Social media: Should I do it myself, or outsource?
I have several social media pages for my business, and it's quite a lot of work to maintain. Should I hire a social media expert to improve or maintain them, or should I just work on them myself? What are the pros and cons to hiring a social media expert? My main concern is that a freelancer I hire may not get as good of a grasp of the ins and outs of my industry and what makes my particular business unique. What are your thoughts?
You're right on both counts. Social media quite a lot of work. And outsourcing can be questionable. It helps to find someone who is capable, highly experienced, and willing to truly understand and support your business. I like to work as a team with my clients, so that they feel I'm an extension of their business. Creating a regular dialogue and great ongoing communication is essential, too, wouldn't you agree? Would be happy to discuss in greater depth. ~ Susan susan(@)allsocial(dot)biz
First, if this is isn't your forte, then stop doing it. Second, if this is preventing you from working on your business (contributing to your bottom line), then stop doing it.
I know several professionals here in New Mexico who outsourced their social media work to experts, both local and on the other side of the country. With training, open dialog, and clearly stated expectations, etc., you, like them, can also hand off this task.
Both. You can't give the full responsibility of your SM campaign to an expert. The main reason being you need to be in touch with your potential clients as well to see what they are saying and want as well. Ask yourself the question "why am I doing this? Is it solely an SEO strategy or do I really want to engage with my customers. There are huge advantages in outsourcing part of it but be sure to engage with the clients as well - socially
I thought of answering this but this article explains so well. http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2013/03/19/should-you-outsource-social-media-or-do-it-yourself/2/
Well, herein I would say you could move forward with the social media yourself, as there isn't anything which is up to that much hype which a normal user can't handle. So, rather than thinking much about it just go for it own your own. I am sure you must be having a Facebook account, so just do the same thing which you usually do with you personal account, i.e. updates, sharing pictures ... etc. Just the difference in this would be here you are working with the site.
PS: Subscribe your self to SMO groups over the Google and you will get to know what's going on over the Social Media Optimization.
I prefer to do it by yourself will impact good for your business. If you hire a freelancer he dont know exactly the marketing pitch of your business or it may take some time for him to know about it. Still then he will do it roughly. Next he just wants to submit your resources to give your report. But not exactly he dont know when it has to be and where it has to be posted on time. Social media is very easy to use when you have make some time to spread your news.Because you know what the exact pitch of your business. So plan accordingly and act on it.
If you know how to do it do it or else hire some expert and provide them to do it..
Hiring expert will help your business to grow, which can bring good ROI..
Whenever you hire a freelancer (just like an employee) you have to allow time for them to "get up to speed" on your business and "voice." You also need to select the right person who "gets" what you're doing and why.
When trying to decide whether to outsource tasks or to continue to do them yourself, you HAVE to look at the value of your time and whether or not doing the tasks you could outsource are keeping you from focusing and growing the "big picture." If you earn $100 per hour and you can hire an experienced freelancer for $30/hour, it's obviously a better deal to let someone else focus on those tasks/details while you focus on the activities that are directly income- and growth-related to your business.
Time is finite and as a business owner you MUST decide what activities are the VERY BEST use of your time and what administrative or day-to-day tasks should be delegated so you can stay focused on your passion, your business.
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Being a social media marketer myself If you feel that you do not have the time to manage and maintain your pages then for sure you should outsource but you must make sure that you have vetted your freelancer with great care and find someone who knows exactly what they are doing. The last thing that you want to do is throw money away on a sub-par marketer.
If you have any other questions or need some advice feel free to reply to me posting.
Thanks and good luck,
Definitely hire a social media professional!
Pros: it's their day job! And as such, since the social media world is constantly evolving, a good social media professional will keep him/herself on top of their game to make sure they incorporate the latest into your marketing strategy.
Also, it'll clear off more time for you to concentrate on your business.
Delegating is a key for a successful business.
Cons? not really, if you find the right expert in the right price. At the end of the day - time is money ;)
Make sure the expert you hire makes him/herself available to get to know your business and is as passionate about it as you are (y)
Zack, with the great answers you've gotten you can see what's the best and worst thing that could happen with either decision. I think the recent American Apparel event is an example of exacerbating the problem while trying to recover from a social media issue.
On July 3, "stylized" artwork based off the infamous picture of the 1986 explosion of the American space shuttle Challenger was posted on American Apparel's TUMBLR with #clouds and #smoke hashtags.
Within hours, American Apparel removed it and apologized on TWITTER claiming it was insensitivity of on an "international" employee born after 1986. That, in turn, opened them up to further criticism on several fronts:
1) Why does American Apparel have non-American employees? More relevant than their name is their own emphasis on "Made in USA".
