Social media has helped many a small business attract a big following. Tweet by tweet, and with every Facebook page update, entrepreneurs engage with prospective new customers and turn current ones into loyal fans.
As rewarding and just plain fun as it is to rack up the likes, retweets and replies, small business marketers often face an uncomfortable truth: Not everyone is cut out for social media.
Small and midsized businesses (SMBs) "know that they need to be on social media," Jeniece Primus, co-founder of Emphatic, which bills itself as an affordable social media team, told Small Business Computing. After all, a social media presence helps build customer loyalty, which results in repeat sales.
Unfortunately, it can come at a cost. "It's labor- and time-intensive to do social media," Primus said. Managing just a couple social media accounts can easily become a full-time job. Emphatic lifts that burden, allowing entrepreneurs to focus their efforts on growing their businesses.
Outsourced Social Engagement
Emphatic and its army of U.S.-based writers tailor promotional posts, curated content and updates to a customer's brand. A network of experts gets to know clients, the personality they wish to project, and the industries in which they operate. They also identify and engage influencers and tastemakers, setting the stage for a dialog with authoritative voices on social media.
"Not only is Emphatic designed to give you the consistent posting your business needs to make an impact, but our specially trained writers will also optimize the posts with the most up-to-date tactics proven to spur higher engagement," Primus explained in her introductory blog post.
She and her husband, Travis Choma, a mobile software developer and formerly of Mozilla, founded Emphatic to provide the social media equivalent of accounting, law and other specialized services for small businesses. Like any other discipline, effective social media marketing requires deep knowledge and expertise.
Fingers on the Pulse of Social Media
Emphatic also keeps up with the latest trends and behind-the-scenes technical changes so that small business owners don't have to. In general, the company's customers reclaim valuable time, said Primus. "They big win by using us; we keep track of what's working well on different networks."
In her post, she observed that "just like the rules that govern the other fields, social media best-practices are constantly in flux as the social networks change their designs and users become accustomed or just plain over-exposed to marketing and publicity." Emphatic prevents brands from falling into outdated and ineffectual habits.
It also helps that Emphatic's network of social media experts write professionally for a living.
Ask anyone who has spent half an hour staring at a blinking cursor waiting for inspiration to strike. The seemingly simple act of cobbling a handful of words together can be crushingly difficult—a situation made worse if writing isn't your strong suit.
Social Outsourcing with a Twist
Emphatic delivers handcrafted posts through its "feedforward" process (a play on the word "feedback"). Customers review proposed posts and can request further tweaks. After the all-clear, Emphatic publishes the updates via its platform, which currently supports Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Primus called the platform a "content brain that you can train." This two-way process provides the convenience of outsourced social media management while allowing businesses to "maintain the authenticity of being involved," she said.
Emphatic provides a no-cost, risk-free trial with six social media posts—no credit card required. Prices start at $99 per month for the Starter plan, which includes 50 social media updates, content scheduling, Bit.ly integration and email-based support.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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