22 Mar Avoid DIY disasters
I was speaking to a prospective client the other day, the managing director of a significant company, who was considering personally managing his firm’s social media. He asked for my thoughts. These are they and I thought they may be of interest to a wider audience.
A bad workman can no longer blame their tools
The practicality of posting on social media is straightforward but that isn’t social media management. These days almost anybody can access the tools for all sorts of things and technology makes it makes it easier to do stuff ourselves; when this happens the quality is almost always visibly sub-optimal. For example, I can take a picture with my phone but it doesn’t make me a photographer. On a more traditional level, just because I have an electric drill, doesn’t mean I can put a shelf up straight without seriously damaging the wall or myself – if you look hard enough online you will find a story about me where a power drill came into contact with soft tissue; it will make you laugh and wince in equal measure. So, I speak from pained experience and irrespective of your tool kit, DIY is best avoided unless you are properly qualified, and social media marketing is no exception.
Social media posting per se, is just one aspect of your marketing activity, albeit a crucial one. Its role is to get the important messages in front of the target audience, at the right time, in the most effective way; it’s the modern equivalent of magazine distribution. There are tools that help us reach the right people in a timely fassion – i.e. the delivery – but similar to magazines it is the content that is crucial for the messaging and commercial impact. As with phones and photography, social media channels allow anybody to be their own publisher but that doesn’t mean they can write in an effective way – we can post something on Facebook, but would a magazine editor let us write an article for their magazine? No!
If you ask this question of Ronin, however, the answer is, yes. We employ trained and time-served writers, and the material they produce for clients regularly appears in all sorts of publications – trade and consumer. This allows the customer to reach new prospects and is one of the feeds for their digital marketing.
You can kid yourself, but Google can tell you don’t know what you’re doing
As far as specific content for social media is concerned there are other important facets. Again, remember that social media posts themselves carry very little content – the lack of wordcount makes it even more difficult to craft by the way – and their role is to broadcast the content that resides on a website. It is vital that website content is not only written well from a readership standpoint but that it is all optimal in terms of web crawling and indexing; Google’s algorithms act like a magazine editor cutting out poor quality content – and downgrading the websites that carry it. Getting this right has both a front- and back-end aspect. Obviously, the website design and use of supporting graphics also play a major role in the effectiveness of the content.
In short, ‘social media’, as my prospect calls it, is a full-time job. Modern marketing communications (which is what he means) is a highly skilled occupation for which young people study at college and it’s access to this that Ronin offers clients. It is important to say that Ronin is not typical among marketing companies in that we provide access to a wide range of skills, which are all in-house. Not only does this provide clients everything they need to create effective fully-integrated programmes under one roof, but it takes away all uncertainty and stress. The cost is usually equivalent to a salary (and certainly less than that of a managing director), but for this they gain access to a wealth of diverse talent and experience that comes together to provide them a complete solution.
Speaking for myself, I don’t play any role in Ronin’s social media activity. This is for two main reasons: 1, because I am not capable of doing it, so I would be a liability and 2, because as a director and owner of the business, I shouldn’t be doing it anyway; I need to be concentrating on other aspects of the business that need whatever limited skills and experience I have. The other thing to consider of course, is that any slip-ups on social media, are immediate, far-reaching and irreversible. We’ve all seen it happen.
If you fail to plan…
Crucially, the whole marketing communications process needs a proper (12-month) plan based on the strategy of the business. This is a fundamental part of what Ronin offers. When any client commits to working with us, we’ll begin by creating an effective programme plan in line with their business strategy, considering the benefits of all aspects of marketing tools and techniques. It takes time to build a following and customer engagement on social media, especially from a standing start but there is a snowball effect, which can be accelerated when it is well-planned and executed. It’s not a job for weekend DIY enthusiasts.
If you’ve decided you may need our help, you can learn more about our social media services here.
By the way, I also have an A grade in O-level woodwork, so if you do need any help putting up those shelves…