2) Why were the reins of their social media accounts in the hands of someone so clueless?
3) Why sprout an excuse as weak as "it happened before they were born and in another country"?
https://twitter.com/americanapparel/status/484834097051598848/ apology tweet
http://goo.gl/I3Vv19 a MediaBistro story with more details of the incident.
Keep it simple, if social media is not your business, outsource it.
Only focus on your core business, don't try to do something else.
Then hire really really slow, because everybody can do social media.
You should look for a social media expert that asks you 2 questions: what is your goal with your business? How can we measure progress?
@zack, what do you sell?
Absolutely agree with Stephanie. A combined approach implementing the best practices and expertise of a Social Media Expert while using your knowledge of your business and industry is best.
That said, "in-house" can be any member of your team as long as your social media standards are well thought-out.
Hi Zack-you bring up a valuable point in terms of how to address as well as implement a social media 'strategy'....I advise hiring an 'expert' who not only understands the vision and brand of your business, but how you wish to implement your audience/customer engagement. Time is money in business, and if you're spending all your time on sm, it takes away from your business, and most importantly, revenue. Create a team with accountability and follow through. I advise creating a goal/priority list at the beginning of your campaign to properly address your goals and assigning priority to what's important first. Would love to hear more about your business and how your social media is working (or not). Happy to help you. best- g
It is a very good question. When it comes to Social Media and managing it, it can become a full time job. Because you are the knowledge expert of your business, you know your market and competition at first it appears that self-management might be the way to go.
Outsourcing Social Media management, can save you time, but you need to find the expert that understands your business and the vision of how you want to manage it.
My advice is start talking to people and ask them to see a portfolio of their work. The idea you want to make sure, if you hire that person they are going to deliver the most for your investment.
One more consideration is Legal:
The statements on social media can be used against a business when it serves the opponent. Depending on the nature of your business and the high legal risk areas of the business, there may be a subset of the social media material that needs some filter for those legal risk areas. That subset may or may not need a lawyer to review but should have someone with a particular training in the risk area.
Currently, I imput all of my updates on facebook, linkedin, twitter, and mosaic. I really don't see the advantage of using someone else outside the organization. These companies do not have any sweat equity or interest your business or non-profit organization.
SMM is all about making a connection with your target audience; market or collective. This connection is purely behavioral; it is an emotional link that an effective SMM manager establishes with your audience through ALIGNED messaging.
So the first thing you need to do is make a solid effort in getting to know your potential social media marketing manager. WHO he or she is. Do your values align with him or her? This is all about messaging and the SMM is the conduit to get your message across. Unless your values are aligned, your purpose and vision for your business will not resonate in messaging and there will be no emotional connection. Remember, consumers do not patronize a product or service by rationalizing the "why" or the "what". Their decisions are purely emotional; they focus on the "who". If they recognize your purpose they will move in to engage.
The second thing you have to consider is time. How much time can you allocate for social media? This is a consistent endeavor and there are nuances you must be aware of in order to maximize the visibility of your posts. These nuances include the timing and frequency of your posts. For our clients, we average 5 posts per day for all their social media. We design a SM calendar based on the business or industry of the client. The posting times are varied. It depends on the area of focus of the client.
Third, you have to make an honest assessment of your writing skill and/or ability to engage. How you write is important in order to generate an audience and build followers. Key words are great but in the end, it will all come down to whether your content is interesting enough. Engagement is a very important aspect of SMM because this is where you may have a very warm lead for your business. If you don't have the time to attend to your SMM, you may miss out on these opportunities.
Should you outsource? It will come across as self-serving because I am in BPO but yes, you should at least consider it.
I am based in the Philippines and I have a number of clients from Canada. In addition to giving my clients cost advantages, the time differential works in our favor because when they are starting their day, we are ending ours. So all pending issues, concerns, engagements are addressed and covered on time. It's like 24 hour SMM.
The Philippines has a 94% literacy rate and English is our primary medium of instruction. In fact, 75% of our population are considered proficient in English. We are among the world leaders in FB usage and text messaging.
I agree 100% with Dana - this is a constantly changing target - trying to keep up with it will likely take away from your primary business goals
Zack, Dana has it right with her answer, to take it one step further, look at your production company.
You specialize in music videos and short films, like you there are experts in the social media field.
Look for a social media expert who specializes in your industry.
This will give you the time to focus on making business contacts, filming and editing, the things you probably like doing better than trying to keep up with social media.