Social media is an important part of a corporation’s marketing mix when executed correctly. Businesses are recognizing the value of engaging consumers on social sites, promoting goodwill, having an online ambassador for their brands, and sharing quality content. Companies are dedicating these “social” responsibilities to others in their ranks, and, in turn, Social Media Management, in some locations, has developed into their own fully-realized positions.
In automotive dealerships, for instance, the tasks to develop a presence on social media have been primarily thrust upon their Internet Directors and Internet Sales team members. As these employees dedicate their time to these online sites, however, they often skirt their other responsibilities. Let’s face it… Facebook is fun. Instagram is fun. Twitter is fun. Vine can be even more fun. However, it is also difficult for a dealer to justify having a full-time person dedicated to the management of these sites. It is hard to account for the return from time invested on social networks, yet Internet professionals are enamored with the prospect of making it their full-time effort.
[blockquote name=”Joe Webb” organization=”@zonewebb”]Social media can be profitable for a corporation, but not if the person managing their efforts is just playing at it.[/blockquote]
You see, Internet Directors like their social media responsibilities for three reasons:
- Determining success rates on social media prowess is more subjective than, say, a BDC’s total appointment show rate.
- It is a welcome break from the daily grind of phone call handling, lead handling, report crunching, and IT snafus.
- It is a playground where they already enjoy spending their free time.
And that is the rub. Social media can be very beneficial to a company’s marketing efforts, but posting memes should rarely take time-precedence over handling inbound sales opportunities. These Internet Directors and ISMs that have been fulfilling their showroom/phone/sales duties for years often prefer to the unstructured nature of managing a Facebook page or Twitter account, so they wonder “Why can’t I get paid just to sit on Facebook all day?” They attempt to justify the need against their common sense, “If social media is SO important, why can’t I do it full-time?” Truth is, some can (and should) while others shouldn’t.
Having clients with their own Social Media Ambassadors for their stores, I see some that really get it. They dedicate their time to…
- Opening up these social portals as their own mediums with which to engage, friend, and support others
- Read up on best practices and actively find new ways to implement them
- Focus on social metrics
- Understand the nooks and crannies (and reporting tools) with each site
- Listen online for conversations in which to insert themselves
- Explore trending social apps such as Vine and Instagram
- Leave their desk to engage on-site customers and create fresh digital media from those encounters
- Survey consumers
- Generate buy-in by educating coworkers
- Shoot relevant videos
- Incorporate the company’s marketing autonomously
- And plan endlessly
Unfortunately, there are those that don’t get it. They don’t understand how to get the most out of their social media positions. Instead of all the tasks above, they foolishly…
- Think it’s all about posting
- Read other’s updates and posts without ever engaging
- Converse with other industry friends rather than their own customers
- Forget to celebrate their company’s own employees
- Take an hour to build an unnecessary meme
- Believe a Like, comment, or retweet signifies a job well-done
- Consider all followers equal (whether they’ve done business with them for 10 years or if they live in Bangladesh…all the same)
- (Worst of all) Waste time screwing around on their own personal pages, reading friends’ updates rather than the company site.
That last one… that is the one that sticks in my craw the most and THAT is why I don’t always trust those asking “Why Can’t I Get Paid to Just Sit on Facebook All Day?” Most shouldn’t, because they don’t have the drive, the desire to learn, or the discipline to use the time for the good of the company rather than for themselves. They wrongly spend their work time on Facebook for personal reasons, but they have never spent their personal time on Facebook for business reasons. If that is the case, that candidate is the last person you want handling your corporation’s social marketing.
Before you hire a full-time Social Media Manager, or restructure a current employee’s job description to focus solely on this, make sure you have someone capable to doing the job to the level it deserves to be done. Not just the way the candidate wants to do it. If they’ve already been managing your social efforts in another role, demand to see the results before you turn them loose full-time on it. Social media can be profitable for a corporation, but not if the person managing their efforts is just playing at it.