A bit of a heated battle has begun on the social media home front. Business developers have launched their own opinions into the mix about whether or not it is beneficial to have a dedicated social media department, as opposed to integrating your entire staff into a social media network in a collaborative effort.
Dedicated or Integrated?
There are instances that show both have had their benefits and detriments. However, it should truly be up to the business owner as to how they want to build their social media presence for their company. Many things can factor into this decision.
Net Savvy or No?
Obviously, if your company is full of anti-internet propagandist and other folks who get cranky when you ask them to manipulate anything more technologically advanced than a fax machine, you may need to begin to consider building a social media department that has members who are more knowledgeable, and less frightened about what it means to Tweet.
Size and Strength
A company with ten or more employees could obviously make an incredible social brand awareness impact by using integrated methods that has each employee playing at least one role in your social media networking and marketing campaign. However, if you have ten employees that are doing the jobs of thirty or more, it may be detrimental to add this vital part of your company’s online success to their workload.
Digitally Enhanced or Primitively Paper-Bound
If your company has little to no online presence, you certainly may want to delay creating an independent social media department for a while. If you are just now putting your company on the digital map, it could be beneficial to you, your business, and your future social media marketing, or SMM, department, if you go ahead and get your land-bound feet digitally immersed ASAP.
The Difference in Integration vs Dedicated Social Media Departments
The short explanation is that in an integrated department, your entire staff plays the role of your business branding social network. A dedicated department will have employees that handle nothing but your SMM campaign.
Pros and Cons of an Integrated SMM Department
The pros and cons may for this format of SMM department may tip the scales back and forth enough to make you dizzy.
Business owners do not have to hire more employees to achieve social media presence.
Employees with little or no SMM experience may be tossing their meager SMM efforts into Internet Purgatory, where they are never to be seen again.
Integrating SMM with your employee base can be a great way to build company morale and loyalty by allowing your staff to be the true voice of your company.
Employees with less refined social communication skills may have quick and irreversible negative effects on your company and your brand.
Don’t get me wrong, even the world’s largest social networking butterfly can have the same effects if they intentionally post negative information about your company, and probably with a wider reach, but it is a definite risk for a company if an employer lets cousin Bob announce his feelings about sensitive company information or use politically incorrect language on the company’s Facebook Fan page. I am not saying your cousin Bob would do that, but mine might, and therefore I wouldn’t ask him to Tweet for me, employee or not. Just sayin’!
There are a few definite, and possibly quite definitive, elements to a dedicated SMM department as well.
Employees who are dedicated to only an SMM department will either be well versed in what it takes to carry out a successful social media marketing campaign, or they will have the time to dedicate to the training required to learn this vital element in online marketing.
This means you have to hire more people. This can be the defining point for some, but if funding is all that limits you in launching at least an initial marketing campaign, you may want to consider outsourcing this work.
Dedicated SMM employees will not only have the time to manage your social networks, but will also keep well-informed of any trending information that can benefit your company directly.
Dedicated social media experts will not come cheap. In fact, for smaller companies, this position may be the highest earner on your payroll.
Of course, the decision always lies with the money makers, but in general, a company with fewer than fifty employees, may be able to greatly increase their social media presence by utilizing the integration method.
However, unless your product or service is highly-fueled by its own popularity, an effective social media marketing campaign for companies with over fifty employees, may be more effective, targeted, and focused if controlled by even the smallest dedicated social media department. Additionally, there are some highly effective freelance social media marketers out there. Paying one $10 to $15 dollars an hour a few hours a week can save you from the time and cost it takes to invest in a new in-house employee.