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?
It depends on the amount of time you have available. It's a very time consuming thing keeping track of all your social media platforms and it sounds like you have a few. As long as you provide the person you might hire with relevant information about your businesses, they should be able to use their common sense and professional skills to do the job for you.
I do this for a local business and the only issues I have is getting ideas for material to updates status post with. I have to be imaginative at times and find informative & entertaining items to post. The key is communication between yourself and the freelancer.
Hope that helps.
You should automate your social media and syndicate your content using Hootsuite. They also have a Chrome browser extension that lets you easily share content that you find while browsing the web.
Here are my thoughts on this
BAsed on what you have said it would be better to do it yourself as when you have started your business did you hire outside help or did you start everything based on what you thought was good and right.
So that answers your own question and do things which you think will be good and productive for your business till you reach a level where you are hiring people for routine tasks and are making enough money so that you delegate tasks based on their importance and need.And then when you have enough of social media standing then get help to maintain an overall presence in social media.
Remember Social Media usually enhances what you already have as your strengths and not the other way around.
All the best with your decision making.
The answer is easy. A combination of the two. If you don't know what it's all about, you need to outsource the basics. Keeping your social channel(s) up and running is something you, or any entrepreneur for that matter, should also plan. It's not that you can simply 'dump' your social media needs elsewhere. Without your own commitment, it will likely lead to nothing.
Social media stuff is on going process to make site popular and people should aware about your brand and services. we need to find our proper resource and community etc... There are many tricks and tips to be popular on social media platform
Managing social profiles oneself is well and good, if you have sufficient time to sit back and post your updates, responses. When there are several pages to go, it'd be hard enough for you to make a quicker and active response, and the time frame remains surplus. Hopefully, the best option is to hire a social media manager.
Hiring a social media expert indeed does the same of what you do, but still they keep updating the happenings in and across the platforms, and makes it higher with the engagement, researches, marketing, etc. Knowing that social media pays the dividends to any sort of business, experts do understand how to make posts, how to increase the engagement, what could be done.. and what not?
Certainly, you could get along with what you want on hiring experts.
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.
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 .
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.
Use social media experts or marketing company to give advice on what you are doing. They can often help with some of the admin style tasks.
However for many businesses the message given by social media is strategic and should form part of your core sales or customer facing work, so in-house may be better.
The real question is are you putting in the correct amount of work? If it is useful then investing in this work is worthwhile. If not you need to reduce what you are doing or do more efficiently.
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.
Great question. I'm a certified Digital Marketing Professional and I will tell you that you can have the best of both worlds. While some clients retain my services on an full on outsourced basis, I also do coaching to help empower people like yourself, to learn the proper way to manage their social media properties.
While the nuances of each industry may vary, the best strategies to maximize exposure and increase authentic engagement are universal. Happy to provide you with a consultation to determine your unique needs.
Propel Media Group
Outsource, but make sure they know what they are doing. That is part of what I do as my services for my clients.......I can tell you first hand, it is a full time job to do it right. The service is worth about $400 per month. Don't pay less or more.....less and they probably aren't doing it right. More, and you're paying too much.
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.
I think the real question what are you trying to do on social media? I think some answers before me referred to that as "Strategy". I think the trend is towards a social business, not just a social media strategy.
It is not just about posting or monitoring - it is really about why your posting, and why are you monitoring. What type of engagement are you driving. In most cases, I would suggest hiring some type of assistant - but only after you've created enough social media activity - people are already talking about your work on social media.
If you are just thinking of posting links to your work, or other cool stuff you found on the internet, use tools like Hootsuite.
Really, you need a social business strategy - a way for business activities to create a culture of online, social media responses - positive or negative. Until that is in place I wouldn't spend money on a "Social Media Expert" to help you.
This is a tough question Zack, a lot of business owners are asking the same thing.
They are also asking, how much should I spend, are we going to do video marketing, article marketing, image marketing to engage with our followers. How much is that going to cost financially and our time. How are we or our outsource person going to respond to our community and stay on top of all of our social sites.
Dana brings up some good points about hiring a social media experts, they also have to understand content marketing, SEO, Video marketing, your demographic, cultural and so much more.
If you have a 6 month to 1 year of a budget to hire on a social media expert. Also you don't have the time to do mange your social site yourself because your business needs you in other area's I would say yes go hire a social media marketing expert. But before you do educate yourself on your community and social media marketing.
I have my own marketing agency out here in Toronto and the number one challenge when it comes to social media marketing is this, how are you going to build and retain relationships with your past clients, current followers and new followers who are interested in you/your business?
People throw out the terms KPI (key performance indicators) ROI (return on investment). Which are great measurements but if your Social Media Marketing Expert isn't focused on building relationships so that your community knows, likes and trust you/your business. It doesn't matter how many KPI's they want to implement you are not going to get any growth in your business if you don't create that fundamental relationship and become an authority in their eyes.
My recommendation is this
1) Go to YouTube and search Gary Vaynerchuk. Watch every video he has to understand how Social Media Marketing is changing how we do business.
2) Connect with your clients and followers to see what they need inlines of content (video, images, text, articles) and how much engagement are they looking for. This will help you strategize your social media marketing plan and who needs to be part of that team. People use the term campaign, social media is on going, yes you might have campaigns of product promotion but your social media marketing is always going.
3) Keep it simple. People think of having their brand out there on every social site. I am going to be the only social media person here to tell you. Focus on one and be an expert on one. Then grow it out, once you see the system is working then move to the next social site and build that one out. This is not a sprint it's a long distance race where you want to provide quality vs. quantity. I know you have multiple social sites and my question to you is which one do you see the most activity on and get the most business engagement with. That will tell you which one you need to focus on.
i hope this helps Zack.
There are two key things to remember about social media. 1) Social media is a dialogue/conversation that is ongoing - it is a direct interaction with your customers, associates, and community. 2) Social media does not require that you be in all avenues/portals--meaning, u can have a FB page and Twitter, Instagram, etc. and not be on Pinterest, or Yelp, etc... ONLY be on social media portals if that is where it makes sense for your business to be and where your customers are! Understanding those key points should help with your focus, understandings of how/when to engage on social media. Second to those are your level of expertise to actual perform the duties and realize the benefits...if you aren't comfortable with it, don't truly understand all the keyword/hashtag/connectivity to grow your business/customer base, and find that it is taking too much of your time, you can determine if you truly need a social media pro. Use your energies where they will be most effective and let a sm professional take the reins for your sm program.
I hope this helps--good luck!!
Your "main concern" reveals the answer. It is best to handle your own social media marketing program. You know your business and industry the best and can engage in social conversations in the most authoritative way that a freelancer cannot. That being said, can you "farm out" your social media to a third party? Yes, to a degree. They can place general posts and updates across your social networks. When it comes to engaging in the conversations, then it would be time for you or someone within your organization to get involved.
I know that business owners would rather concentrate on what makes their businesses successful. Social media networks serve a variety of functions: customer service, relationship building, meeting prospects where they live online.
If you are feeling that you cannot effectively utilize all the social channels you currently have, it would be best to pick the ones that serve your goals the best. I would concentrate on using those social channels where your prospects live online and then those where you customer reside. Too many times I see businesses utilize a social channel just because it is big; A B2B business generally does not need to be a Facebook, their prospects are not on Facebook looking for solutions to their problems.
The most important point is what are your priorities and what you want to achieve? Do you've enough time to manage all by yourself? If you've good budget available, then you can hire some good guys who are expert in your industry as well as have good grasp on social media. Both methods have their own pros and cons. It's where you've to finalise your priorities.
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.