Is your brand on social media?
Are you tired of pouring time, money, and other resources into your social media accounts while watching other brands outperform you?
Maybe it’s time to hire some outside help.
In this article, I’ll discuss the major signs that you should consider hiring outside help to get your social media presence back on track and contributing to your profitability.
1. You’re leaving customer questions and comments unanswered.
JetBlue is well-known for having one of the most responsive business Twitter accounts.
Whenever a customer mentions the brand, the company responds within an hour. Even CEO Robin Hayes is known to respond.
Apparently, not every company is doing it like JetBlue. According to Convince & Convert, “70% of companies ignore customer complaints on Twitter!”
If your company isn’t able to respond to customers immediately the same way, you’re leaving a bad impression on social media. This makes your social media presence more of a hindrance than a help.
Some brands might have a social hotline for customers to air their grievances. If you do, then you need to be monitoring it and responding to it.
If you’re not responsive, then you might need a little outside help.
Social media consultants and agencies are dedicated to social media activity. Social media professionals make sure that no customer questions or concerns go unanswered. Instead of leaving customers hanging, consider hiring outside help to create a social community that contributes to the company’s bottom line.
2. Your social media following is shrinking.
Donna Maria at the Indie Business Network recently highlighted a myriad of ways businesses lose customers via social media. Social media is supposed to be a place where customers connect and engage with a brand. If they’re unable to relate to the business on social media, they’re likely to leave, never to return.
Social media agencies have established processes and procedures to effectively build a social media account into a positive extension of the brand. When a customer enters your brick-and-mortar store, you treat them like part of the family, and the same should be true on social media.
3. You’re not seeing enough website traffic from social media.
Social media traffic should account for approximately 30 percent of your web traffic. This 30% may include all social sources, not a single social site.
Garrett Moon discussed his strategies for driving traffic on social media platforms. By gathering and analyzing data on social media activity, you’ll have an accurate picture of how you’re doing and can adapt accordingly.
Data analysis is an important part of business, and it’s an area on which social media agencies built our business. If you’re unable to implement solid processes to collect and analyze social media data to quantify your efforts, it may be time to hire outside help.
4. You know you’re not that great at social media.
All over Twitter, you’ll see people label themselves as “social media gurus.” These self-proclaimed experts may have a large following (or not), but it’s difficult to tell if they’re able to translate this success to future work with your business.
In order to be successful on a social media platform, you need to know how the community works, optimal times to post, and how to encourage engagement. A lack of expertise slows innovation, so it’s important to have experts on the team.
Hootsuite has 6 quizzes to test your knowledge about social media. If you’re unable to pass these quizzes, it’s time to start looking for social media help.
5. You’re doing a lot of social stuff, but you don’t know how to focus on the right stuff.
A successful social media campaign needs to be focused and consistent. From 2011 to 2015, Coca-Cola saw a 96 percent positive or neutral consumer sentiment on over 125,000 posts across all social networks, thanks to its #ShareaCoke campaign.
During this time, the company went all-in on the campaign, printing common names on their products to encourage sales and sharing of their products.
Social media agencies know how to create a voice and stick to it. Instead of trying different things, leading to an inconsistent impression among customers, experts can drill down to the brand image and constantly supplement it. If you’re struggling to create a consistent brand image across all marketing channels, you’ll benefit from seeking outside help.
6. Social isn’t making your business grow.
Greg Shuff, the owner of DryHop Brewers, emphasizes the need for delegation to grow a business. While a solo entrepreneur or employees of a small business often wear many hats, this business model isn’t sustainable as a business begins to grow.
Business owners looking to scale their business to the next level need to have a dedicated staff for each business process. A dedicated social media agency focuses entirely on social media marketing, allowing other teams to focus on their goals. By compartmentalizing each job process, teams improve productivity, contributing to the overall efficiency and success of the company.
7. You know you’re wasting time on social media.
There are a lot of social media platforms these days. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon can each keep a person busy for an entire work day. Dedicating all this time to social media without a defined ROI can feel like a waste of time.
Social media agencies excel at quantifying and monetizing a social media campaign. By formulating a plan, preparing a schedule, and executing each step, a social media pro can create and document success.
Over time, you’ll see increases in followers, customer engagement, and conversion rates, which provides a valuable ROI for any business.
8. You feel like you’re throwing away money on social media.
Every company would love to have a dedicated digital marketing team, but most don’t have the budget. It costs a lot of money to staff a team, and training, development, and turnover can quickly drain the company’s liquid assets.
In 2015, the average business spent between $200-$350 per day on social media. A monthly cost of $4,000-$7,000, thus, is a decent estimate for social media cost projection. According to surveys, businesses spend 13% of their marketing budget on social media, a number which is expected to rise to 21% in the next few years.
But what is the ultimate impact of this money? Where is it going? What is it doing?
When hiring an outside agency, these operational costs are shifted to the agency. Social media experts can provide qualified and experienced staff so your business is focused on selling and turning a profit.
9. You don’t have a clear plan for your social media strategy.
No business can succeed without a plan, but planning and executing a successful social media campaign takes a lot of work. Often what happens is businesses become reactive and are never able to formulate an actual social media plan.
It doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple four-step plan, like the one below, is a perfect starting point.
Social media agencies start with a business plan. When you’re searching for outside social media help, start by asking potential vendors to submit their past successes and a personalized plan for your business.
Before spending a single penny, you’ll have a solid social media plan that both parties agree to and work to materialize.
10. Your social media conversions are really low.
Regardless of how well your social media accounts are doing, it means nothing if those interactions don’t convert to sales.
If conversions are low, it could signal problems with your approach. Sure, most people know how to “do” social media, but do they know how to drive conversions and improve revenue?
It’s important to carefully track conversions from social media in order to assess the ROI. You may wish to go to the extent of creating a funnel like the one below, demonstrating the path and progress of sales leads.
It’s vital that your sales and marketing teams work together and complement each other to ensure a seamless transition from the first interaction to the final sale.
Outside social media agencies are focused on generating leads to turn over to the sales department. While social media metrics are important, contracting an outside vendor allows you to hold them accountable for generating leads that convert to sales.
Social media is an important part of any business’s online presence. On social media, customers can engage with companies to form a connection and raise brand affinity. This only occurs when a social media presence is solid.
It’s important to be responsive to all customers, promote valuable content, and convert engaged followers into paying customers. If you’re struggling to quantify your social media presence, employees are being stretched too far, and are lacking a solid business plan, it’s time to consider seeking outside help with your social media.
Do you hire outside help with social media? Did it change things for better or worse?