One of my daily responsibilities as an HRB Intern is to manage our brand via social media. For me, it’s something that I generally enjoy and find interesting. Still, I struggle with planning and accounting for the time it takes to read, listen, post, respond and manage our online communities.
For the past four months I’ve been allotting about half an hour of time each day to handling my social media marketing responsibilities and another half hour to read my Google Reader® subscriptions and other online news. Is this enough? Some days, yes; other days, no. While being aware of time makes me more efficient, I’m worried that I’m not paying enough attention to HRB’s audience, that I’m spending too much time “socializing” without addressing their questions, concerns and suggestions.
Our Senior Strategist for our Growth Division, Dave Aeschliman, likes to remind me that the actions we take to promote our brand and our clients both online and in the real world should eventually translate into profits. He actually gave a speech on this idea titled “The Cancers of the Profit” that I often find myself thinking about when I write a blog or post a Twitter update. How can my social media actions drive business? Do they already? What can I do to be more efficient as an employee, intern and consultant? What should I be reading, following and learning to stay on top of social media and business trends?
I think it’s important that anyone who manages an online community recognizes the value and power of building relationships that result in profits. If someone posts a comment on your Facebook page, how quickly are you responding to it? If it’s a negative customer service comment, have you set up a method for addressing it and taking the conversation offline? If you’re spending too much time posting updates and you’re not receiving any responses, what are you doing wrong? Step back and assess your situation every once in a while. Consult with your supervisor or someone outside of your department who might be able to offer you fresh ideas and strategies for reaching your company’s goals, promoting your services and ultimately driving business.
It’s easy to get distracted, lose track of time and forget about your true purpose as a social media marketer while you’re scoping out the latest trends online. Just be mindful of how much time and resources you’re investing in this task. Stay focused and be mindful of company resources.
For instance, we often remind clients that social media marketing is not free. Companies need to remember that the human capital needed to manage a smart social media presence can be quite cumbersome at times. What if it is taking the employee off of other initiatives? This is when we see businesses hiring companies such as HRB. So, if the work getting is too burdensome or you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help.
Your team members (internal and external) are there to help you learn and grow, and the combination of everyone’s ideas may even expose a new perspective that could skyrocket your brand to a whole new level.