Many businesses are quite confused about how to utilize and manage Social Media programs to increase their business. Some marketing & IT companies claim they know how to include Social Media, when they are really clueless. They merely set up a page for a client that remains inactive.
Interacting frequently with customers & prospects is imperative on all Social Media sites. Facebook & Twitter should be 1-3 times daily (depending upon your industry). Linkedin updates should be a few times per week. And, marketers need to follow up daily on responses to keep the conversations flowing.
Social Media should not be used for pure advertising but rather to get conversations going and informing prospects & clients about news related to your products or industry. It can be a great way of surveying your customers about current or potential future products or services.
If you can't keep engagement going yourself, there are ways to get help. Hiring an employee who specializes in Social Media can be expensive. Delegating Social Media assignments to a staff member that is not knowledgable about the process is wasting their productive work time. Reading books & attending classes on the subject is very time consuming.
Outsourcing to a local certified Social Media Specialist is a good option for establishing & running a program for you. But be aware of current certifications, not an old college degree. Internet Marketing is changing rapidly, and specialists need to aware of how it effects their clients.
A professional should be able to establish a good overall marketing strategy that will link Social Media efforts with websites and e-mail marketing campaigns. Reputation Managment is also important to help quickly find & diplomatically handle negative online comments about your company, plus reward good comments (and possibly use as a testimonial).
A good marketing service should provide an initial free consultation along with recommendations about what they can do for your company. You may want to talk to a few services specializing in Internet Marketing to determine the right service for you.