Does part of your social media plan include having a dedicated user-- someone whose job description includes planning and carrying out your strategy? In a small business setting it's typical, and often times essential, for staff members to wear many different hats. That sometimes means that jobs are shared or passed around as staff members become available to take them on. That approach can be great in some scenarios, but it doesn't mean everyone should have a hand in social media, or that the task should fall to whoever is available in the moment. There are benefits to centralizing your strategy in the hands of one or two people. It allows you to:
Be More Consistent
For a unified tone and approach, it's best to limit the amount of people publishing through your social media outlets. With different writing styles and varying response times to questions from customers, followers may find you unreliable or start seeing individual posts as too disconnected. For cohesion in messaging, which makes for stronger branding, a dedicated user works best.
Are you spread out over various social media platforms? Instead of having different users monitoring different sites, it's better for a dedicated user to have an eye on each of them. On the most practical level, it's easier to keep track of logins and accounts this way. It also allows for the task of tracking data to be centralized in one place, with one person checking in on various platforms and collecting relevant information periodically.
Make Better Use of Time
Dedicated users translate into dedicated time. Spreading out your social media efforts amongst different staff members can mean that the time and energy spent on your strategy gets diffused. A dedicated user can use blocks of time to tackle answering questions, updating pages and scheduling new content. A piecemeal approach ultimately leaves you one step behind instead of one step ahead.
Does that mean that brainstorming about how to approach your plan should only be limited to the people who execute it? Not at all! It's great to have input from several members of your team during the initial planning phases. This allows you to tap into the creative potential of your team, gather great ideas and develop a plan that's a true representation of your organization. But as you execute specific parts of your strategy, funnel responsibilities towards one or two users who can hold it all together. It's the best way to present a confident overarching narrative that will strengthen your identity and keep your followers engaged.
As the release of the new Facebook format grows, they will continue to
capitalize on the popularity of photos and storytelling. In a letter to investors,
Mark Zuckerberg describes his vision for the future of Facebook: "We hope to improve how people connect to
businesses and the economy. We
think a more
open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more
authentic businesses that build better products and services. As
people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people
they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it
easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and
efficiency of their lives."
Zuckerberg also stated: "We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other. Even if our mission sounds big, it starts small — with the relationship between two people. Personal relationships are the fundamental unit of our society. Relationships are how we discover new ideas, understand our world and ultimately derive long-term happiness. At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships."
This should drive home the point that rather than sell to your Facebook fans, you should be building a relationship with them. Although you can use Facebook ads to help build your brand's popularity, you should focus on posting content that compels your fans to comment and re-share to help spread the word about your company.
Regardless of the format, one thing remains clear: Facebook will continue to capitalize on paid ads to allow you to boost your brand on their site. You should continue to ask your in-store (or online) customers to join you on Facebook. However, if you have expectations of marketing to new customers on Facebook, you should expect to include paid Facebook ads in your budget.