Recently, Simply Measured released their State Of Social Media Marketing 2016 report, which stated that nearly 70% of social media teams contained just 1-2 people.
I find this incredible and it begs the question, do senior management still view social media in a poor light; as a fad; as a trend that will soon disappear?
If not, why is there so little in the way of resource afforded to what has become one of the foremost channels for marketing communication.
It seems it's still viewed as a small, bolted-on segment to the greater marketing machine.
Nothing wrong with that per se as social media marketing works best in tandem with a website, content, and so on, but it needs the proper resources to be truly effective.
It needs to be believed in, loved and a nurtured.
Consider, for a example, a business that decides, "We need to do social media," because everyone else, including their competitors, are.
It makes sense to be in that same space, right?
Then they appoint the office junior to post a few tweets and set up a LinkedIn profile, or have the marketing consultant tack it on to their already busy work day.
But not to worry, you just need to post a few times a day and then go back to your more important work.
Of course, they probably haven't considered the following:
Content creation Content creation Scheduling Analytics Monitoring Crafting messages/images
Obviously not an exhaustive list, but anyone who's spent time scheduling (and I know you all have!) is well aware of what a mind-numbing job it can be.
Yes, there are automation tools available and you can streamline your work to a certain extent, but in my experience social media is very much a FULL-TIME JOB. Try asking a social media manager if they've ever really taken a holiday !
And if you're running a number of channels, marketing to different segments, time zones, demographics, you use at least one social platform for customer service, and so on.....well, resources become even more important.
So, how is it possible to get buy-in from senior management when it comes to resources?
There are two options: data and education.
Analytics tell a very compelling story about your social media marketing efforts.
Through data you can demonstrate where you're successful, where opportunities lie and, most importantly if you're trying build an argument for more resources, where the pain points are.
There are many fantastic tools, many free (Twitter's own analytics, for example) that can help you build a robust data-driven argument.
The alternative is education. The reason for a lack of resources is often due to a lack of understanding. One-to-ones with senior members of staff can really help build relationships.
If they understand what you do, why you do it, the value it brings the company and the resourcing challenges that social media marketing throws up, the greater the chance of getting those resources.
The fact of the matter is, social media marketing is now at the forefront of digital marketing, but it's still not as widely acknowledged as it should be.
Because of this the resources aren't readily available.
It's up to the social media expert to ensure that this doesn't remain the case.
The part-time social media marketer is becoming a thing of the past.