Do you remember in middle school when a new fashion fad would appear and you and your fellow tweens just had to have it! Social media is a lot like that today, but I urge you to consider your goals before you jump on the bandwagon. Don’t make the mistake of doing what everyone else is doing because what works for one business may not work for another. In today’s small business environment, it’s important that you have some social media presence, but your expectations and what can be achieved need to be aligned.
I’ve discussed the benefits of social media in other posts and covered some of the issues and misconceptions on Fox Business. Take a moment to review those and be sure you’re going in with the right set of goals.
Once you have a handle on what you want to accomplish, then you have to see that the work gets done. There are four possibilities: you, someone on your staff, an outside agency or freelancer, or some combination of these.
The two guiding principles in selecting between these options are:
* Which best utilizes your resources, and
* Who has the talent.
Those two don’t always align nicely.
Let’s look at you first. As a small business owner you have a lot on your plate. Would taking over the social media responsibilities take you away from tasks that only you can do? Would this additional work decrease the time you can devote to the things you do really well?
If either of those are true, then you need to minimize what you do in the social media. But what if you have a gift for this kind of work? You can still post occasionally, but find someone on staff and transfer your knowledge, or find a professional to take over the bulk of the work.
The same criteria apply to your staff, with one exception. Do you have an employee who has a talent for social media work and who would become even more valuable if you freed up time so this person could take over social media? In other words, does it make sense to shift responsibilities around?
This can be great for your small business and for your up-and-coming social media maven. It gives this person an environment in which to develop professionally. It also shows other employees that you encourage growth and taking on new challenges.
Many small business owners will want to find a contractor to handle much of the social media responsibilities. Paradoxically, the smallest of the small businesses may find that this is the best strategy.
For example, a solopreneur can quickly get stretched in too many directions. This can be disastrous. Handing off the lion’s share of the social media work to a contractor can allow the solopreneur to give the proper attention to the most crucial tasks of building the business.
A very small business also seems immediately larger to the outside world when a professional social media expert comes on-board and gets a good campaign going.
Finally, these solutions aren’t mutually exclusive. No matter who has the primary responsibility, you, as the owner, can still contribute. Further, employees should become involved as well when the fit is right.