For someone that makes a living managing social networks for businesses, this will sound like a contradiction…or at least a very public suicide.  But the truth must be told – businesses will do better with a more hands-on approach when managing their social profiles.

Now before you run off all the reasons why you can’t be bothered with it, let me give you a few reasons why simply leaving your social media up to an agency is not always the best way to go.

  1. You know your business better than an agency.
    Who better to talk about your business and craft the image of your brand in the online realms than yourself…or at least someone who works within your business?  No one knows your business and the image you are trying to portray than yourself.  “Don’t have time” is like saying that you don’t have time to build your brand or grow your business.  It’s that important.  If you can’t dedicate sometime or someone to the job, at least take an active role in its management with an agency.  Very few agencies will turn their back to the owners original content.  In fact, most would encourage participation.
  2. Your customers and potential customers can get a better feel for your brand.
    Anyone can sing a song, but it is still interesting to hear how the original writer would sing it.  There is something to be said for the “personality” of the brand.  Somehow someone on the other side of a computer screen is supposed to find you, decide if they like and trust you and then do business with you.  This is especially important if your business stresses a culture of relationship building with their customers.
  3. Faster and more authentic responses to customer complaints.
    This is great – unless you’re normally a hot head prone to cursing right back at an angry customer.  But if someone has a serious issue with the company, its nice to get a quick response to someone who could actually fix the problem or delegate it to someone that can.  Unless an agency is granted some form of authority, they’ll only be taking and forwarding messages to the decision-makers.

These are just a few, but I’m sure with more time we can come up with more.  Again, this post is not meant to bash the business that absolutely does not have time to learn or manage their social networks.  It is to encourage you to participate – if only with the agency doing the actual work – in managing your brand online.

Your turn:  What are some other benefits to a business being actively engaged with their social profiles?