Approximately 40% of the world’s population is connected to the internet, the growth of which you can view live here.  “In 1995, it was less than 1%.  The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013.  The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014”, according to the same source.  Back in 2004, an article in Entrepreneur magazine outlined why any business needs to be online.  Trends since then reflect in exponential terms why this is much more true today – and will increasingly be so.

Businesses need a sophisticated online presence

The question of whether your business should be online is clear.  However, the options for the form that presence would take are becoming more numerous and complex.  Given the rapid increase in the size of the internet audience and the multiplicity of potential social channels that might be deployed and utilized, businesses must become aware of all their online options to upgrade existing efforts or to begin new ones.

Any company considering an online presence will likely be asking itself:

  • What method should we use to promote ourselves online – a website, blog or more?
  • Which social media channels should be employed? YouTube, Twitter, WeChat, Weibo, Facebook, LinkedIn to name but a few.
  • What sort of content should be used?  Written? Visual? Audio?
  • How can and should new content be researched? Analyzing competitor data? Analyzing macroeconomic trends and applying them to ideal potential customers? Then how do we translate it into easily digestible “social” posts or broadcasts or videos?  Again, to name a few options.
  • And ultimately, to whom should you entrust your strategy, content production and social media management?

Why is the delegation of social media management important?

The public presence of your company on live, global, interactive (ie social) media — A 24/7 news cycle for business — is very important for seizing commercial opportunity.  But it can also be dangerous as social media is by definition public.  You will face danger if you’re not very careful in how you manage these very public channels.  For more information about those dangers, read GrantThornton’s paper on Social Media Risks and Rewards.  But delegating that social media management is not an easy task, as a recent article by Jonathan Gebauer (@jogebauer) explains.

What’s required of a social media manager?

The essence of Gebauer’s article is that social media management must be undertaken by someone with the maturity, gravitas, knowledge and skill set required to help your company navigate the pitfalls of social media while advancing your interests of engaging your ideal audience creatively and effectively everyday. Day in day out.   In particular, Gebauer points to the following attributes he see’s essential for a social media manager:

  • “A fair understanding [gleaned in a short period of time] of what defines your company and your company values”
  • The ability to “apply what you want to achieve and your company’s specific identity” to your social media efforts.
  • The ability to “work with advanced information that you probably can’t give [him or her] at the beginning.”

All these and more, I would argue, are imperative for the social media manager to be effective in an increasingly complex, global arena.

John Grimley provides clients with writing, editing, research and strategy services.  If you would like to discuss your specific needs — please complete the form below to arrange a time for a discussion:

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley provides custom communications services to professional services firms operating in international markets.

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