Marketing a small business today means spending serious time on social media. Not only will you need to regularly post to sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, but you’ll be expected to interact with colleagues and customers. It’s important that you remain consistently active to avoid losing followers due to an outdated presence. But how can a busy entrepreneur keep up with social media while still attending to the many other duties that fill each day?
When you make the decision to start putting together a team, an important part of it will be someone who can handle a business’ social media activities. Whether you plan to pay a seasoned social media marketer a salary to handle the work or trust it to an administrative assistant or marketing generalist, it’s important to know when it’s time to start.
Here are a few signs it’s time to hire someone to handle your social media work.
You’re Missing Opportunities
First and foremost, an entrepreneur’s job is building his or her brand and promoting the business. Social media is only one of the ways to accomplish that. When an entrepreneur finds he or she is unable to keep up with social networking sites while also attending networking meetings and meeting with clients, it may be time to outsource the task.
At the same time, if you’re missing important opportunities to engage through social media because you’re too busy with other tasks, you may also see big benefits from spending money on a full-time employee.
Your Posts Are Falling Behind
If your last social media post was days or weeks ago, you likely don’t have either the time or the interest to keep up with it all. Anyone following your account needs to be consistently reminded of your presence on the site. More important than frequency, however, is measurable quality.
Your posts shouldn’t be limited to marketing messages. A social media professional can redirect your accounts to content that will be far more interesting to your followers. That person will also be able to follow the constant stream of social media trends to make sure all of your posts match what everyone wants to see.
Automation Takes Too Much Time
There are plenty of tools that will handle posting for you, but you’ll still have to put time into writing those posts and scheduling them to deploy. You’ll also have to put thought into the best time and outlet for each of your posts.
An employee that is dedicated to these tasks can take the time to study each post and tweak future marketing efforts in response to the results you see. Your social media professional can watch the results of your analytics and put that information to use in building your brand online.
Outsourcing Isn’t Enough
You can pay a social media firm or individual consultant to plan the direction of your content, but you’ll still need someone to carry out those directives. Freelancers and contractors are one option, but if you need full-time, reliable social media help, you’ll likely need to consider bringing someone on permanently. You can, however, often identify the perfect full-time candidate by trying out a freelancer for a while.
You Know a Great Candidate
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face once you determine you want social media help is finding the right person. You’ll need someone you can trust to represent your brand well, since that person will be posting publicly on your behalf.
You Can Afford It
As with any other employee, you’ll need to have the income to sustain a full-time salary with benefits on a long-term basis. If you aren’t confident you can handle that, an hourly freelancer may be a better option.
You could also consider paying a local high school or college student to handle the work for you on a part-time basis. You’ll be able to pay a lower hourly wage than you’d pay someone with years of experience, and the student will have the benefit of gaining work experience.
Social media is an important part of growing and maintaining a business, but busy entrepreneurs often lack the time necessary to do the job justice. Hiring an employee to handle the work is a big commitment, but it can also bring many rewards. An entrepreneur must learn to recognize when the time is right to hire someone to handle it for him or her.