Social Media Management services are on the rise and in fact, we're takings steps in that direction too so we can offer a broader range of services to our existing clients. But if you're a business owner with a single website, should you learn to manage your own social media platforms? My opinion is that you should learn as much as you can about using and interacting on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – but you shouldn't necessarily take on the task of managing your own social media posts.
If you're already very social media savvy, can write your own blog posts quickly, and have a few spare hours a week to devote to writing, uploading and interacting, then doing it yourself could be ideal, and apart from the investment of your time, it's free. On the other hand, it would make sense to pay a social media management service if:
- you don't know much about Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn;
- you don't have the time or inclination to write your own blog posts;
- you're simply too busy to write, post, update your status, and tweet;
- your time would be better spent on other aspects of your business;
- you can't afford or don't want to hire someone to do it in-house;
- your eyes glaze over when people start talking about blogging, tweeting and liking.
Even if you do opt to use a social media service, it will still pay to learn about interacting on these platforms. That's because while the service may get you noticed on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you're still better off personally interacting with users who respond to your posts, or designating someone else in your business to do this. While some services will do some interacting for you, at a cost, you'll then be trusting them to converse directly with potential clients on your behalf.
There is no shortage of people who can show you how to use social media and there are courses available online at very low prices as well as a wealth of free information. If you're using a social media management service, the chances are they'll have a site you can log into and a dashboard that allows you to see who is responding to your posts – and you'll probably be able to reply to them from the dashboard.
In any event, if you're a business owner in 2011 and you're not 'into' social media, it's probably time to learn a little more and explore the possibilities.