I attend a lot of digital marketing conferences during the year and I cannot tell you how many companies have risen up in the last year or two offering services to run your business’s social media. It seems almost a paradox to me. Social media is about engagement between people. So if this is true that social media is about people sharing, how is it that a company will do the sharing for me?
It reminds me of the scene in a movie where two people who are not speaking to each other tell a third person “tell them that I am not speaking to them,” which is returned with “tell them I did not mean to say what I did.” The scene goes on and on until some frustration level is met, they apologize and then live happily ever after.
Now there are many great companies who will help to devise a strategy and help a company execute it. That is not what I am talking about. I am concerned that companies just turn over total control and execution to someone outside the company.
By having a third party do your talking for you there is a loss of real connection. People can spot that loss of passion from a mile away. There is a subtlety in the language that you can’t write about if you are miles away. You can post things like “Riddle of the Day” or clever sayings and funny photos, but is that really the correct way to engage your audience? In my opinion for a company’s social media to be successful, the company has to run it, love it and share the experiences of their business and employees with others.
When one client asked me about how to do it, I asked him how many employees he had. He said 90. I smiled and told him that he had at least 4-5 social media junkies who would love to help. These people would be the best fit for the roles because they are good at it and enjoy doing it, but most of all, they get the brand and who they are as a company because they live it every day.
Social media is not creating an ad or a commercial that you can outsource and then review. Social media is a living thing. It changes and grows each day. If you are going to engage it cannot be so planned and formulated. Even the most successful campaigns of large companies are headed up by someone internally. Think of Scott Monty at Ford and his brilliant use of social media. He led it because he understood the brand from the inside.
With all of the platforms available, I know this can be a bit anxiety provoking. In the article I wrote last week, “Do You Have Social Media Anxiety”, I recommended that you start slowly. Pick one platform to begin with and find your footing and your voice. Work with people internally first. If you need help and education on what to do, then reach outside of your business for help and get training.
Remember: no one knows the vision of your business better than you. Speak with your own voice, not through someone else’s voice.