In the last few years, having a Social Media Manager (SMM) has become somewhat of a shiny object that many business owners are chasing after. In this blog post, you'll learn why you don't necessarily need one to become successful on social media.
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With the new year rolling around, one of your 2023 resolutions might be that you FINALLY want to make social media work for your business. From my experience, for most people, the first logical consequence is: “I need to make enough money so that I can hire a Social Media Manager who will take care of all things social media for me.” And here is where you are making a mistake: I believe that not every business needs a Social Media Manager or even necessarily benefits from having one. Yes, you read that correctly. I am a Social Media Manager who thinks that not everyone needs a Social Media Manager. I'm aware that this is very controversial, so let me explain:
It's really important to me that you as a business owner make decisions that make sense for YOUR business. I already touched on this topic in this blog post here when I talked about habits. In business and in life, it's only beneficial to start implementing certain habits if they make sense for YOU and not just because someone else is doing them. Just like these “millionaire habits” everyone is talking about, having a Social Media Manager has become a bit of a shiny object that business owners are chasing after. On social media itself, we often see successful businesses that have lots of employees or contractors and it makes us believe that you can only build a profitable business when you go down the same track.
Don't get me wrong: a SMM can be one of the most profitable assets to have in your business and one of the most important hires that you can make - if your business actually needs a Social Media Manager.
Outsourcing your social media to a SMM is a big decision and it shouldn't be one you make for the short term. You just have to open any business Facebook group to hear from business owners who aren't happy with how SMM is working for them.
There are a few reasons why Social Media Management might not work for you:
1. You don't have an established brand:
An established brand to me is a brand that has clear branding guidelines (brand colours, fonts, symbols, icons & ideally, its own brand voice).
If you don't have a clear idea of what your brand is about and what your brand would do if it was a person in different situations, then it's going to be really hard for someone else to convey that message in your social media content. Heck, most business owners struggle with it themselves and they ARE the brand.
2. Your business is very niche:
It can be challenging to find SMMs for specific niches, especially when your business is very specialised or highly technical/scientific.
The majority of SMMs are women, so naturally, it is easier to find one if your business is centered around skincare or wellness topics (I'm not saying men can't enjoy these things too but from my experience, it's mostly women who decide to specialise in these fields).
When your business is highly technical or scientific, it can be quite difficult to find someone who understands the topics that you're talking about and who can make that into great social media content. If that's the case, you might benefit from outsourcing only specific parts of your social media rather than the whole thing. For example, you could hire someone as a consultant who can help you with strategy or a graphic designer who can make nice graphics for your socials. This will obviously depend on the people and their skills that you already have in your business.
Hiring a professional, experienced SMM is going to cost you a lot of money. Sure, there are people on Facebook groups who offer their services for $200 a month. There are also people on Fiverr or Upwork with no experience in social media whatsoever who will do content for you for like $4 an hour. Sure, the supply for this kind of service is there but it's not going to help you establish a great social media presence.
Most businesses, when they start out, don't have the kind of capital to invest in a full-time SMM straight away. It's also not a hire that you make for three months and then your problem is fixed. SMM is something that you do for the long term.
4. You are letting your SMM do EVERYTHING and aren't involved in the process at all:
Lots of businesses go into hiring a SMM with the expectation that they won't have to do a single thing anymore when it comes to social media and that's just not the reality. The best social media results come from accounts where the business owner is highly involved in the outcome. That means they will either write part of the caption or at least provide video footage/pictures. It usually also means they approve content or are otherwise involved in the process.
You can be the best SMM ever but unless you have the industry knowledge, the insights into the business, and the resources like great footage, the content is not gonna be great.
Sure, your Social Media Manager will take a huge chunk of work off your shoulders but that doesn't mean that you as the owner won't have to do anything anymore. That's just an unrealistic expectation.
To sum this blog post up:
Depending on your industry, the size of your business, the stage of your business, your skills and the skills of the people that work in your business, you might not necessarily need a SMM to level up your social media game. My goal for this blog post was to spark a thought process in your head and, hopefully, provoke a mindset shift towards understanding that you can be successful on social media without a SMM at your side as well. There are plenty of other ways to leverage the knowledge of social media experts for your business (more on that soon! 😉).