I’ve emphasized the central role social media plays in business. Business players or public figures can’t effectively engage with the public without being on social media. Social media has significantly eclipsed other print and electronic media. Most Zimbabweans are now active on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Most people don’t have the technical expertise to effectively harness these platforms’ features in strategic ways. This presents us with a budding area of business endeavour that is vastly untapped locally. Herein I’m outlining how you can start your own social media management business.
Approaches To Social Media Management
The concept is to assist other businesses or individuals (such as celebrities or public figures) to manage their social media accounts. The focus can be from putting up their social media accounts to actually administrating the day-to-day running of their social media campaigns. Whilst you can start solo but as your clientele grows the workload becomes overwhelming and you would need a team. You must have a comprehensive understanding of the makeup and inner-workings of the various social media platforms. You don’t necessarily need to go to school for this as you can acquire vast information through research and study. Most of the articles I’ve done before actually cover vital areas pertaining to social media management.
Obviously, you must have active social media accounts and a website. Actually, your social media accounts must be reflective of the fabric your business offers. Here is my point; you can’t pitch the idea of managing a business’ social media accounts when your own accounts don’t reflect your value proposition. Having your own website is prerequisite as always, but you must also be able to develop simple one-page websites (for specific campaigns). Better still, you might want to have a connection to a web developer or web services providers. Why is this important? A successful social media campaign cannot run without a landing page (which tends to be a website) – which is central to the actual conversion process.
The other components you’ll need are relevant computer hardware and software. Internet connectivity mechanisms are always a must-have. You must also have multimedia consumables (i.e. audio-visual gear and software) plus social media listening tools (e.g. BrandWatch). This is because social media management will obviously entail the creation and curation of relevant content.
I pointed out that you can start solo but that sort of limits you. Adopt the 4-member team ideology that I always talk about. Your team must have the visionary, the innovator, the customer guru and the rainmaker. Depending on your skillset you could start off as a two-member team (so long the 4 areas are adequately catered for). When a social media management business becomes full throttle it’ll have resident web developers, graphic designers, multimedia experts, customer service experts and so on. Ideally, starting off with at least 2 and at most 4 individuals is strategic and less likely to mount stress on financial resources. The secret in making the team lean in size is by outsourcing other needed services.
The startup costs can be quite lean depending on how you choose to start the business. The business idea is flexible enough for you to explore ways in which you can limit costs at the onset. You can then always systematically scale up in line with business performance and growth rate.
Social media management as a business is now main-stream, especially in developed countries. Here it’s still far removed from that and will require that you pitch the concept to prospective clients. This essentially means that the market for this business is still fallow and wields huge business prospects. The ones who will succeed in offering and convincing people to pay for such services will make lots of money.
Get your business formally registered. The other thing to be wary of is adhering to copyright laws – since you’ll be dealing with content creation, curation and propagation. You must also be on the lookout for the emergence of new laws and regulation. Social media dynamics are part of the internet which is periodically characterised by the coming in of new laws and regulation. Pay particular attention also to data privacy laws and ensure you don’t infringe people’s rights to privacy.
Networking (with for instance print and electronic media players) is key for this business to be highly visible. Invest in building user-generated content and social proofs so as to increase brand visibility and promote referrals. Be diligent in staying abreast with emerging trends and coming up with cutting edge reproducible social media strategies. There is a wealth of knowledge out there to learn from in order to build this business locally. Take time to study case studies and business models used by such successful businesses in other developed countries.