I am astounded at number of companies I see that are looking for an intern (often unpaid) to fill their social marketing needs for themselves or for their clients. Please don’t get me wrong-I have nothing against interns. In fact, I have had some talented ones and adore them. But companies are completely missing the point: the best social marketing is orchestrated via a plan, and should be a coordinated marketing effort by someone experienced in social marketing. If done right, it will compliment the marketing taking place elsewhere and marketing is always more effective when all components compliment each other.
In less than a year, I have gained almost 10 k followers on Twitter. Now, there are other people who have gained more of a following than in close to that same time period. I am certainly not THE authority on Twitter following. But there are others, on Twitter about the same length of time, who have a thousand followers or less. Some may intentionally be keeping it small and some may not have a goal of a large following, but it is a difference that should be noted.
I’ve seen the same thing happen on Facebook. With the right components and interaction, a group or page in a year’s time can grow with very solid numbers. If those components aren’t used, groups and pages will sit with a few members and not accomplish the marketing goals that the company wants to see.
Gaining a large following, if that is your goal, takes time, dedication and some expertise. And when you are paying someone with experience, you are not just paying them to tweet on your behalf-you are paying them to:
- Build a market for you online.
- Provide their expertise on the best way to do that and the best places for your company to have a presence.
- Provide branding of your company or clients.
- Consult with you on the best way to accomplish the goals and the best way to tie the social marketing in with other parts of the plan. (priceless)
- Sometimes provide online customer service as appropriate.
- Have a hand in the quality of service your company or clients are providing.
- Provide a “front-line” and immediate presence/impression of your company or your client.
My friends, it is so much MORE than tweeting. Trust me on that. If you truly want impact and results from your social marketing, invest the dollars. It will pay off.