First premise: we do not all know everything. In fact, achieving it is impossible; That is why we need to train continuously and surround ourselves with a good team of experts to support us to carry out our projects. This implies giving up doing everything ourselves and making the decision to invest in order to grow and have a future.
And why do we say all this? Well, because today we have relived one of those moments that are repeated frequently and that has as its protagonist social networks and SMEs. How many entrepreneurs approach us saying … “Find me someone to take me to Facebook” or “I just need a person to upload things to me on Twitter“? No, gentlemen! It is not so simple!
First, because something as big as social networks cannot be simplified on two platforms. Second, because we are talking about a job that requires strategy, market study and competition; training and hours, dedicate many hours. Being a community manager is a very demanding profession, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and it is not just about uploading a photo, making a comment, sharing a link or making a sporadic “like”.
And third, but just as important as the two previous points, before launching into opening social profiles on all existing platforms and because there are or those that “we like” better, we must stop and think if we are going to find our target . If this is not the case, we will be giving a blind blow and investing time, effort and money in speaking to a community that does not exist.
We may be cheesy but we like to define the brand-community manager link as a love relationship. The social media expert must not only understand and know the company he represents, but come to love it in order to transmit that passion to the followers. The more love, the more involvement and the better results. If you do not believe in what you are doing, others notice and distrust you.
And as in any love relationship, you have to go step by step, without overwhelming with new concepts, metrics or analytics, because if you can’t, the brand will run away on the first date and we’ll never hear from it again. The first duties that a social media manager has is to listen. It is necessary to understand well what the company is looking for, what it fears, what it longs for, what its routines, its coherence and its inconsistencies are. Knowing these data is essential to take another step in the relationship and present an effective digital strategy .
In other words, a community manager must be involved from minute one in the business and empathize with it. And above all, no opting for a paternalistic stance of “better than anyone else, I’ll tell you what you need” because the SME could be upset. It must be borne in mind that starting a company is not easy and that entrepreneurs leave their skin to achieve their viability, so they may not take very well that an outsider, at the first change, tells them that they are wrong and how they should run their business, because they know better than anyone what their customers and their products are like. So left hand and patience.
Once we have listened and we have a clear image of what is wrong, it is time to explain it to the client (in a second or third appointment). Examples are always a good help in these cases and, in addition, they turn out to be a great cover letter for experts since without having to say anything they show a job well done. Sometimes companies find it difficult to visualize actions or results, therefore if we can show concrete actions and even the competition, it will help the brand to visualize the situation and trust the expert.
And we come to the thorniest issue: the budget. It costs a lot for brands to want to invest in social networks if they have not seen its benefits or have not tried to manage them or schedule an Ads campaign. Therefore, when faced with a reluctant customer, a good option is usually training. Offer you a small personalized guide, which proves for itself that being an effective community is not just making “likes”. In Agenciasdecomuncacion.org we have verified that the majority of companies, which begin by giving training to manage their social networks internally, end up outsourcing the service in the hands of professionals when they see its important value and complexity. And their reasons always coincide: “This is more work than it seemed”, “I can’t be so much aware of the networks”, “it better be done by an expert to get the most out of it.”
And it is that without a doubt, that SMEs are trained helps agencies to value their work and to retain customers.