FACT: Not every business that approaches me for Social Media Management is ready to make that hire. In this blog post, you'll find out if now is the right time for you to start looking for a SMM!
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A lot of people nowadays want to have a Social Media Manager and that's great not only for me as a SMM but also for businesses because you can't do it all yourself. Sometimes, it is better to outsource certain parts of your business. Not only does that save you time but it also frees up mental space so that you can stay in your zone of genius. And if we’re honest, you can’t be an expert in every field anyways.
That being said and being a social media manager myself, I have to say that not everyone that reaches out to me for my Social Media Management services or that asks for recommendations in FB groups is ready to make that hire. In this blog post, you'll learn 4 signs that can help you decide whether you are ready or not.
1) You don't know what role social media plays in your marketing strategy:
When it comes to outsourcing, it is crucial that you understand what role your contractor will play in your business and how what they are doing ties in with your overall business strategy. You need to know exactly what tasks they will be doing, what effect these tasks will have on your business and the overall importance of this person in your business.
You need to get clarity on what role marketing in general but especially social media marketing plays in your business. So there are questions that you can ask yourself:
What role does your social media play in your business?
What other marketing activities do you have going on?
Where in the funnel is your social media located & what purpose does it serve?
What tasks do you want your Social Media Manager to take off your hands?
And, in general, what role will they be playing in your business?
For example: One of the questions in my discovery call questionnaire is: "What would you like me to do when it comes to your social media?” Someone who is ready to hire a Social Media Manager would say something like: "I would like you to repurpose my blog posts into social media posts" or "I would like you to give me suggestions for reels and stories that I can film myself every week" or "I would like you to manage and create content for me." That already tells me that they have a good idea of what I can do for them and what it will mean to their business. But sometimes, people say “I don't really know how you could help me” and that, for me, is the biggest sign that someone isn't ready.
2) You don't have clear branding guidelines for the SMM to follow:
The second sign that shows me as a Social Media Manager that someone isn't ready to hire me is that they don't have clear branding guidelines established.
Why is this important?
First of all, obviously, your whole branding should be a cohesive experience. When someone goes to your website and then from your website goes onto your social media pages, they should not have the feeling that they are suddenly talking to a completely different brand.
Secondly, you want your content to scream YOU and not your Social Media Manager or just any other generic company. If you don't have clear guidelines on branding, it becomes very easy to dilute your messaging and what you as a business are all about.
Obviously, a Social Media Manager with a certain amount of experience knows how to make a graphic look nice and how to tie all the content pieces together but it is so much easier for them if you have clear guidelines established.
What you need to provide to your SMM:
A branding bundle – you’ll get this from your graphic designer in most cases
Logos in all variations (with invisible or without background, colour variations, with or without text, favicons,…)
Fonts: if you are using any special fonts, then also that font as a package for the SMM to download
Brand colours: with their HEX numbers (for example: #4e6c79)
Elements: what style of elements do you use? Elegant, funky, professional?
A summary of your brand: what does your brand stand for? What do the colours represent?...
A voice guide = what tone of voice are you using?
For example: do you include pop culture references? And if yes, which ones? One of my clients included that she likes Friends & SATC references, so we sometimes include references to those shows
Which emojis do you often use?
What words will you often/which ones will you NEVER use? For me, a word that I never use would be #bossbabe.
The goal of these branding guidelines is to, first of all, make it easier for your SMM to make content for you, and secondly, so that even though you aren’t the one making the content, it still FEELS like you.
3) You don't have enough resources for the SMM to use:
The third sign to me is that you don’t have enough resources for your SMM to use. Of course, to a certain extent, your SMM comes up with content by themselves but you need to provide them with something. Otherwise, you risk having a very generic-looking social media page that misses its effect.
Resources you might want to provide:
Depending on the role of your SMM (see sign #1), they will need different resources from you.
If your SMM creates content from your blog posts, then you need to regularly write new ones for them to use. This will obviously also depend on the number of posts/week you are wanting them to do but to give you an idea: from a longer blog post, I can usually create 2 social media posts. So, if you want to post 4x a week, I need at least 8 blog posts a month that I can use – if I only rely on the blog posts, that is.
If your business sells products, then you need to get the SMM professional product shots in regular intervals or inquire if they will be responsible for taking those photos/videos themselves (this will cost you more, though).
If you are a personal brand, then again, you are responsible for providing your SMM with regular content of you. If you are really busy and know you don’t have time to film or take photos of yourself, then you’re making it hard for your SMM to create strong & effective content.
Yes, you can also ask your SMM to create content for you from scratch but depending on how specialised your niche is, you will run the risk of having a generic page that doesn’t provide much value for your audience.
All in all, I can say with 100% certainty: Social media content that the business owner is very much involved in is always better than content that is created without the input of the business itself. After all, you want to showcase what you have to offer!
4) You don't have enough budget:
And last, but certainly not least, the budget. You probably expected this one to be sign #1 but I actually don’t think it matters as much to be on the number 1. Why? Because you have many different SMM with different price points.
That being said, your budget IS going to be a crucial point. With services, mostly, what you pay for is what you get. Obviously, you can hire someone to manage your socials for $200NZD a month but they won’t necessarily have the experience or skills.
What you need to do before you even hire a Social Media Manager, is to make sure that the rest of your business is running smoothly and that you generate enough income. A Social Media Manager can help you to scale your business by freeing up time for you to generate more income instead of you having to create posts, manage the social media etc but they are not here to make your business profitable in the first place. This is something that a lot of business owners don't understand.
Social Media Management is an investment for the long term and if you can't stem the cost of that investment month after month, then you aren't ready yet.
I hope this blog post helped you to clarify if now is the right time to hire a Social Media Manager for you or maybe you should still fix a few things in your business or wait a little bit longer. If you do feel like you are ready because all of these signs don't really apply to you, then feel free to send me a message on Instagram or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can have a chat on how I can support your business with Social Media Management!
Can't wait to hear from you!