... ... Solveris Marketing and Communications Blog: Do You Need A Social Media Expert? Maybe Not.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do You Need A Social Media Expert? Maybe Not.

Anyone who knows even a little bit about social media sites like Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn and YouTube knows that it takes very little time to register for these services. You can probably start a rudimentary blog hosted on blogger or WordPress.com in a few minutes.Getting started is the easy part. So why pay a company to help with something you can easily do yourself? The truth is that you don't have to hire anyone.

While it is true you don't need a so-called, "Social Media Expert" to get your company to start participating in these networks, anymore than you need to hire a painter to paint your house or a mechanic to fix your car; you may still want to consult someone who specializes in social media for the same reasons you hire other professionals when you could do it yourself.

Why? Because it can be a lot of time and effort to do it correctly, and so many companies that do it themselves, often do it wrong. I realize the idea of "wrong" in social media is a bit of a controversial topic with the folk wisdom being that there is no wrong way to do it. But I would suggest that there are things that are done, or more often not done, that will lessen your impact. Here are just a few things to keep in mind if you do decide to do it yourself (of course most digital agencies, including Solveris, can help you with these suggestions. Specialty Insider is one example where we have helped):
  • DO:  Make sure you fill-out the entire profile 
  • DON'T:  Neglect to put in links, your mission statement and other vital information that could help with search engines and other listings
  • DO:  Ensure that you have a consistent presence on every network
  • DON'T:  Use your latest work, for example, as an avatar (that is not consistent) 
  • DO:  Use the same photo or company logo (roughly, since specs may be different) on each network
  • DO: Get a company logo and avatar designed if you do not have one, it's worth the small investment
  • DO:  Make sure that these sites are not their own islands that are not integrated or connected to your other digital presences
  • DON'T:  Do the bare minimum configuration...for example, if you have video, why not show it?
  • DON'T:  Sign up for every social network out there if you cannot keep your presence fresh
  • DO:  Use automation judiciously where it makes sense for convenience, but not when it may result in spam or inauthentic updates 
  • DO:  Make use of customizations that may set you apart from competitors and allow you to look like much bigger companies such as customized Facebook landing pages
  • DON'T:  Use default backgrounds, avatars and templates
  • DO:  Use metrics to monitor your progress and url shorteners that offer metrics such as bit.ly
  • DON'T:  Try to update each social network individually, it's much easier to use a service like Tweetdeck 
  • DO:  Make sure you post and update often
This last point may be reason enough to consider using a specialist. Many companies think that they will be able to handle developing content for their digital properties and then quickly realize that it is more work than they realized. Often, after a few posts or tweets they find that they have run out of steam (and topics). The result of having digital presences that are not updated may be worse than having no presence at all.

A good digital marketing company can help you determine a topic strategy, update frequency and provide a competent professional to produce content that is keeping with your company's message. This can often be accomplished very affordably and pay big dividends in traffic and awareness. Many companies are very surprised at how things like blogs can be managed with quality content, easily within their budget.

We hope you keep these suggestions in mind if you decide to get more involved with social media. If Solveris can help, in any way, please let us know. We are happy to provide a free, no obligation consultation.

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