I was watching my 4 year-old prance around in a dinosaur dressing-up costume the other day and it made me think of an online discussion I had read a while ago. The discussion took place between several business owners and revolved around whether or not they thought that outsourcing their social media work was a good idea. The major argument against outsourcing was that several of the business owners felt uncomfortable with the concept of somebody else representing them to the wider world.

Is this something that you also feel is holding you back from using a social media manager? Maybe I can put your mind at rest!

A good social media manager will want to know all about your business – both the day-to-day and longer-term plans, aspirations and goals. They will want to be updated as to all your promotions, offers, product launches and the like. They will also find out from you how the use of social media is to fit into your current marketing strategy. And if you haven’t thought this through yet, then they can help with that, too!

The social media manager will want to know how your want your business brand to be portrayed – what type of personality is it to have? Is it to reflect your own personality or have a slightly different feel?

A large part of social media success is down to engagement with customers current, past and potential and the wider public. People can engage in a number of ways and, as a business owner, you can define the way in which you wish that engagement to take place – professional, chatty, humorous, warm, knowledgeable, offbeat….. The more you are able to think about this, in alliance with your social media manager, the more in control you become. In fact, this would be a very useful exercise to use even if you are planning to undertake your own social media marketing.

Even if you were to ask an employee to undertake the social media side of your marketing, would they be able to get the message across exactly as you want it without briefing?

Remember too that you can monitor what is being said on your behalf, so anything you’re not completely happy about you can get altered. Your social media manager will also be monitoring what is being said, but they will be looking at the effectiveness – ie. what are the posts/ interactions achieving in terms of actions? More clicks through to your website? More footfall in your stores? An increase in brand followers?

You will be able to put all this information together in order to continuously assess and tweak the way in which you are portrayed ‘out there’ with an expert to guide you as to the best way forward. This is the formula for achieving a successful social media campaign.

I’m hoping now that you are no longer concerned about the prospect of someone else ‘pretending’ to be you in the social media arena! There really is no danger of businesses developing ‘split personalities’ (unless, of course, that is a part of their strategy. It’s not a matter of dressing up, it’s a matter of being controlled, strategic, focussed and open to change. That’s the recipe for social media success!!