Whether you run an ice cream shop, a boutique hotel, or a restaurant, you need to reach your customers. And social media is a fantastic tool to do so…only you may not have time to manage it yourself. Before you completely write off social media as a marketing tool for your company, look to your staff to find a social media guru.
Outline Your Needs
It takes more than knowing how to post cute party pics to Facebook to manage your brand’s social media profiles, so start by knowing exactly what you need.
The more specific you are, the better your results will be. For example, you might need:
- Specials and promotions posted to Twitter and Facebook daily
- Pictures of products and store uploaded to Instagram 3x a week
- Follow 50 targeted users a week
- Responses to all customer and follower questions and messages
Go to the Source
If you employ young people, you’ve likely already got some social media experts on your team. But again, you want to make sure they can follow instructions according to your specific social needs, not just writing whatever updates they feel like.
Identify a reliable employee who you think might be up for the task, and one who’s likely to stay with your company for a while. Start the conversation by asking about her interest and experience in social media. Tell her you’re looking for someone to spend a few hours a week managing your company’s profiles, then outline the specifics of the project.
Because you’re asking her to take on additional work, plan to compensate her for it. Offer her a small per-hour raise or a title promotion.
If she’s interested, great! Move forward to the next phase of your plan.
Here’s where understanding how to use and manage social media yourself comes in handy. You’ll need to walk your employee through each task you need covered, as well as teach her about the voice and style you want to use with your tweets and updates (i.e., no cutesy acronyms like OMG! or all cap updates).
Monitor her first few days and weeks on the job and give her pointers for improvement. As she becomes confident in her new role, ease up on the observation and let her take over. If, however, she’s not doing a great job of representing your brand, don’t be afraid to take the job back and assign it to someone else.
Keep in mind that, as much as you’d like this all-star employee to work for you forever and manage your social media always, there will come a time when she’s ready to move on. If possible, ask her to train her replacement. If that’s not possible, keep a training manual handy with all the instructions the next social media manager will need to succeed.