By Candace Huntly
Social media isn’t new. It’s been around. It’s evolved. It continues to change… And marketers have to adapt at every step of the way. While some brands prefer to work with an agency or a freelance consultant to get social media done, others prefer to take a DIY approach. Neither approach is right or wrong, there is only whatever is right for you as a brand. And you should never feel pressured to make a decision either way!
Putting budget discussions aside (because that is a whole other discussion factor), if you are trying to make a decision on what approach will work best for you, here are 4 things you absolutely should know about social media.
#1: Batch creating content makes life MUCH easier
A lot of clients we speak with don’t realize that ANYONE can create content and schedule it ahead of time. Fancy (and not-so-fancy) scheduling software is often built for ease of use so anyone can use it. If you’re scheduling content, you can create content for a week, 2 weeks, a month ahead of time. That means that there is less pressure to remember to post every day and you can just focus on daily engagement to get to know your community better. This also means that you can get a better sense of the bigger picture WHILE you are creating content – think themes, colour blocks, etc.
There are a lot of free or low-cost social media schedulers you can try out to see if you like them. And many that cost a little more will have a free trial so you can decide if it works for you before you start paying. We have gone through a few different schedulers over the years as our needs changed as a marketing agency – which is also closely tied to the needs of our clients! The scheduling solution we use doesn’t necessarily make sense for an individual brand with a few social media platforms. And don’t forget that some platforms like Facebook and Instagram have built in scheduling capabilities for free – with no frills!
#2: You don’t need to be a graphic designer
In a perfect world, we would all know how to use fancy design software… This isn’t a perfect world, and social media sometimes happens quickly. So if you don’t have a graphic designer on your team it can be hard to go through the process of hiring someone every time you need to get something done. It can also be expensive to hire a graphic designer just to create simple designs for social media. Find an easy-to-use design software that you can use to create things like quotes and other social media images/videos. A really common one that is easy to use is Canva!
BEFORE YOU READ FURTHER: I am not saying graphic designers don’t bring incredible value to content creation – we work with them all the time! I am simply acknowledging that not everyone has the budget to have a graphic designer on board for the everyday stuff. If you’re wondering where to spend your marketing dollars, you should ABSOLUTELY allocate budget to work with a graphic designer for things like your logo, marketing materials, etc. Graphic designers have a good sense of what will work and what won’t. And most of them will bring great insight to your project about your target audience and what is trending! You could even consider working with a graphic designer to help you create templates to use on your own.
#3: Anyone can track data and make improvements
We’ve reached a point where if you’re NOT looking at any data related to your social media, you’re missing out and your strategy will suffer for it. However, while many agencies have access to expensive tracking software, you can also track your data the “old fashioned” way with a little extra time and an excel spreadsheet. The expensive software (and agency!) may be able to give you more insights and save you some (a lot of) time, but not everyone can afford it! Most social media platforms have basic insights you can track within the app itself.
#4: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing
Handing the social media reigns to an agency can be extremely helpful. It frees up so much time so you can then work on building your business in other ways – and providing superior customer service. However, handing the reigns over to an agency often comes with a larger price tag, not to mention the fact that you may not feel 100% comfortable giving up control just yet. Your agency partner should be open to different working relationships where you can do part of the work and they can do part of the work. For example, your agency could create content for you, but you will manage scheduling and daily engagement. When you work with someone you should always try to find someone – whether an agency, freelancer, or team member – that complements your strengths and fills your areas of weakness.
If you want to explore working with an agency to help you take your social media strategy up a notch, but you have no idea what to expect or where to start, book a free no-strings-attached consultation with us!