We receive questions as to the benefits of both these options and decided, “Why not? Let’s share our knowledge!”
You wouldn’t ignore your telephone would you? Nope. So why would you ignore the most rapidly growing communication method – a method that allows your customers to not only connect with you, but to connect with others? Simply put, businesses who want to be around in 5-10 years must start engaging in social media and figuring out how to use it as an effective communication tool and marketing medium.
Many small and mid-sized businesses have set up a social presence. They have presences on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and possibly even YouTube. But it’s obvious that many of these businesses do not have the time or the knowledge to utilize these tools effectively in their marketing. Does this scenario sound like you? If so, outsourcing may be the right choice. Read on to find out!
Is Outsourcing Your Social Media Management The Right Move For You?
“Will outsourcing save you time?” Let’s face it, managing a small or mid-sized business requires every ounce of your attention and efforts. The onerous task of adding a multi-platform online marketing campaign can seem a bit daunting. As businesses of all sizes continue to wrestle with this new world of marketing, they also find themselves struggling with the idea of whether or not they can even handle it all, if they should hire someone to take care of it, add the task of management to a currently employee’s task list or outsource the work.
To some, outsourcing your social media management might seem a bit odd. After all, why would you want to let someone outside your business manage your social media? They’ll be connecting with your potential customers, speaking on behalf of your company, sharing relevant information, answering questions on your products- the list goes on and on! While it may seem that these tasks would be better suited to someone internally at your company, our findings at SocialNicole have seen that small and mid-sized companies that try to manage their own social media 100% in-house often meet obstacles such as:
- Difficulties finding time each day to carve out and connect/engage with your community.
- Difficulties in keeping employees trained/updated on best social media management practices.
- Difficulties in keeping up with an editorial/marketing calendar.
- Difficulties and confusion related to staying on task with goals, messaging, etc.
Why does outsourcing social media marketing make sense?
Obviously, choosing to outsource your social media isn’t a simple decision. Here is some food for thought while you weigh out the options:
- Dedicated Daily Management. At SocialNicole we are committed 100%, 24/7 to your social media management. Because we are not diverted by other internal jobs, discussions, meetings and whatever else tends to pop up in day-to-day business, we can ensure that you get your messages out on your social media ASAP. After all, it’s our job.
- Time Saving. If you’re a small company with one or two owners, you need to decide how you want to spend your time. If you’re a mid-sized company with a team of employees you also need to decide where to spend your time. Managing an internal social media manager is not easy especially if you do not have extensive knowledge of social media and online marketing. Does it make sense to keep up with your social media on your own? Or would it benefit you more to outsource those services so that you can focus more on your business and what you do best?
- Content. A lot of social media relies on the ability to effectively communicate your message with your audience. If you don’t have the writing skills or creative ability to consistently push out communication that not only conveys an engaging message but catches your readers’ eye outsourcing it will make your life much easier.
- Saves Money. Yes you heard us, spending money to have an outsourcing company take care of your social media can save you a ton. It’s cheaper than hiring a new employee, training them and then monitoring them to make sure they are performing at peak. Paying a monthly fee to let an outside company manage and build your community is less expensive and will take less of your time than dealing with a new employee.
- Trained Professionals. Not just anyone understands the nuances of successful networking and building relationships online. By outsourcing you are assured that you have someone with a working-knowledge and experience of social media management working on your business. Social media management is not something you can do 5 minutes a day and expect results. You need someone dedicated to the cause- and whom truly understands it. Whatever you do, social media does have an expense. The decision you have to make is how you’re going to manage it.
How To Outsource Your Social Media Management
Above, we led you through how to make this decision. If you decide outsourcing is right for you the next big step is hiring the right company to outsource to. Selecting someone to represent your brand is a big deal, and it should not be taken lightly.
So how can you pick a social media/ digital marketing agency that is right for your company? Here are some pointers:
1. Experience – It is essential that when hiring someone to represent your brand you select someone who specializes in social media. This can be tricky as often many companies tack social media services onto their list of services. Oftentimes the same person doing SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and other tasks is also doing social media. Each of these areas is a specialty and to really know your stuff you need to be focused on one area. SocialNicole has experts who specialize in their own area – so your social media manager is not your SEO manager, and so on and so forth – they work together but each uses their own level of expertise to your advantage. Not to mention, this means more brainpower is devoted to their specific tasks!
2. Cost- You need daily activity on different social channels. But what does that mean? I am amazed at the number of companies that charge a very small fee to post daily – what does that mean? If they are posting only one thing and not talking to the community or interacting then your success is going to be minimal. Social media is more about interaction and constant community-building than the outright posts that push your message. It takes time to build lists, talk to people and keep a community going. Make sure you know exactly what is promised in that daily posting, and remember: You get what you pay for.
3. Strategy – Do you have one? You should. If a consultant or company is willing to take over your social media without some basic strategy and goals outlined I would question their approach. How will they know who to connect with, what to talk about and what to post and share? Your overall strategy for social media needs to be setup before you begin your outsourcing efforts. Or you should have the company doing your outsourcing setup a strategy that works for your budget, company etc. The level of strategy and cost can vary and will based on your business, budget, etc. A beginning social media strategy can run from $1000-$3000 and usually incorporates a bit of integration into other marketing. Advanced strategy with research into competitors, audience evaluation, integration into business marketing plans etc. can run from $6000 upwards. It really depends on the business, their needs and budget.
4. Editorial Calendar – Your company should have a basic editorial/marketing calendar in place before hiring someone to outsource. This is something that guides all your efforts – but is especially important for social media and online marketing. If you do not have one in place and the company does not suggest creating one or indicate it as a valuable piece for your success, I would question their effectiveness as a social media management company. It’s a great thing to add to your checklist when talking to potential candidates.
5. Oversight of accounts – SocialNicole has a terrific team of community managers that are highly skilled and continuously trained – but they do not exist on an island all by themselves. Their work is monitored and tracked by both a social media manager and director which is how we assure quality work. Our approach is a team effort and the dual roles we play ensure the clients get what they signed up for. Our ongoing commitments to both specializing in online marketing and our commitment to ongoing training and devotion to social media is what makes us unique. Look for a company that is fully committed to social media.
This concludes our series on hiring a Community Manager and Outsourcing- a series we have set up just for you! At SocialNicole take pride in our ability to bring you this valuable information on your quest for the perfect answers to your online marketing woes. If you still seek answers, feel free to contact us! Visit the rest of this series: Is a Community Manager the Solution You’re Seeking? 12 of ’12- Quick and Easy Tips for Hiring a Valuable Community Manager Photo Credit 1 Photo Credit 2