Do you know the difference?
This is where most business owners struggle with Social Media.
Some businesses combine advertising with their social media management in the hopes that they can save time, resources, and money. Sadly it’s like having a Siamese Cat and a Golden Retriever. The kitty is not going to chomp down on a pig's ear or fetch the tennis ball from the lake and the retriever jumping up onto your window sill without sending everything flying, or even worse using the litter box, is not what we love about our companions. Training them to cross over really isn’t worth the time and trouble. Everyone is happier when accepted and loved for what and who they truly are.
Let’s dive in.
Social Media Management
We are talking about your social feed. Your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or TikTok business page. It’s hard to like a page that is one sales pitch after another and why would you ever hit follow. So, do you sell on your news feed? Yes, there is a bit of sales talk going on but more often than not your goal is brand awareness. This requires your message to be clear without the hard sales pitch. Be subtle, but by all means, be honest about what you want people to do and mark your posts clearly with your brand or logo, and end with a call to action. Even if it’s a simple gratitude post, don’t miss the opportunity to call out to your people to spread the love. It’s a fine line between sales and brand it requires a lot of content to keep it fresh and interesting. Gaining followers can be a monumental task. You need to always ask, “What’s in it for them?’”
There are two distinct types of page management.
One is to create content for connecting to the people who want and need your services. These people are curious about who and what you are. They want to see if you are alive and kicking. So testimonials, images of what you offer, and creating visions of what you can do for them. Here is where you shine in customer service and/or loyalty, add some special offers to gain followers. Consistency wins here.
The second is to create a community. Do you have clients that use your services regularly? Do they like to share their experiences? Johnson and Johnson in the earlier days of Social media groups grew one of the largest audiences with Mommy and Me. There were no sales directly through Mommy and Me, it was purely moms sharing information for new moms, sponsored by J & J. This is where you can grow your organic reach by engaging people with common interests.
When these are done successfully they can lead to brand awareness that is off the charts with little or no ad budget. But and it’s a big BUT, be prepared for the cost of creating a lot of content to attract your potential customers and then daily to hourly monitoring to keep the conversation going.
Social Media Advertising
Your ad budget may be straining the pocketbook but hands down this is the easiest way to reach people. Why? Because none of these platforms are free. Adverting is what feeds the beast. So, they, the big platform gods in the all-mighty web, do advertising well. Your message will get seen and heard. Even with the new iOS 14 changes. The heyday of open-source data for targeting users has come and gone but make no bones about it, the data is there. Only who and how it is accessed has changed. And yes, you can pay for the access.
Be prepared, an advertising account can be difficult to set up. Both Google and Meta are complex and have many security levels to keep out fake accounts. Get used to two-party authentication and strong passwords. Make a mistake and it may be months before your ad runs properly. You may not know if your account has been tagged. I had this happen years ago with a play on a Big Water. - “Test the Waters” Campaign. It kept getting flagged as political and I could not figure it out until I realized they thought I was talking about Flint, Michigan. I changed the name and the ad ran the next day.
Why advertise? Once the ad is created the work is done. There can be little or even no engagement except the call to action. No daily or hourly monitoring. The content creation and posting are minimal compared to an organic campaign. I check in on my ad sets once a week to see how they are performing and to see if it is time to tweak or change the ad.
It's your choice on how you see your social media. If you are a natural at posting and you like doing it by all means go for it. If keeping your social feed up is wearing you down then hire a manager to post and engage. If you really want to expand your reach you will need to hire an advertiser. The services range here, from just ads on single platforms to full agency marketing campaigns across many platforms. At BWCI we are the step before a full agency, we create and post for our clients, the line being engagement campaigns which take daily to hourly monitoring to be done properly.
Hope I shed some light on the difference between a social media manager vs. an advertiser.
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