Why and How You Should Outsource Your Social Media Management

A small business owner in 2005 would see no need for a position of Social Media Director, but it’s 2012 .

To get a break from being responsible for everything on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+  and the rest that wants you to grow more hands and heads, you might just consider outsourcing the position.

You must be thinking…

Should I outsource my social media management?

You probably have already come up with excuses of NOT outsourcing, and they include:

  • No one knows your business as well as you do.
  • No one is as passionate about serving your customers as you are.
  • It’s too risky to outsource your brand’s image.

Those are respectable, sensible reasons for not supporting social media outsourcing.  I would be a little more flexible with my answer.

My Answer: outsource under the following conditions

Get into outsourcing in the proper way.

I don’t think outsourcing your social media management is inherently a bad choice, but the relationship with the agency you choose must be nearly perfect for the outsourcing to be effective.

In my opinion, the following are absolute minimum requirements before outsourcing to a social media agency:

  • They should go out of their way to understand your business model, your customers, your overall marketing strategy, and your target market.
  • They should be passionate about the mission and vision of your company — the very purpose behind your business’ existence.
  • They should tour your business and meet your employees.  They should meet your most loyal customers and/or clients if possible.
  • They should become experts on your products, because people will inevitably ask questions on social media, and they’ll expect fast, correct answers.
  • They should love your business and want it to succeed as badly as you do.

If you’re considering outsourcing to an agency that shows little interest in any of those things, do this: AVOID.

Most importantly, you should approach outsourcing as a temporary engagement.  The agency should be capable of training you how to properly manage social media, internally.

You may keep them on retainer as consultants for handling problems or specific campaigns, but ultimately, the agency-business relationships should end with you and your employees having the ability to effectively manage your own social media.

Ask these questions before outsourcing

These questions get you the best job done because they cover everything on time, money and effort as it affects you.

  • Do I know anything about social media other than it’s popular and consumers use it a lot?
  • Does my business have the tools and manpower (or womanpower!) to manage social media in-house?
  • Would it make more sense to hire a part-time social media manager instead of outsourcing?
  • Do I trust an outside entity to represent and promote my products and brand?
  • Do I have time to learn and understand at least the basics of social media so I’m not blindly handing over the reins?

And over to you now:

Unfortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer to the question of outsourcing social media management.  As with anything, it depends on the current state of your business, your business model, your financial state, and how comfortable you are with the idea of not having full control of everything in your business.

Take a good, hard look at all the details that go into outsourcing social media management and, please, don’t hire the first agency who sits down with you unless they’ve exceeded the requirements discussed above.  You’ll thank yourself later if you approach this very seriously!

Need more insights on Social Media Marketing?  Or looking for a Group Presentation on the subject?  Drop me a line at Justin@StellarDigital.com.au.



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