Social media plays an important role as a marketing strategy for many businesses. It allows you to interact with customers, promote your brand, produce traffic to your website, and generate leads. Think about how many businesses have a Facebook page or Twitter account. Does your business have any social media accounts?
For those businesses that have decided to create social media accounts, the next important step is to ask yourself who will manage your accounts? Will you use in-house employees or will you outsource to have someone manage your accounts? Many businesses are less focused on hiring a professional because of budget. Does your staff have the skills and knowledge to manage social media?
Do you have what it takes to manage social media?
First you need to consider the types of content you will post on your accounts. Who is creating the content? How often will you post? Will you designate one person to manage your social media? Say for example, you are looking to utilize social media but do not have the budget to hire a professional. Perhaps your marketing staff doesn’t have enough time to devote for managing this role. Due to one of these reasons, your business decides to give the job over to the intern. However, the intern may not have the skills or knowledge to properly manage your social media accounts. The same could hold true of other staff members should you decide to give the responsibility to someone in house. What are their qualifications and past experience? How will you track your performance and progress? Do you have a plan or strategy established? These are things to consider because it could affect your business. Too often we hear people say they can manage their business’s social media because they already have a personal profile on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. How difficult could it be?
Truthfully, it takes time to properly maintain social media sites on a daily basis. Once you’ve established a following, you will need to respond and engage with your audience. Social media thrives on communication. Can you devote time to engage with your audience? Notably, social media is all about consistency. Are you posting daily? Your followers will come to expect content. It is recommended that you post at least once daily on social networks.
More than likely your business has other tasks and responsibilities that demand more attention. Therefore, if you can’t find staff members to maintain your social media due to lack of skills or knowledge, limited time, or insufficient resources, outsourcing may seem like the best option.
Do you let the experts handle it? What are the pros and cons of hiring someone to manage your social media?
The Pros & Cons of Outsourcing Social Media Management
- Expertise: Professionals will be knowledgeable and well educated with specialized skills in social media and marketing. In essence, they will know the ins and outs of social networks. Professionals also must stay current with the latest trends.
- Learn Something: Your business has the opportunity to learn from social professionals. You may decide to hire someone temporarily to reach a goal. However long you utilize a professional, you have the chance to gain the skills and tools necessary to manage your social media better. Now is your chance!
- Strategy: When you hire a professional they implement a strategy and goal. They are able to keep track of your performance and analyze the outcome. Professionals can execute a content marketing strategy. Therefore, all content is planned and created for your business.
- Time: Hiring a professional can save your business a lot of time. You no longer have the responsibility to manage social media because someone else is doing the work for you. This allows you to devote more time to other aspects of your business.
- Control: Should you decide to hire a professional you have less control over the content. This also includes interactions with your audience. You no longer have control over what posts your business likes, retweets, shares, or responses to your customers.
- Response Rate: With less control also comes a slower response rate to your customers. For example, if your customer addresses a concern or problem on social media, does your social manager know the answer? In most cases the professional will not know the answer and thus have to consult your business before they can respond to the customer. People expect a response within the same day, if not within a few hours on social media.
- Authenticity: Generally the professional you hire won’t have the same feelings or value towards your business. Because you know your business the best, you add that personal, genuine touch. When you outsource, there is less authenticity.
- Expensive: There is no doubt that hiring a social media professional can be expensive. Whether this is a short term or long term project, the rates for a professional have skyrocketed. This is mainly because social media is still a new science and is in high demand.
Social media is an important strategy to include for marketing and it should not be overlooked. You should seriously consider your options to decide which one is the best for your business. Do you let the experts handle your social media or do you have the talent within your organization? Is budget an issue for your business? Can you devote the proper amount of time?