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The Truth About Social Media Marketing (Read This Before You Hire a Social Media Manager)


The allure of social media is undeniable. Its potential to connect, engage, and propel your brand into the limelight is a siren call that businesses can’t resist. But before diving headfirst into the social media universe, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a social media manager, let’s manage a few expectations so you know what you’re getting yourself into first…

🙅🏻‍♀️ Social Media Marketing Isn't About Sales

If you’re rolling out the same ol’ sales pitches and “Buy Now” commands on social media, it’s time to hit the brakes. Social media isn’t just a platform to promote your products and services. People go on social media to be entertained, inspired, informed, or connected. And the question is, how can you fit into that?

Imagine if your daily scroll was inundated with product, after product, after product. Yawn, right? If your entire account reads like a sales pitch, don’t be surprised if potential followers fail to hit the follow button.

When crafting your perfect social media strategy, don’t treat your profile like a catalog or a checkout page. That’s the endgame. Social media is just the start of a journey, the top of the marketing funnel where you cast your net wide to snag attention and stir curiosity.

Which leads me to my next point…

🧩 Social Media is Just Part of the Puzzle

Relying on social media alone for your marketing strategy isn’t going to cut it. It works best as part of a wheelhouse of marketing that includes a captivating website decked out with SEO, engaging email marketing, some personal networking mojo, and a sprinkle of paid ads. (The formula is unique for each business, but you get the gist.)

It might be oh-so-tempting to leap onto the social media stage without a second thought, I mean, if a business isn’t on social media, does it even exist? But before jumping into the world of hashtags, viral trends, and funny filters, remember to look at the bigger picture.

So, if you don’t start with social media, where do you start? Here’s your answer…

📬 Email First, Social Media Second

When it comes to ROI (return on investment), social media takes a backseat. The real ROI is in email marketing. That’s where the conversion magic happens. 

Now, I get it. Email doesn’t have the same glamorous appeal and opportunities to claim fame as social media. And yes, those promotional emails from other businesses can sometimes feel really annoying. But here’s the thing: those emails mean business— literally.

Before you start on social, take a long, hard look at your email strategy. Think of email as the seasoned sales rep who crafts and delivers a strategic masterpiece guiding potential customers toward that glorious “Buy Now” button.

And the puzzle piece that links it all together? That’s your lead magnet. You know, those tantalizing free or low-cost offers that make people go, “I need this in my life NOW.” And then, bam, they’ve given over their precious email addresses. Pair your lead magnet with a well-formulated email automation, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for sales.

So, here’s a pro tip before you go all-in on social media: make sure you’ve your email game is strong. Lead magnet? Check. Your lead magnet to upsell automation? Double-check. And a monthly newsletter to top it off? Triple-check! This email marketing trio forms the backbone of your marketing funnel, moving leads from curiosity to the checkout page.

🎨 Organic Growth is an Art Form

What is “organic” growth on social media? It’s all about publishing premium content, nurturing authentic interactions, and creating strategies that sing without the use of paid ads and promotions.

Much like disco, some people might say “Organic reach is dead.” But let me set the record straight— not in this house! Organic reach is still alive and kicking, it just takes a little more time and elbow grease to get there.

Generating successful organic growth on social media takes a lot of creativity— a certain je ne sais quois. Social media trends are always changing, and whatever the algorithm gods desire today could be totally different tomorrow. As social media evolves, sometimes it might feel like taking one step forward and two steps back, but it’s all just part of the game! One world social media managers know all too well is pivot, pivot, pivot. 

We all know that good art is about more than just creativity, it’s also about developing finely tuned techniques and die-hard dedication to delivering top-tier results over, and over, and over.

So whether you are that DIY business owner handling social media management all on your own or if you’ve got a social media manager on your side, brushstroke by brushstroke, creating a successful social media masterpiece takes time, creativity, and dedication.

💸 Splurge on Paid Ads

When we talk about “paid” strategy, we’re talking about investing in advertising and promotions. In essence, paid social media involves spending money to amplify the visibility or performance of your posts beyond organic reach. (FYI, this does not include the money you spend to hire a social media manager.)

As a small business owner, it’s always a juggle between, “Do I want to spend more time or do I want to spend more money?” Although protecting your bottom line and increasing P&L is always top of mind, let me offer a word of advice: splurge on paid ads.

