Social media is often touted as a simple, free way for small businesses to brand themselves. But it can definitely take a full-time employee to man the Web and all its social media tools for your business. Cari Sommer, co-founder of Urban Interns, said hiring a social media intern or freelancer is the perfect way for small business owners to be cost-effective and still utilize all that social media has to offer, without adding stress to their staff. Here are Sommer’s tips for leveraging these workers to get the most out of social media.
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No 1: Be specific. Hiring an intern or freelancer to work specifically on social media is great, but once they are working for you it’s time to get specific, Sommer said. With so many social media channels available, the details need to be clear. “You need to really identify the channel you want them to work across. Will it be specifically on your blog or engaging your Facebook fans?” she said. “Stay away from broad statements.”
No 2: Identify your message. Once your method is pinpointed, it’s time to clarify the message you want your supporters and customers to be receiving. This can work well for small business owners, too, by allowing them to plan content ahead to maximize search engine optimization. “Ideally it’s creating a calendar of topics to be blogging about and the types of stories you think are important,” Sommer said. “It’s a dual benefit for you as a business owner.”
No. 3: Tracking results. Having a plan is a great first step, but it is also vitally important to measure its success, Sommer said. “If you want to generate more traffic to the site or lead to more sales, set what your goal is from the outset,” she said.