Learning Hub | Social Media
Should You Outsource Your Social Media?
September 9, 2016 | Jon Teodoro
Dinner conversation from 1960:
Dad: “What did you learn at school today?”
Son: “We learned about pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.”
Flash forward nearly 60 years:
Mom: “How was your day?”
Daughter, son, husband and dog: silence...
Are people around you glued to their phone screens so much so that dinner conversation has gone the way of the dinosaur?
Social media is an extremely important aspect of marketing for today’s businesses. The numbers and all of those phone-fixed faces prove it’s true. This marketer’s dream tool can help you reach the largest audience for the lowest price tag.
But, you may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t have the time, energy or desire to be active on social media, and someone needs to be coherent around the dinner table. (What if zombies attack?!?) However on the other hand, I sure could use the business exposure.”
Well, we are here to tell you that you can have your spaghetti and eat it, too. That is, you can reap the benefits of a social media marketing campaign without having to do much work so you can still enjoy dinner with your loved ones.
You just have to get someone else to do the work for you.
Outsourcing Social Media Management
It isn’t all about not wanting to spend time on social media. For many of us, that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Even if you don’t mind running social media accounts for your business, successfully managing and staying up-to-date with fresh content across all channels takes up a lot of time. And, as a business owner, time is precious. The smaller the business, the more precious.
Social media management is an area where you can get some help and dole out your time elsewhere – where it is more beneficial to your business as a whole.
Outsourcing isn’t just handing off your phone to the nearest teenager. There are whole departments of marketing companies with teams of professionals that have an in-depth understanding of social media platforms, know how to utilize them with best practices and understand branding from a business perspective.
Relying on hard data, these consultants know the best time to post on each app for optimal views. They also know every social avenue down which they can gain audience members, stimulate activity and generate viable leads for your company.
The best thing about this specific handoff is that you can see everything just by looking at your different profiles, so accountability and access to visible results are high. Plus, reliable professionals should check in with you, keeping you updated on what they’re posting and why.
You may hand over the reins, but you don’t have to get out of the wagon. Open dialogue with your social media consultant is crucial. At the end of the day, you have the say, but also remember that you sought help for a reason so find a company that you trust, and then trust them.
Still a little nervous about outsourcing? Follow the checklist below to make sure that you pick a trustworthy and experienced firm:
- Give them a Google.
- See if they are in the news or if other reputable websites are linking to them.
- See if they have testimonials.
- Testimonials are an awesome tool to judge a business. Just be sure to notice if they seem fraudulent. Testimonials on a business’ own site are great, but look elsewhere, too. Are they rated on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List?
- Check out their social media profiles.
- If you are trusting a consultant to take over your social media, the least you would expect is for his/her media presence to be dynamite…so check it out. Social media is a good place to see what people are saying about companies, too. With shares, likes, retweets and comments, you can get a good idea about a product or service. After all, people don’t typically hold back on the Internet.
- Call and ask to speak with someone.
- Get a good feel for the company’s work ethic and attitude by asking an employee some direct questions. Ask about things like pricing, past successes and how they will tailor your social media accounts precisely to suit your business.
Reasons to Outsource
If you are still on the fence, we get it. Handing any aspect of your business over to someone else can be scary.
But, in this age of constant connection and innovation, there are so many ways to market your business, and managing all of those avenues for optimal revenue is damn near impossible.
Think about well-known corporations like Coca-Cola that have whole departments for each little aspect of their business. You probably can’t compete with that, and you don’t need to. But outsourcing a few tasks can help you stay healthy across all avenues. Wouldn’t you rather optimize marketing across the board with help than be half-assed in every area on your own?
Don’t stretch yourself too thin – we have a tendency to do that, did you know?
The choice is yours. Maybe you’re a social media wiz but if you’re not, here are some reasons that we think you should consider outsourcing.
- Social media consultants know the landscape better than anyone. As we mentioned above, you aren’t handing over your passwords to some teen running around catching Pokémon. A trustworthy firm is made up of professional employees that have degrees in marketing or a related field and understand the importance of social media from a business perspective.
- As Hubstaff blogger Dave Nevogt writes, “A social media agency or consultant cannot afford to be a Jack-of-all-trades or a master of none.” Essentially, one teammate isn’t going to be solely responsible for all of your accounts. Companies are made up of teams that meet regularly to brainstorm and test ideas for each of your social media platforms. Social media interactions need to be monitored and compared on a weekly basis to see what is working, what isn’t and how they can improve upon posts for optimal views, shares, likes, etc. Data is collected and measured.
- They offer an outside perspective. When you are wrapped up in your business, you see your products or services in a specific way…much like that of a proud parent. Coming from this perspective isn’t always advantageous to communicating effectively with your target audience. Although any social media consultant worth his/her salt will get to know your brand and business inside and out, they still offer an objective, outside perspective when writing content and posting online.
- They love social media. You’ve got to give it to these folks…they love social media.
- Transparency. We touched on this above. To check in and see how often your consultants are posting, what they are saying and how they are representing your brand, you simply have to click. By having immediate access to your sites from mobile, tablet and desktop devices, you can check in regularly to make sure that they are doing what they tell you they’re doing. No surprises.
At the end of the day, the decision to outsource is yours.
So, should you?
Well, it can be quite beneficial for the reasons listed above, but there really is no right or wrong way to go about it.
You need to look at your business model, see where money is coming and going, and understand your workforce. How many tasks is each person responsible for currently? Where is time spent? Is there any extra? How present on social media do you want to be?
The answers to questions like these and an overall understanding of your company’s responsibilities will lead you to your correct solution.
Outsourcing social media can be a wonderful way to lighten your load a little. By finding a company that you trust, you can have faith that your media presence is strong without having to worry about constant updates, shares and likes.
Outsourcing will allow you to be screen-free more often, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get those dinner conversations back. Heck, you can hire an outsourcing company for your family members’ accounts, too! (Only kidding….this isn’t a perfect world.)