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?
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.
If you work on your social media platforms yourself, it is alot of work and you won't be able to focus on the main aspect of your business. I suggest hiring our company to do it for you. We specialize in Outsourced Marketing for the cost of a secretary. Please check out our website, which you can find on my profile, or Private Message me for more information.
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 :)
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!
If you know what you are doing and you have the time then it would save you money.
Depends. I wrote a blog post on that....
AZ Social Media Wiz
My answer is it depends on:
- What kind of business you are in
- What is your objective with your social media efforts
- what social media sites are you using (some you may outsource, others you may not want to)
If you're trying to build close one on one relationships, outsourcing may not be such a great idea. Your social media efforts should reflect YOUR PERSONALITY.
Remember it's SOCIAL MEDIA not Corporate/Branding Media.
"the Marketign Coach"
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/
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!
Zach, great question..
Working in Social Media myself, I always tell people there is no such thing as a "Social Media Expert".. the landscape in the industry is constantly changing, there is always something new to learn, and the "rules" change. And, really it is such a new industry, it's too new for "experts". I would seek out people like myself who refer to themselves as "specialists".
There is no way to really verify someone is an "expert" either. While there are companies that offer certification, not all Social Media Specialists have taken them, nor see a need to be "certified" especially when some of the issuers are not all that well known anyway...
As for doing it yourself... there are tools to make it easier and manageable. You can use tools like Hootsuite or SocialOomph to schedule your posts for you, pull in RSS and send out those posts, etc. But is that enough to get the results you want?
It might be more economical to do it yourself, but you will lack some industry knowledge that a specialist would know and could be more expedient in getting you results. A specialist should be looking out for your best interests and can employ many tools and techniques that you are not aware of.
Hope my answer helps!
I agree that maintaining social media pages for your business takes a lot of work to maintain. Social media experts help simplify your time. You should have one.
you are the only one who can answer your question. its a matter of price/performance or return of investment.
observe your 24 hours and how you use them . There are so many "IFs" for instance: if you find someone you trust and s/he is very savvy with social media and you like his/her content ways... the next question is how much s/he charges...
I think Dana hit the nail on the head -
What I tell all my clients is that Social Media is an investment of time, skill and creativity - if you have hardly any time to devote to your Social Media campaign it will strongly reflect on your image, efficiency and ultimately your efforts may be all for not.
Then again Social Media can be done by anyone - in the sense that if you have time, dedication and a small budget to advertise it can be done.
My company focuses on Content Marketing, not just tweeting/posting status updates and bland text, we focus on genuine content creation, curation and building strong meaningful relationships with our client's audience/customer. This is in my professional opinion the best way to go about a Social media campaign, but it is extremely time consuming, even more so if you're on a tight schedule and need to cut corners just for the sake of posting/tweeting.
Outsourcing your Social Media campaign to a professional would be a smart investment, and quite frankly when you choose a solid company to do it for you on a reasonable budget it makes all the difference.
So my answer is YES to outsourcing your Social Media, but try and get a group that incorporates Content Marketing.
On the note of you worried the group might not understand your niche - if you go with a professional group, a savvy one who perhaps has a wide variety of different clients with just as much success as the next you can get a sense of how effective they can be. If they are REALLY good they'll learn your market and adapt to it - the top Social Media Marketers are usually very savvy when it comes to understanding a market niche and capitalizing on it - community managers on the other hand, who just regurgitate status updates, with no creativity and minimal effort, just for the sake of posting, aren't nearly as effective.
And just to be clear that's not to say anything bad about CMs as it is an essential role, but there are many posers out there that claim to take your Social Media platforms off your hands for a ridiculously low price and you really get what you pay for with very low quality work and minimal results.
I hope this helps, if you have any questions feel free to contact me on my website jsusolutions.com
Best of luck
well, you have plenty of time to monitor and take care of your own social media. I know it would be so much easier for someone like me to come in and do the job for you but then if you're working with a shoestring budget then, do the work yourself. I would be than willing to do the work for you for a fee.
Wayne M. McGuire
American Inventor services, LLC
Hello! It depends on how active and what your social media goals happen to be!
Like nature vs. nurture I say you need to hire someone who knows what they're doing to help you out but you also need to maintain some activity with the content because, in the end, it is your name and your business.
1. Create a document that describes your goals and your "voice" on social media. This way you give your SM manager clear guidelines on how you want your posts to sound and what kind of content you want to see. This will also be useful to have because SM can have high turnover so this is a simple way to make sure your voice has continuity even if you have to have multiple people contributing.
2. Be sure to send links to sites that might have great content/sites you frequent to start your SM manager off on the right track with the kind of posts you'd like to see. Any SM manager worth their salt can give you input on what type of content makes sense on which platform.
3. Anything industry specific published--blog posts, comments--should really come from you. Social media isn't just something to throw content onto--it's a place where your clients get to know your company culture and get to see you as an expert in your field.
4. Have a specific goal in mind for ROI: is it likes? Engagement? Transactions? Anything you put forth needs to have a trackable goal or there's not way for you to discern what's working and what isn't.
5. Metrics, metrics, metrics: Make sure you understand or know someone who understands how to use the metrics/insights for your platforms. Don't rely on a freelancer to tell you how things are going--ask for monthly updates from them but also make sure you're keeping track of things on your end.
I have some blog posts on my site about what social platform is best for what kind of content: http://www.michellecourtright.com/news/
Good luck in your search! I'm here to help if you need it!
If you choose to tackle social media yourself, there are several tools available that will help you manage your social media pages. These can be useful because they will save you a lot of time and energy. There are disadvantages to maintaining your own social media, and one thing to keep in mind, is not all social media platforms work for all types of industries. I have some resources compiled that may help you understand, I will share with you if you like.
A social media expert is a great resource. Typically they understand the nuances of each social media platform, when the best time to post is, what type of content is appropriate, etc..
Also, they can help you manage the fact that you must respond to all comments on social media which can be an overwhelming task. If you work with a reputable person, they will spend some time with a discovery phase to learn about your business, the industry, etc...
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.
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!
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 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.