During a recent conversation with a business owner, I was reminded why I always recommend a Social Media Strategist to handle my clients and potential new clients social media efforts. It was the undeniable frustration on his face and in his voice that prompted me to offer a bit of advice to my peers.
A snippet it from our conversation:
TwoGirlsConsulting: "How are your social media efforts?"
Business Associate: "I'm using a national PR firm and they said they can handle my social media."
2GC: "Are you happy with your results? I see you are not on Twitter and/or YouTube and should merge both into your strategy.": "You PR people always say you know how to do social media. I did not hire you for social media and it's like I have to fight to get you to do the work of PR because you believe social media is easier."
2GC: "I agree. However, I am not one of those PR people. I've worked beside Lisa Johnson of Endeavor Social Media for more than a year and learned rather quickly how little I know."
2GC/BA: "It's so much more than posting to Facebook and Twitter."
Social Media is complex. Similar to public relations, it requires time, patience, and the fostering of relationships to build a strong network of ambassadors, expand a brand's exposure and influence public perception. It works in harmony with marketing and advertising in support of public relations and vice versa.
Knowing the multiple forms of where social media can be applied (magazines, podcast, video, blogs) and the different groups of where to apply social media strategy (Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, Foursquare) along with understanding what technologies (apps, email, virtual bookmarking, and mobile devices) will have the most impact for your client's business while not overtly talking at their audience, in addition to, keeping up with the constant changes implemented on those platforms takes skill.
Just like keeping track of journalists that seem to change media outlets at the blink of an eye, being engaging enough to stand out in their multitude of emails they receive from hundreds, if not thousands, of publicists on a daily basis, and maintaining a constructive and rewarding relationship before they get bored with you or your clients takes hard work, dedication and focus.
What are your thoughts? Are you pro or con? Send me an email and let me know.
Adrienne N. Hester