the right answers. Because when you have a company the size of McDonalds a wrong answer is very expensive.

More Questions Social Media Managers Hear Often

  • How can I get more fans?
  • How can more of my fans see my posts?
  • What can I/ should I post on my page?
  • Why am I getting spam messages?
  • How do I talk to other fanpages?
  • What shouldn’t I do on my fanpage?
  • How do others have so many fans and positive results?

Of course, these are questions that people who are new to Facebook ask, as they want to grow and have a following they can use to get more business.

As they do grow, and realize social media works, the more specific questions come, such as:

  • How do I get more of my fans to… (share, post, answer me, visit my website, sign up for my newsletter)
  • Can I write more effective ads, without spending so much?
  • Why don’t I get a lot of traffic from Facebook (or other website)?
  • Is there a way to schedule posts, so that I don’t have to be on all day?
  • What other tools can I use?
  • How much more effective can I make my presence on Facebook?
  • How can I find more fans who will like my business?

What You Really Get for $10 An Hour

When you hire someone for free or $10 an hour, they are using your company as experience, testing things out to see what works, what doesn’t, and what will or will not cause trouble, because they honestly don’t know.

For brevity’s sake, you can probably assume the cheap $10 per hour social media person will need training, has very little professional experience with social media, and while they are excited to have such an “easy” job, they probably do not understand much about the marketing aspects behind social media.

They don’t have experience with negative comments, diffusing upset customer situations, or writing ads that get you likes but don’t cost a lot of money. They are a user of Facebook, not a business professional and/or expert.

For small businesses that can’t afford to hire any social media experts, sometimes you have to get someone that is inexperienced, but it is a risk.

In these situations, it is a good idea to check with an expert to put together a plan that your intern or employee can follow. I do consultations, if you’d like to talk to me sometime, but this is more than just a plug for my services.

I’ve seen too many companies making mistakes that end up costing them hundreds to thousands in lost fans, lost fanpages, etc, because they were trying to save money.

It really isn’t worth the risk when it comes down to a business you’ve already invested so much blood and sweat into. Ask an expert, ask me, ask around, it’s necessary.

What Does A Social Media Specialist Do?

Even though it seems like a simple enough job from the outside, a social media specialist does all of this:

  • Customer service
  • Company policy
  • Company public relations
  • Market research
  • Customer entertainment
  • Service/Product information center
  • Marketing strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Design
  • Compliance and more

When you hire someone for social media, you aren’t just hiring a door greeter, you are hiring a partner that will take care of, and represent your business in the same loving manner you would. This is what I do, and this is why companies pay me.

© 2015, Social Media Consultant. All rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Mary,
    Sadly, even big companies are missing the boat on social media. The thing is, you’re right, it’s not something that you can pay some college student 8 bucks an hour to do well. Usually the social media person wears multiple hats, is the community manager and is charged with the task of building not just a buzz but a community…building traffic, engagement, and not just on the social pages, but on the company’s primary blog/site. And many SMBs know they need this to take their businesses to the next level, but just can’t afford an expert to do it right. That’s a sad fact, but true. So they muddle through as best they can. And, because they don’t really know how to measure the ROI of their social, they don’t make it a priority.

    And let’s face it, social media can sometimes seem like smoke and mirrors…icing on the cake to someone unfamiliar with it’s power to influence.

    I’m interested to see if it will become an absolute priority to all businesses before it evolves or peters out…

    • I don’t think it will peter out, I think the internet will continue to move in the direction of connecting. Isn’t that the general purpose of the internet? To connect? That’s my idea though, unfortunately there are so many companies more interested in saving money on something they don’t believe in, than trying it to see how business improves. There is a way to go in the right direction for sure.

      Thank you for commenting 🙂

      Mary

  2. Excellent article on why I should be using SEO, thanks for posting it.

  3. Very interesting and helpful article. Thought you might like to know that your link toward the end of your article, under “What You Really Get for $8 An Hour” is missing a word…”talk to me sometime” instead of “talk me sometime”.

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