Yesterday I broached the topic of whether companies need a social media consultant, based on several articles/blog posts promoting a DIY approach out of the gate.
My main disagreement with the assertions set forth in these posts is that they assumes that business owners and individuals are already up to speed. We’ve seen that this is often not the case, and that makes sense. They are busy doing their job, not ours.
An entirely new segment of marketing has opened up and it calls for a very different approach. If a business or individual tries to cram the old approach into this new medium, it will fall flat. They need to learn that, preferably before they go out and make the mistake in front of an audience.
I propose that yes, many companies/individuals could absolutely handle social media on their own. And they should, once they are up and running. Maybe they need a helping hand to get started, to have the overall process broken down, and then they may well be ready to run with it. Maybe they need help developing a plan of action, since this is all new to them, from a business perspective. There is no question that most companies/individuals will need to play a bit of catch-up to get to the point.
Where most companies need a social media professional:
* Developing an understanding of what social media IS
* Developing an understanding how social media is valuable to their business
* Getting up and running with technology recommendations
* Introducing decision makers to the process and assist in getting buy-in
* Training staff to a) understand social media b) see the value c) find their place in the process
* Developing social media marketing strategies and action plans
* Propose ideas for blog posts, tweets,
* Propose ways to overlay a social media to an existing or upcoming event etc to increase awareness and ROI
In a perfect world companies would be positioned to handle all of these elements, have the understanding and the staffing necessary to move forward thoughtfully. It doesn’t always happen that way. Many companies will be ready to move forward on their own with a little training and guidance upfront. Ideally, staff members are best positioned to speak about what is going on with the company.
So where do you come out on this? Are you up to speed and ready to forge ahead with a SM campaign? Maybe you understand the broad strokes and are looking for a bit of guidance? Or maybe you’re wondering what all the fuss is about. We’d love to hear your thoughts.