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?
Do it yourself. Entering into the digital marketing space as serial researcher, I did everything and wanted to know everything about everything; web development, client management, marketing, ads, forum posting, copy, seo. I quickly discovered all the things I enjoyed about both knowing and understanding those concepts and the things I never wanted to see or do again.
Take a weekend and dive in there are tons of services that offer a trial. Either way you will need to be able to communicate with your SMM your needs and there is no greater validation -- or respect for the firm/consultant you will surely acquire in some aspect to manage for you-- than having done it yourself.
It really depends on how much you value your time and your reputation.
1. Set some guidelines of how you want your social media managed
2. What is your time worth to you? Does it make the most sense for you to do performing this task? Could someone else perform it quicker and easier? Is this the best investment of your time to be performing it?
3. Hiring a social media expert, especially one for your industry or profession will shorten the learner curve and help you sleep better.
4. Make sure you continue to be a part of the process meaning at least monitoring it and working with your expert to ensure the branding, message, etc... are meeting level of expectation.
Hi Zach, I also have several pages within different platforms for the company I work for, but I'm a full time marketing director, not the owner and have time to do this. I'm also freelance graphic designer and social media manager (I'm just telling you that to let you know I really can see pros and cons)
You're right, one obstacle in handing it over to someone who doesn't know your business is that they may say something slightly differently than you would or not as deep. But at the same time that's a good thing if you're customers don't need to know the fine details of your service/product. They can talk to your clients the way they talk to each other about your business.
Many social media experts will also ask you many questions, do their own research and make a marketing plan from that. I get approval from my clients for a short time on all post to be sure I'm making the right call and getting their trust.
Keep in mind that even if you do hire someone you don't let it go completely. You many not pull your own teeth, but you do brush them, pay attention to what you eat and know if there is pain. Just like your online presence you still need to attend to it to some degree. A lot of social media is immediate. You should still learn to make appropriate posts like when something pops in your head or you just encountered someone that had an interesting thought. These will add flavor to your planned marketing.
Social media experts do keep up on latest trends, keywords and technology needed. They'll be ahead of the game. There's a lot more than posting that you may not even be considering. How about monitoring? Reacting / replying to reviews and knowing that others are saying about you and your competitors?
Not to mention their often very creative and can help with campaigns, contests or whatever works best for your company.
So I guess my opinion is to hire one and work with them as a team. The expert can do the heavy lifting and you're still the expert of your own industry. Good luck!
Hi Zack! I own a social media marketing business, and there are definitely pros and cons to hiring someone like me.
The pros are: (a) it gets it off your plate and (b) it puts it in the hands of someone whose job it is to stay on top of the changes in best practices of the social media outlets and apply them to your business. From experience, I can tell you that keeping up with changes to Facebook's algorithm, Google's algorithm, hashtag best practices, Instagram terms of service, etc can become a full-time job in and of itself!
But you're right... the major con is that the person you hire is not going to know your business the way you do.
I would suggest you look for someone who either specializes in your industry or offers a social media consulting service. With the consulting service (at least the way it's set up with my agency), you are the one actually doing the postings, but I set the strategy and editorial calendar. So it's kind of like the best of both worlds - you've got someone helping you with best practices and the hows and whys of what and when to post, but you have your industry knowledge driving the posts.
Hope that helps!
Hi! I should start by saying that I work for a company called SocialMadeSimple that manages social media marketing for SMB's, so I am a little bias :)
Do you have time to post regularly? Do you feel like you are getting the best results you can for your business on social media? If not, I would outsource.
When you outsource you know your page will always be active, and you can expect better results! If you aren't getting good results for yourself you might just shrug your shoulders and move on to bigger issues, like running your business. If the company you outsource too isn't getting results, well unless they are knuckleheads they will MAKE SURE they get you results!
The one big con to outsourcing is the lack of personalization provided. Even if they know everything about your company, they still aren't there everyday to share the behind the scene ins and outs. However, outsourcing and still supplementing some of your own personalize content is always an excellent option.
Hope this helps Zack :)
If you have time to do this work yourself, that's one thing. If not, take the time to train a social media specialist. Social marketing is SOCIAL, it takes a real person! A social media specialist knows the best ways to use the social media. But, you are right, they won't know as much as you about your business. The key is getting folks interested enough in you to look at your offers.
Social media is a profession just like any other. To effectively harness the advantages one must have a strategic approach. Most business owners lack the time, if not expertise to formulate, analyze and implement a proper social media strategy. To undermine its importance can be fatal to the business. When making the decision to outsource or do it yourself first ask: Do I have the expertise to market my company online?
The answer becomes quite simple.
You kn know your business and your target market better than an outsourced social media consultant. If you have the time and inclination — and the literary skills to write effective and engaging marketing copy — I'd say do it yourself.
If you have neither the time, nor the inclination, nor the writing skills — or feel handicapped in any one of those — perhaps outsourcing is best for you.
You might start out trying it yourself and see how well you're able to keep it up. I've had too many clients who start a blog and post like crazy the first month, then a couple of posts the next month, then nothing for the next 18 months. I've referred those folks to a social media consultant.
The best way to look at this; is how much time does it take you per day / week on average; and how much would you benefit (financially & efficiency-wise)if you reinvested that time elsewhere?
