By Carrie Corcoran Many business owners wish to embrace social media and they want to do it on their own terms. Nine times out of 10, they are so busy with the day to day of running a business that they do not have the time or patience to keep up with it. Here is one such story and the lessons learned.
Joan is a small business owner with a fitness studio. She wanted to embrace social media, so she met with local consultants to get quotes. She was shocked at the hourly rates they were asking. The consultants warned her against using low-end alternatives. However, convinced she could handle writing content herself, she ignored their advice and got an intern for $8/hour to schedule her Twitter and Facebook posts.
Joan quickly realized that on top of $8/hour, she was investing valuable time managing the new hire. Even more challenging was constantly coming up with fresh content. In a matter of weeks, Joan couldn’t think of a single thing to Tweet; meanwhile her competitors were running circles around her establishing their communities and engaging their prospects with stimulating content.
Then the intern accidentally posted something to Joan’s personal Facebook page which was inadvertently linked to her Twitter business page. Worse, because the intern didn’t correct it, Joan found out about the mishap later from a Twitter contact! By then, the damage had been done. The unprofessional, inappropriate message had alienated some prospects, so they stopped following.
What did she learn from this not–so-great experience?
- You get what you pay for.
- It takes a lot of time and effort to handle social media.
- Having someone in-house requires training and managing them too.
- Monitoring content and what people are saying about you is crucial.
- If professionals had been managing and monitoring Joan’s social media content, they would have taken the steps necessary to quickly fix the situation.
- The biggest lesson that she learned: it is worth hiring professionals.
Have you had a similar experience?