One of the best scenes from the movie Jerry Maguire is when Tom Cruise’s character is trying to convince Cuba Gooding’s character to focus on the love of the game. You can watch the :30 clip here: “Help Me Help You”
There are few things more frustrating than being hired to change the world, and then not being given the tools, the resources or the access to said world in order to change it.
Listen, “doing social media” isn’t going to make you an overnight millionaire. It’s not going to make you a millionaire, period. Not without hard work, discipline and a great product (or service). But what it will do is help you reach the masses. It will help your brand be heard in a world beyond your small corner of it. Beyond your brick and mortar store or your URL address. Social media will help potential customers get to know you, your brand, your brand’s personality, its style, what it stands for and believes in. And it will give you the opportunity to help your potential customers – help them answer questions, find products, solve problems, fix things, feel better and share impactful, relevant information. Not to shabby, right?
But in order to do that, you’ve got to do your part. Just because you hire someone to handle it for you doesn’t mean you can turn it off in your mind. You are the brain, the passion, behind your brand. You understand your customers needs, the reason for your product, better than anyone else, so you must be willing to share that – what we call your Intellectual Property – with us.
Eight things you can do as a small business to give your Social Strategist a fighting chance:
- Listen to your customers. What are customers saying about your brand/products/services?
- Keep up to speed. What’s trending in your industry? What’s relevant right now – today?
- Give feedback – immediately! If we send you ideas – get back to us within a few hours at most – not a few days or weeks. Social media doesn’t wait that long.
- Ask questions. For every “social media guru” out there who wants to impress you with their vast knowledge, and keep you in the dark so that they can continue to take your money and never make you the wiser – there are those of us who truly do want you to learn the how and why of what we do so that you can step in little by little over time and take over the reigns of your social media presence (if that’s what you choose to do). There will always be new avenues to explore and new social platforms to develop. But asking questions about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we’re getting it done just shows us that you’re invested in your business and in us. Ask away!
- Share your best practices. Just as we’re showing you the how and why of what we do, we need and want to understand your industry better. Tell us about your best practices – what makes you stand apart in your category? What’s different about your customers? What’s exiting about the field to you?
- Share your objectives. Sometimes these will change. And that’s absolutely okay. In fact, that means you’re meeting your objectives and moving on to greater challenges. Bravo! Sit down with your Social Strategist and come up with some new objectives. Devise a new plan and talk about how you want to reach those goals.
- Speak up. Whether you’re pleased with the results or disappointed, nothing can change unless you have the courage to discuss it.
- Put us in the loop. Social media MUST be a part of your Marketing strategy. Loop us in on meetings with your marketing team, just as you would (hopefully) bring in whoever heads up Sales. If you’re going to run a promotion on a product or service, for example, everyone from customer service to sales and social media must know about it, so that we can all shout it from the rooftops and talk the same talk to customers.
Don’t get me wrong… your Social Strategist should be a star in her own right – with experience, drive and know-how. But she needs your support to make magic! If you haven’t hired a Social Strategist (Social Media Manager…or whatever title you decide to give it) yet, some tips on what to look for: http://blog.bethmwood.com/hiring-a-social-media-strategist/.