The title “social media expert” gets thrown around a lot by both experienced communication professionals and those fresh out of college. It seems as if all it takes to be labeled as one of these “social media gurus” is access to the Internet and a basic knowledge of how to use Twitter. However, true online marketers know that there is much more to social media marketing than throwing around jargon like “curate”, “buzz”, and “engagement”. Here are five things to consider before making a new social media hire:
• Examine cost vs. reward – Since many self storage owners operate a small business, an expansive marketing budget is more of a dream than a reality. Therefore, a social media or digital media manager should only be hired if the desired outcome can justify the cost. Before making a hiring decision, carefully examine your yearly budget to determine if a new hire will help or hurt your bottom line.•
Research potential candidate’s social media presence – If you will be hiring someone to build a presence for you on social media, you should take into consideration much more than a person’s résumé. If the person you are hiring does not have a substantial social media presence or cannot demonstrate how he or she has grown other small businesses online, then this is an indication that they are not a good fit for your self storage business.
• Is your self storage website prepared for the increase in traffic? – An increase in social media coverage will eventually lead to more website visitors. To prepare for the increase in traffic, access your website for things like broken links, proper contact information and ensure that the credit card processing system works. If you want to bring in new customers, your website should be professionally built and inspire confidence and trust in your self storage business. People tend to be a bit wary when sharing financial information over the Internet with a business for the first time. Therefore, your website should be fully functional and ready to convert website visitors into paying self storage customers.
• Are there sufficient funds to cover a digital marketing campaign? – Having the money to hire a social media manager is not enough. There are other costs involved in having a successful digital presence. Free social media initiatives will only carry your self storage business so far. Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter have started making a concerted effort to push businesses to pay to reach customers. Gone are the days when you could hope to land a marketing message into the timelines of multiple people organically. Now, the change in Facebook’s algorithm mandates that you pay or risk reaching very few people, if any at all.
• Ensure that website is optimized – Again, do not simply just rely on free social media networking tools to grow your business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important for businesses that want to generate business online. Your social media manager will rely on the effectiveness of your website to efficiently carry out his or her duties in terms of leading people back to your site.
There are many online marketing professionals with solid experience who can make a positive impact on your self storage business. However, there are also many unscrupulous ones who try to coast by on empty promises of growing your social networking presence. Do your due diligence and hire wisely.