Social media has a kind of commoditized feel these days. It shouldn’t, but it does. Truth be told, it’s not expensive or difficult to have an in-house intern keep up with tweets and posts. The problem is that this low-cost, keep the lights on approach is everything that’s wrong with social media marketing in the first place.
While in-house talent will often keep the volumes of posts up, the output is just as I described in the first sentence of this post… it’s commoditized. These resources often lack the experience necessary to drive real creative, let alone orchestrate an interesting social conversation with your audience. I know it goes against conventional wisdom. After all, these interns (or at best entry-level team members) are often millennials, and it’s been long thought that they know social media better than any age group. After all, they grew up with it.
The challenge is that while this millennial population grew up with social media, they don’t have the muscle or firepower required to develop meaningful orchestrated campaigns. Not because they are not talented in their own right, but rather because they have the resources that were put into the program (i.e., just them) to work on it.
The most impactful social media marketing campaigns on the web today have millennials involved. The difference is that they’ve got the creative resources behind them via an agency setting to drive real programmatic and creative social campaigns. The kind that creates the potential for real brand building, and perhaps even viral programming at the scale that’s right for your business/industry.
It’s the agency specialist that get how this whole thing works. The digital agencies that specifically focus on this space know the tricks of the trade. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of what’s moving these all-important conversations forward.
In the end, I see two strategies to managing a brands social channels. The commoditized approach and the strategic driven by agency specialists. From my POV, in many cases, it may be more harmful than helpful to continue along with the commoditized one. You don’t want your brand to be noise. You want it to be a symphony.