Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest …and the link just keeps on growing. Of more concern is if you run a business of any size, you simply don’t have time to manage all those social networks yourself. In fact, you likely don’t even have time to manage even one channel. It takes several hours a month to capably handle a single social media platform. So, should you try manage it yourself? Or should you outsource social media management?
I’d like to share seven reasons why your should outsource social media management rather than do it yourself.
Any social media agency or consultant worth their salt professionally provide Social Media every day for a minimum of 8 hours a day per employee week in week out. The Social Media Managers should be graduates with public relations experience and have an aptitude in literacy and a passion for Social Media. They should thrive for a challenge and understand the digital landscape better than anyone.
They must have a great understanding on system platforms and be able to predict upcoming trends? They must also be able to generate genuine content that the public wants to interact with?
Campaigns must be run by professional Social Media Managers that understand the Social Media platforms for business use and use these to promote, test new methods and create new systems for promotions every-day.
As this is a professional service there are certain levels of accountability required for clients’ expectations and results need to be measured and proven. If a member of staff is not equipped properly to lead a business’ expedition into the jungle that is Social Media it can and will ruin a client’s relationship with their staff.
2) Defined Systems
Social Media is not a ‘flash in the pan’. It’s been around for years and experienced consultants have been there to watch the rise of Facebook, the fall of Myspace and maybe even it’s phoenix like rise from the ashes.
Some Social Media Agencies have tried these social platforms and found where they are comfortable in the industry. They will then specialize in Twitter or Facebook but are never good at both.
A Social Media Agency or consultant cannot afford to be a Jack-of-All-Trades, OR a master of none. They must understand the key Social Media tools and platforms. Additionally, they must have in house systems in place so they can utilize all the platforms at once offering a well-rounded and thorough experience for you and your users.
It is literally impossible for a single member of staff to specialize in all areas, the expertise of a social media agency is not focused on one individual and is instead spread over several members of staff who all have an input into campaigns.
Systems are monitored, measured, tweaked and tested every week and are continually developed to ensure that you are getting the very best from the efforts of the consultant once you outsource social media management.
In order to be truly successful in Social Media you will have to have a knowledgeable individual running your campaigns. Whether this is a member of staff or you have outsourced social media management, this is inevitable.
However being knowledgeable is not enough and that individual has to be supported by a variety of people with experience in other fields who can help build a campaign.
If you are prepared to support that one person with a team of others who can help on campaigns then so be it, but many companies cannot afford this.
If you were to outsource social media management to agency however, then others will automatically support that one person who runs your campaign with experience in a variety of online skills.
For example, if you have someone with several years Web design and development experience combined with a sales driven background, that person’s experience is different from someone that learnt how to be a Social Media Manager from a home study course and was a Plumber for fifteen years before that.
It is this eye for design, graphical skills, industrial knowledge and experience that all add maturity of using a social media agency instead of a member of Staff.
Being an insider may deter you from communicating your ideas to your audience in a way that they understand and appreciate fully.
Having a certain communication tendencies could dissuade people to talk and communicate with you due to the language you use. We call this Social Media etiquette.
How you behave online should be the same way you behave with your staff and your clients. Although old habits die hard, mistakes are made and the odd roughly edged comment term here or there could completely devastate your Social Media efforts and brand.
Agencies often implement a sign off system to avoid such errors whether they be grammatical errors or off-message posts that do more harm than good.
One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t need to flog people to get the job done. They should love Social Media naturally. Applying them in a business environment should not be a struggle but a pleasure. Outsourcing social media management can give you access to a talent pool that does this for fun and hence does a great job.
The hardest and most risky aspect of hiring someone to work for you as a Social Media Manager is how reliable he or she is.
This is not only from a quality of work perspective; after all you might not be hiring someone if you if knew what you were doing so how can you reliably judge whether that person truly knows their stuff.
At a Social Media Agency people are seldom ever sick, if they are there’s plenty of people looking after accounts to have you covered. You won’t have someone complaining to labor authorities, they won’t expect you to pay their tax or pensions, you don’t need to train them.
Most importantly you are paying an annual fee and you most likely would get 3 members of staff for the price of one.
A decent Social Media Manager will cost you in the region of $50k-$70k per year, they will be qualified with a degree or years of experience and have certain expectations of you and your time. For example, gathering content and copy for the campaign can take many hours.
There are of course benefits to having the right person doing that for you if you can afford their salary. However, there are so many aspects to hiring the right person that getting it wrong is very risky business. How do you know that they will be good at managing a Social Media campaign?
If you do decide to outsource social media management, not only are you guaranteed a professional who knows the ins and outs of Social Media but you get one for less money. Additionally this professional will be supported by a whole team, so for less money you get much more.