ASK THE EXPERT: Who should be in charge of my business' social media?

Got a business problem you just can't fix? Not to worry, Smarter's here to help you! Send in your question and we'll find an expert to give you advice. This week, a retailer in Adelaide is unsure of who should monitor her business' social media.

QUESTION from small business owner, Cathy Miller
I run a retail store and I desperately need to get my social media outlets up and running. I don't know a lot about Facebook and Twitter, so I'm not sure how to look for the best person for the job. Should I just let one of my younger staff members take it over or do I need to hire externally?

ANSWER from Catriona Pollard, director of CP Communications
First of all, take a big breath. Stop and think about what you want to accomplish. It’s pointless to create accounts for every social media outlet without knowing what you want out of social media and a clear strategy.

Monitoring social media is a really important task, and shouldn’t be given to a junior who only understands social media from a personal perspective. (I’ve seen one junior staff member uploading music videos to a business Facebook page!)

Knowing how to use each outlet, getting the best results and keeping up with your return on investment can be a full-time job in itself, not to mention constantly updating interesting and relevant content.

Having said that, it would be beneficial for you to take the time out to learn more about what social media is and how it can help you engage with your customers, too.

SEE ALSO: How to set up a Twitter account in five simple steps
SEE ALSO: How to set up a Facebook page for your business
SEE ALSO:What customers want from you in social media
SEE ALSO: What not to do in social networking

How an outsourced company can help you
Experienced social media companies will be able to do the research for you and develop a comprehensive social media strategy. Another point of difference is that social media campaign companies will have experienced writers on staff who can utilise their skills for the different platforms, from writing 140 character tweets to 1000 word technical blog posts, and running engagement competitions.

Here are a few tips for working with an outsourced company:

Do your research: before picking a company. Different companies work within different sectors, such as lifestyle and retail, and can be experts in different fields.

Set targets: Know what you want out of the social media campaign and set realistic targets. This can be a certain amount of engagement, comments on a blog or number of customers taking up an offer from a social media site.

Communicate: Regularly discuss with the company to make sure you are both on the same page. Social media is an ongoing, daily activity and you want to make sure you both have the same idea when it comes to the message and public persona you want to showcase.

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