Who Should Be Your Social Media Ambassador?
Hint, it isn’t your youngest employee.
With so many demands on your time, learning the ins and outs of social media marketing may not be high on your list of priorities. However, finding a social media ambassador should be.
“By 2017, social media is going to become part of the core of any business’s marketing mix,” says Evan Carmichael, tech entrepreneur and small business consultant who was recently included on a list of the world's Top 40 Social Marketing Talent in Forbes. “Smart companies recognize that it’s too important to just give away to your youngest employee to take care of. You wouldn’t just hand over a newspaper, radio, or television campaign to your youngest employee. That is how you have to start thinking about your social media.”
It may be tempting to assign social media responsibilities to the youngest person on your staff. Digital natives, a term used to describe people born after 1980 who have grown up using digital technology, may understand the ins and outs of Instagram and how to compose an effective Tweet. But they may not have refined communication skills or an in-depth knowledge of your business and industry. This inexperience can mean your youngest employees might not communicate the right messages about your business. With the real-time nature of social media, one ill-conceived post, or sharing of inappropriate content, can result in a public relations nightmare.
Delegate, but Don’t Detach
Managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the other social media platforms does require skills, and those skills can be learned.
The strategy behind the posts, comments, and responses should come from a person who best understands your business, your brand, and your goals. And that person, most likely, is not a summer intern, your college-age nephew, or even a marketing consultant or vendor.
The solution may be to play to your strengths. You may delegate the day-to-day maintenance of your social media duties to an intern or even a vendor, but you should stay in control of the messaging. For example, Carmichael, who leads a team of 10 employees, delegates the mechanics of his social strategy, while he manages the high-level strategy. He personally responds to all the comments he or his company receives on social media, but trusts members of his staff to handle outbound tasks, such as creating and scheduling the posts, researching links and related news, and tagging and preparing images. Carmichael meets with his team once a week to go over what they are planning to post and to give him the opportunity to approve or change the posts.
Instead of handing off your social media entirely, consider making it a team effort in which you collaborate with employees or vendors who can truly become your social media ambassadors.
Before You Choose an Ambassador
The first qualities you should look for in a social media ambassador are appreciation, enthusiasm, and advocacy for your business. Once you identify those qualities, Hollis Thomases, president and CEO of Web Ad.vantage, says there are several competencies your social media team members should be able to demonstrate, including:
- An awareness of new social media innovations
- An understanding of FCC disclosure laws
- An ability to develop and implement a social media editorial calendar and produce content in a variety of formats
Once you find a social media ambassador who fits your needs, lending your knowledge and experience to crafting the appropriate messaging will remain an important factor in the success of your social media marketing.
Topics: SMALL BUSINESS
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