Now, hear me out. Why is it that people tend to give the cold shoulder to social media ads? Maybe it’s the misconception of it being a pricey affair or the thought of padding Mark Zuckerberg’s pockets. But the thing is, they work, and at a fraction of the cost it takes to achieve the same thing with organic growth. I’m not saying throw organic strategy out the window, but you can supplement it with a boost from paid advertising as part of a holistic strategy.

Think about it this way: What’s an hour of your time worth? And if you’re hiring help, what’s an hour of their expertise worth? While I love the art of organic strategy (it’s the heart of winning at social media) the truth is that reaching those marketing milestones come a easier and faster with a well formulated paid promotion.

💬 Engagement is Just as Important as Content

Engagement is THE secret sauce to social media. Period. If you’re wondering why your social media presence is falling flat instead of going as viral as Kim Kardashian’s— well, TBH it’s because you’re not a celebrity but for the sake of maintaining my metaphor— then it’s time to take a serious look at your engagement strategy.

So don’t just post and ghost. The algorithm has a nose for no-shows. It’s got this uncanny ability to sniff out who’s putting in the effort and who’s simply pulling a vanishing act. It wants to know if you’re here for the long chats, the hearty laughs, and the thought-provoking discussions. The more people you connect with, the more people the algorithm will show your content to. By taking the time to invest in creating conversation, you’ll be showered with rewards in terms of organic reach and opportunities for growth.

⏳ Social Media is a Big Time Commitment

In our personal lives, social media is the virtual hangout where we catch up with pals and share laughs. But being a social media manager isn’t all rainbows emojis and dancing gifs. It’s a whole universe of intricacies that goes far beyond the average snap-and-post.

You might think it’s all about crafting content, and yes, that’s a significant piece of the puzzle. But you also have to consider engagement, continuous comment and inbox monitoring, researching topics, researching trends, researching competitors, reading and delivering analytics, influencer marketing, managing public relations, etc., etc., etc.

And if you’re considering hiring a social media manager, don’t assume you can just “set it and forget it.” You’re basically hiring someone to transform into a mini expert on all things “you.” Your SMM will thank you profusely if you take the time to share your gems of wisdom, fulfill their requests for photos and videos, offer polite and constructive feedback, lend an eye to proofreading, and are available to answer those curveball questions that slide into the DMS.

🔥 Social Media Marketing Can Lead to Burnout

Social media marketing isn’t just a light stroll in the park; it’s more like a marathon that can leave you gasping for air if you don’t pace yourself. While it might seem like a breezy, fun job from the outside, the truth is, it’s a lot of work!

Imagine constant pings, notifications, and emails on your devices 24/7. Even if you commit to only answering them during certain business hours, or filter your notifications, those pesky little buggers still find a way to sneak into your awareness.

There’s also what I like to call the “content creation hamster wheel.” It’s like a non-stop cycle, where you’re running, and running, and running, all while asking yourself, “What new ideas do I have this month? How can I spice this promotion up? What will make this even more captivating than the last time? How can I say the same thing again, but different?” It’s a constant competition to stand out and keep your audience’s attention in a world full of distractions, all while delivering praiseworthy results.

📈 Social Media Marketing is an Investment

As small business owners, the currency of concern often boils down to two key factors: time and money. Do you roll up your sleeves, invest your time, and save some money, or do you open your wallet and hire help to save precious time? Regardless of the path you choose, one thing is certain: social media management is an investment. 

Even if you’re just dipping your toes into the social media pool with a few weekly posts on select platforms, add the time spent planning and engaging, and suddenly you’ve morphed into a part-time social media manager. Now, imagine cranking it up a notch with daily posting and engagement across several platforms; it becomes an even more substantial time and potentially financial commitment.

Keep in mind that when it comes to full-fledged multi-platform strategies, large businesses have entire teams dedicated to just social media!

So whether you’re DIYing your social media strategy alone or partnering with a professional, the name of the game is setting realistic expectations about what is affordable and achievable for you as a small business. 

I say all of this with the best and most loving of intentions because I want to make sure that any investment you make is well spent! And that you and your social media manager are set up for success. 

Now that you’ve had an inside look at the world of social media marketing, if you’re still fired up and ready to go,  give us a shoutout, and let’s talk SMM. Or if you’re thinking about taking a step back, focusing on nurturing your email list, crafting that irresistible lead magnet, and setting up those automations, we’ve got you covered with email marketing services.

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Level Up Your Marketing

From social media management, to email marketing, and website design, Vibes Media Co is your one stop shop for all of the help you need to win at digital marketing. 


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