Once you have decided to brig a social media manager(or consultant or contractor, whatever you want to call it) into your business, it can be a bit nerve wracking. This is someone who has access to all your customer facing information and who is going to go out there and represent your brand, without knowing the business inside and out like you do. How is that possibly going to work?
In order for you to work together well with your new manager, it’s important to sit down together and discuss exactly what it is you are looking for out of that role.
1. What are the objectives?
Note that I start here and not with the platforms. If the crash of MySpace has taught us anything, it’s that the platforms will come and go but the purpose remains. Are you looking to use your social media as a more strictly customer service platform? Are you becoming a hub for industry news? Is it designed to act as a portfolio of your product or service? Is it to drive people back to your website? It can do all of these things, and should, but I would suggest picking three core goals, that have nothing to do with metrics, and using those as your objectives to measure from.
2. Talk about platforms
Ideally, you will have some major social media platforms already set up, so now is the time to talk about them, what has worked and what hasn’t in the past. The Social Media Manager should have some suggestions for other platforms and why, as well as suggestions as to why certain pieces of content might be good for one platform over another. Its important to remember that the biggest thing that a Social Media Manager will bring to your brand is appropriate posts for different platforms – a one size fits all approach simply doesn’t work for social media. You can read more about that here.
3. Passwords and access
If there have been any red flags thrown up in the conversation so far, maybe take a step back and question whether this is the right person for your brand. If everything is sounding good, then push on through and provide the Social Media Manager with some passwords so they can get in and get a feel for your brand, your tone and what you have done previously. I would also heartily recommend that you give your Social Media Manager access to your website analytics area, whether it’s built into your CMS or in Google Analytics. A good Social Media Manager should be checking that their efforts are ultimately driving traffic to the home of your brand online – your website. They will also be able to pull out key metrics from the back end and use those to suggest new ways to drive additional traffic. Lots of search terms in one particular area? Either diversify your content or produce more of the same. Lots of visitors from another country? Better check your vernacular, and promote your brand more actively as Australian. Old information listed on your website? Your Social Media Manager should pick that up straight away, and give recommendations for change.
This is always tricky to manage at first, but no Social Media Manager can function without content. Whether it’s briefing in your staff to text through photos during your Monday meeting, or establishing a basic content plan (like this one here – download), your Social Media Manager will have an idea of how your business can get information to them. But bear in mind, they will need assistance at this stage, and it’s not a bad idea to keep a bit of an eye on their phrasing – ideally, the transition from you managing your social to them managing your social should be seamless.
You need to establish early on with your Social Media Manager how often you want to be receiving reports. Personally, I base it on how often you want to be invoiced. It’s also important to make clear what analytics you want to see – post with most engagement on all platforms? Search topics for blogs and website? Overall follower growth, or number of customer service enquiries for the month? Year on year vs month on month stats? These metrics should match the goals you laid out at the beginning and should leave you feeling confident that whomever is looking after your business is constantly measuring and bettering what they are doing for your dollar.
The whole reason for bringing a Social Media Manager on board is to free up your time to allow you to do more of what you do best – the daily function of your business. If you find you are spending more time managing the manager, then you have to ask two questions: did you brief then properly in the first place, or are they simply not the person for your business. If you didn’t brief them properly, try to start over with a review from the tips I have given you here. If they’re simply not the right person for the job, then it might be time to get in touch with someone else, and get the right brain on your business.
If you would like to talk to me about managing your social media channels, please get in touch via my Contact page, I would love to hear from you!