In the business world today, social media is becoming an increasingly dynamic concept. For example, the fact that Facebook is celebrating its 10th birthday this year doesn’t stop many from struggling with the basic social media platforms, let alone optimally managing them. The workload may not be overwhelming, but it definitely never ends. That overload creates a need for outsourced social media.
And while every business owner would prefer having a fully trained on-board team, the truth is – not everyone can afford it. The size, or rather the extent of the business itself reflects the complexity of the entire social media marketing process.
While small businesses can start fresh and introduce a certain level of novelty to their brand, a well established business has its own loyal customer pool that requires certain managing methods.
It is known that almost 80 percent of all the Fortune 500 companies use most, if not all of the popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in order to establish a good communication line with stakeholders and advocates.
Moreover, roughly 70 percent of companies surveyed by McKinsey & Company report that they have been using social platforms in their business services. 90 percent of those same companies report significant benefits from using the same platforms.
So why have outsourced social media?
There are roughly three reasons that benefit you if you outsource your social media.
- An expert helping hand: If you do your outsourcing carefully, you will gain the help and expertise of skilled professionals.
- Time and resource allocation:You save time and valuable resources in hiring and properly training someone new on board.
- Creating strong connections with other business entities: If you choose wisely, your partner will prove to be an invaluable asset in your business.
Who’s afraid of the big bad social media?
Many businesses decide upon the do-it-yourself method of work. That would be absolutely suitable, if it wasn’t so badly executed. Namely, it’s common that companies approach the social media marketing with a few ground mistakes.
They will decide upon posting news on social platforms ONLY when they have the time, which is usually during working hours.
- This is wrong for many reasons, one being the fact that most social traffic comes in outside business hours.
They will post only what they want to sell.
- Social media isn’t about sales, but rather building a strong communication and feedback system that would lead to sales, if done correctly.
They will delegate this to someone in-house or to an intern who will do voluntary work.
- When I say in-house, I mean someone who will do this for barely 5 hours a week, which isn’t really enough, is it?
The truth is that no one SHOULD run your social media marketing better than you can. But the question you should ask yourself is – can you? Can you really? A year ago, Forbes published an article stating that, for a medium-sized company managing a single social platform could take roughly 32 hours a month.
This is alarming, considering the fact that, for example, the majority of Facebook page owners do not reply to customer comments on their pages. And who would blame them? Their business certainly won’t run itself.
This right here is the sole reason of outsourcing social media. To delegate certain parts of your business in order to achieve a greater purpose, a purpose that would benefit you, i.e. your business long-term. The goals of successful social media marketing can be divided into three separate categories.
- Brand impression: The thing that makes your brand “pop out”.
- Brand reputation: Knowing how far your brand extends in the public’s eye.
- Trust development: Creating positive feedback, a productive connection with your audience.
How to start outsourcing social media
Most companies use a similar pattern when it comes to outsourcing social media. Research done in this area indicates that the idea behind using social platforms often originates within marketing itself. But marketing as a concept is quite different, mainly because it doesn’t revolve around massive customer feedback and management.
Social networks are vastly more dynamic than people think, resulting in many “experts” underestimating them. Divide your outsourcing plan into three separate phases.
Phase 1 – Scout the area
Have your outsourcing partner scan the web and set up a mutual strategy. Set your own major goals and parameters that you’ll follow in order to achieve them.
Use your outsourcing partner to do basic social monitoring. They can help you see where your potential customers are clustering besides Facebook and Twitter and with that, assist you in reaching them more effectively.
Phase 2 – Deploy and extend
Slowly start bringing your customer connections onboard. Spot out your potential champions and use them to promote your brand. You can use various methods of stimulation like rewards etc. to catalyze their improvement along the way.
Employ additional social monitoring tools in order to gain information on customer views and opinions and use that as a constructive feedback. Utilize that feedback with your outsourcing agency in order to convert it into an ingredient for your following social marketing campaigns.
Phase 3 – Thrive
The final stage of your outsourced social media plan. By now you have established a strong strategic partnership with your social media outsourcer. You are fully utilizing them when fabricating new marketing constructs which are directly connected to your methods of success measurement.
Your customer correspondence is in its final place, which is in-house. Your network partners are helping you by lending a hand in customer service, solving problems and extracting positive feedback from satisfied customers.
Check out our article on marketing on Instagram and Vine to learn about building relationships and promoting your brand on the image and video based social sites.
How to distinguish good candidates from the bad
This is a tricky one. And it must be, after all, you’re selecting someone to be the voice of your business, someone to promote your brand to the vast internet audience, and believe me, it is as hard as it sounds. Sean Corcoran of Forester once wrote that random tactical uses of social media rarely work.
He insists on the fact that if all your agencies are doing is building social ghost towns, that means it’s time to bring in someone new. But here’s the deal – when choosing to outsource social media, how can you distinguish the good candidates from the bad ones?
- The lay of the land
You cannot expect your partner to be complementary to your business if he knows little or nothing about you. He should should have a sound understanding of what you do and how you do it, starting from your available information online, ending with a list of your competitors and the conditions on the market in which you are present. A template-type of service will benefit neither of you.
- The experience
You probably already know this, but, considering the competition in the social media marketing field, “experts” seem to be popping out of every corner. You need to sift through all the average candidates in order to find a good one, someone who has an actual background experience. A good social media expert won’t have to convince you that he “knows his area of expertise”. His past work will do that for him.
- The Return of Investment
Your potential outsourcing partner needs to have a solid plan and an adequate strategy when you lay down your requests on the table. It’s only reasonable for you to expect something in return when you invest in something new. When asked the ROI question, his answer will have to be a lot more substantial than “I can give you a thousand likes per day and a pretty Twitter page”
- The impending issue of long-term working
Even though social media, as a concept, will be present in the foreseeable future, it is widely accepted among social media experts that outsourcing it long-term doesn’t really work. It’s within the moral and ethical boundaries of a good business partnership.
An ethical social media partner will help you find your footing, but he will eventually let you go. You must accept the fact that social media is something you should learn to do yourself as time goes by.
There is another solution available – one that does the hard work for you
Searching for the ideal candidates is simply too hard and time consuming. So many factors need to work out for you in order to find the right candidates. It’s hard to figure out whether a virtual person really is as competent as he or she claims to be.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just stumble upon pre-screened candidates? With our expert staffing package, you don’t need to waste another second on trying to see how good each candidate is. We’ve done it for you. Our contractors are already experienced professionals.
We hire our contractors through referrals. All we need from you is a simple request and we’ll team you up with someone right away. There are no negotiations on your part. We’ve done that for you and you get high quality results for the lowest possible price.
Find Your Social Media Marketing Expert Today
The fastest, easiest way to start building your next project.