If you work in a precise industry; have a few consultations with prospective consultants, to find the best fit for your business.
Many consultants offer small retainers from 10 hours/month; so there is always the option of trying it out short term, to see what's best for you.
I hope this helps.
Definitely outsource it. My answer might sound biased since I'm an Internet marketing specialist who does that for a living. But the fact is social media requirements are changing everyday.
If you're running a competition you need to be aware of the latest policies. Even to change a background image you should be aware of dimensions etc. Do you have the time to keep track of these things? If you're running a business definitely not.
I have covered some points in details in my blog http://rumblinglankan.com/2853/need-social-media-specialist/ . Make sure to check out the examples, then you'll see how awareness of tools can make or break your social media campaigns.
Zack , Social media requires a lot of time , skill , and knowledge . In addition to that it also is not that much of priority for a person to do it by their own , as an entrepreneur , you have many other more important things to do .
So i would recommend to hire a company in Pakistan or Philippines , give them an idea about your business , from my experience i have seen that they understand your business very well and execute a social media strategy perfectly .
I have been outsourcing since last 4 years and have a list of companies that are authentic and are good value for their money .
If you need any help from my end , just contact me .
For me, your key statement is your particular unique business. You not only run a business but also wearing 22 hats daily. How much quality time do you have available to manage the multiple social sites where your business is best served.
If you are, indeed, running your own business or multiple businesses you would do well to define your policies and procedures, strategy and tactics. By define, for each element define what it is, why it is used in your company, when a post must reach the platform. I would map this procedure for your first five top level social networks, pages, new materials.
The best way to achieve this is document your process. Outsource and include your documents in your training of your outsourced hire. Do not expect someone new to your organization to understand what you want and need as a business owner without training. You will be required to train the hire before you engage in other activities. You will also need to review with the person what was done and modify the outcome according to your expectation for your business.
No one can really do that for you unless you are engaging a management consultant whose audit of your existing processes will answer those questions with you. That outcome helps you identify, select and hire the right candidate for your firm.
Often, Small Business Owners think the right things will occur with their limited input. The opposite is true. It is your business and you are responsible to that business for is operational effectiveness.
I recommend you engage in due diligence around your social media needs, define those social media needs as clearly and succinctly as possible, then conduct your search for the right hire. This step will save you time and help you identify the right resources for you.
Hope this is useful.
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)
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 believe the real question is are you an "expert" in social media?
You position yourself as an expert in film production... What would your answer be if a Social Media "expert" asked the question, I'm doing a video for my webste, should I do it myself or hire a video/production expert?
One of the keys to running a successful business is to know your own strengths and weaknesses. If the budget is there, you always want to hire the best person possible for the position. Are you the best person? Is your time better spent managing the process and spending time on new business or even doing the job you have set up your business for, film production.
If your issues is will this person understand your business as well as you the true answer is no... but they don't have to. They need to be able to spend there time based on your input and guidance. I've worked with a number of freelancers and after one well planned input session, they were off and running. I would provide them with additional topics and some input and off they go...
To grow your business you have to be a good manager. Taking off a hat or two will help you grow as a person and increase your business potential.
I think social media is something you can do yourself, it just takes a lot of time if your goal is to master it. Tools like Hootsuite and Tweepi can help you schedule your posts and find new accounts to follow. This is quick and easy to manage if you are tweeting 3-5 times a day. The parts of social media that are more consuming and you might want to outsource are:
-Writing new content to share
-Monitoring social media response to brand
-Replying to customer inquires and tracking feedback
-Keeping up on how your competitors are using social media
-Starting conversations: live chats, Twitter polls, new hashtags, etc. to create engagement
I think you have to ask yourself how many hours per/week does it take you now and if someone else was doing it could you use that time to grow your business in other ways?
It depends on what level you are looking for. If it is simple status updates, blog posts and just general items to keep the accounts active hiring someone should be fairly simple. With more advanced approaches you will want to carefully pick your vendor.
It really does depend on your time management social media isn't just about posting something....and that's it. There needs to be a strategy behind what you are doing, saying, and targeting. You also need to be paying attention to what people are saying about your brand.
We wrote an article entitled "Why Your Social Media Shouldn't Be Turned Over to an Intern (http://www.incitecreativeinc.com/resources/articles/Why-Social-Media-Shouldn%27t-Be-Turned-Over-to-an-Intern/)" which covers some helpful tips on hiring someone and what you should be focusing on.
In my experience, you need to have both. The only person who really knows your business is you. You are the personality and experience that drives your brand.
On the other hand, you need a well thought out strategy and plan along with how you will execute it. That is where a social media expert comes in. A good social media company or expert will use a collaborative approach to how it works with you.
So, my advice to you is allow a someone to help you manage the process and give insight but you are still in control of the brand and what is being said.Good Luck!
I'm a true believer that if you can do it yourself do it! If you don't have the time , than outsource. You can manage all of your social media in through one dashboard with third party apps like Hootsuite. If you decide to do it yourself develop a strategy. Are you branding your business? Do you want to sell? Or both? Your traffic should flow from social media to your website this is were the magic happens. This is were visitors should become customers. For more check out blog : http://designhouseagency.com/build-your-online-presence-101/