We are a full-service website design,
development and digital marketing agency
based in Christchurch, New Zealand.
We are a full-service website design, development and digital marketing agency based in Christchurch, New Zealand.
As a business owner who is in my 50s and has been working with social media and digital marketing for 12+ years, and helping write and create websites for another 5 or so on top of that, I find it challenging to see small businesses (and sometimes larger businesses) who think they need to employ young people (aka digital natives) straight out of school or university to handle their social media marketing.
What many don’t understand is that using Snapchat or Instagram or Tiktok to connect with your friends or even to build a following isn’t the same as using social channels to build a business and drive customers or clients to your website or location.
We are in a strange middle place right now I think, where older business owners know they should be doing some of these things, but tend to err on the side of caution (ie do nothing at all) rather than risk ‘getting it wrong’.
Or they take the plunge to get onto social media, but only invest enough to employ a junior staff member who they give the role to (usually along with way too many other marketing tasks, but that’s another post for another day.)
So what’s wrong with that?
Well thinking it through this morning, there are definite pros and cons. I’ve outlined some of them below.
Someone straight out of school or university may not have the understanding of business required to develop an effective strategy that will help leverage the investment of time and resources into your social media.
However, if you bring in someone from outside the business to create the strategy, then provide consulting support for your digital native to do the implementation, that can be an effective use of your available resources.
One of the business sectors which has moved into the social media field and brought their content creation skills along with them is public relations.
PR consultants have frequently got decades of experience in understanding business goals, crafting content to help achieve those goals, as well as integrating with a range of activities from events to specific promotions, media liaison and more – all of which can be very powerful when combined with a comprehensive understanding of how to use social media.
They can also ensure that your organisation is well briefed on the impact of social media content for your business and how it should best be used – as well as helping to deal with any issues that might arise if, for example, you have to deal with upset customers for any reason, or the business is impacted by a situation like Covid or earthquakes or other catastrophes!
So if you are in the ecommerce or business to business space, you might want to use the skills of someone with more relevant experience.
Often this would be on a retainer or consultancy basis rather than employing someone inhouse full time, but there are plenty of options available.
Every social channel provides the chance for readers to engage with you, and your social media marketer should be monitoring and responding to those comments in an appropriate way.
This is where an experienced marketer will be able to respond appropriately, or ensure that any issues raised by comments are run past other members of your team to ensure they are addressed correctly.
So overall, what is your best approach? The answer is “it depends”. As mentioned above, if your audience is younger, and your products are consumer focused, employing a digital native can be a good option – especially if you invest in a strategy first and support your new staff member in the implementation of that strategy.
Or you might find it more cost effective to contract a more experienced marketer or consultant to deliver exactly what you need on a retainer basis – giving you more flexibility and helping to establish your brand on social channels, set up a content strategy and build your follower numbers. Once your channels are well established, you might then look at a cheaper resource to carry on the implementation work.
If you are working out what to do in your business and want advice, please do get in touch and see where we can fit in the picture for you – from consultancy to implementation.