Social media can be a powerful tool for generating sales leads, reducing recruiting costs and improving relationships with clients, prospects and candidates.
And it can also be completely overwhelming!
LinkedIn. Facebook. Twitter. Blogging. Where do you start? And how can you find the time? No doubt, social media can be a huge time stealer--and when executed poorly, it can be a huge time waster. So what should you do?
Start with a Plan
Like any marketing initiative, the best results go to those with the best plans. The biggest mistake people make is that they jump in to building networks, tweeting and creating blogs without any real thought about their objectives. For example, if you're trying to generate sales leads, your strategy will be very different than if you're focusing on recruiting.
When planning, the first step is to define your goals. What business results are you hoping to accomplish with social media? Next, pick the tools that are best for your goals.
For example, if you're looking to generate sales leads, and your goal is to position your firm as a thought leader, then blogging, LinkedIn and online PR will probably be your top tools.
If you're looking to lower your recruiting costs, then your job board (the one on your website), job aggregators, Facebook and Twitter will be key tools.
(And if you have no idea where to start or what tools you can use, Haley Marketing will be happy to help...just give us a call at 1.888.696.2900).
But how do I find the time?
Once you have a plan in place, and you know the tools you need to use, social media can seem a lot less overwhelming. But they still require an investment of time. Most social media marketing campaigns require at least a few hours a week to execute. And when you're already swamped, how can you find the time?
Step 1: Divide and conquer
Can you find 30 minutes a day for social media? That's enough time to write a blog post, connect with people on LinkedIn, post status updates, and share content with others. By breaking down your weekly goals into small, manageable bites, you'll find it a lot easier to get everything done.
Step 2: Spread out the responsibilities
The nice thing about social media marketing is that anyone can do it--and everyone should! To make implementation easier, get everyone in your organization involved. Require everyone to write blog posts, contribute articles to their groups on LinkedIn, post comments to your company's Facebook page and use tools like Digg to bookmark content on your website. With a little training, anyone can be an effective social media contributor (and most of your people are probably on social media sites every night!).
Step 3: Automate
One of the most beautiful things about social media is that many of the tools can be integrated and automated. For example, you can automatically push new blog posts to Facebook and Twitter. You can have tweets appear as updates in LinkedIn. When setting up your social media marketing plan, look for ways to automate content distribution, so that you get the greatest “bang” for the time you invest.
Step 4: Outsource
Some people hate to write. Others just won't do it. And without regular content writing, no social media marketing campaign will succeed.
So why do it yourself?
Many staffing companies are outsourcing blog writing, PR development and other time-consuming parts of social media marketing. (Full disclosure, outsourced content writing has become one of the most popular services we offer at Haley Marketing).
By outsourcing, you can ensure consistent, professional content development. You can create a strong online presence while keeping your sales team focused on selling and your recruiters focused on filling orders. If you have people who want to contribute to your social media marketing efforts, they can still do so--without having to worry about meeting quotas or deadlines
- David Searns
David Searns is a member of the StaffingU Adjunct Faculty and is President of Haley Marketing Group, a relationship marketing services firm specializing in the staffing industry. Haley Marketing offers a unique relationship marketing process that helps staffing and search firms to stand out, stay top-of-mind, and win more business. They offer a range of services to satisfy the marketing needs (and budgets) of most types of staffing firms.
For more information about Haley Marketing, please visit www.haleymarketing.com.