They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you can surely judge a brand by its social media presence, or the lack thereof. Today, it’s highly important for a business to have a robust social media profile. Customers today do not pick up the phone to rant, they tweet @ you. The recorded message on the IVR might say there’s a wait time of twenty minutes, but wait that long to reply to a comment on your Facebook page and you will most likely be drowning in an avalanche of feedback and emojis. That is if you have a decent fan following on your social accounts. And if you do not, then you really do need the kind of help we are talking about in this post!
Social Media For Your Brand – Why You Should Begin Right Now
Typically, the trend for SMB companies has been to start accounts on social platforms and spend time building a community. Soon the numbers start to grow and prospective and current clients start to use the social handles. Only then do businesses wake up to the reality of social media management. Then comes the running around and trying to build a team to do damage control. The question is, why not start at the very beginning?
Social media today has the potential to go viral in minutes. We have all seen the effect that hard-hitting blogs and videos can have. It can literally make or break reputations. If you do not have the wherewithal to put together a team right away, you can always hire freelancers to do the job for you. This way, you will not have to wait to hire a team – you can begin social media management from the very first day. So, let’s dive right into it and learn in detail the different ways in which freelancers can help you with your social media platforms.
Strategizing and Posting
A good social media plan begins with strategizing and creating a monthly social media calendar. This should have details of which platforms will be used, the number and frequency of posts on these platforms, and the kind of posts that will be put. If your brand is planning a social media campaign then you will need to have a holistic plan for those days, and you will need to include all your social handles for the promotion. On the face of it, creating a calendar sounds very easy. But when you break it down to daily posts, it can get a little tough. A freelance social media strategist can help you get a monthly calendar ready well in time.
Once the calendar is ready, either you or the freelance expert can schedule the daily posts. You can keep track of the metrics to ensure that the plan is being followed to a T.
A recent study has shown that brands which engage with their customers as an online community tend to see more brand loyalty (Zheng, Cheung, Lee, & Liang, 2015) from their clientele. Customer loyalty is strongly connected to customer satisfaction, and online communication is an important spoke in this wheel. If you are a small business owner, you may not always have the time to respond to your customers online. But a freelancer can easily do that on your behalf. What’s more, you can hire a freelance expert to work after hours and answer customer queries! This eliminates the need for you or your social media team (if you have one) to work late nights. Customers love quick and helpful responses or the affirmation of redressal. This single move could work magic for your brand’s online image.
James E. Grunig, the public relations theorist, says that the best model of online communication between organisations and the public is the two-way symmetrical model, in which both parties exchange information on a level playing field. There is scope for negotiation and the decisions made are mutually beneficial. A 2011 study showed that this model works better in establishing a strong brand image than traditional one-sided communication or crafted replies (Lattimore, Baskin, Heiman, & Toth, 2011). Positive word-of-mouth affirmation is a great booster for SMEs who cannot always rely on big advertising to promote their brand. You can hire freelancers who will respond to your customer’s posts at any given time. This will impress potential customers who see the positive way in which your brand addresses client concerns.
When you hire a freelancer, you get expertise and experience without the baggage of overheads. Hiring a freelancer can be 20-30% cheaper than hiring a full-time employee. You may not have the budget to hire a full-blown team, but you can find a freelancer. For an SMB, hiring social media freelancers can prove to be very budget-friendly.
It is highly important though that you choose your freelance experts wisely and from a trusted source. The Indian freelancing industry is still highly unstructured; so, don’t let the bad apples turn you away from the rare gems. Pick your freelancing mates well, and your business can reap the rewards of social media visibility in no time at all.
A version of this content was first published by Social Samosa .
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