Outsourcing social media services is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors in the web marketing field. According to the “2012 State of Social Media Marketing Industry Report” by Social Media Examiner, the amount of companies outsourcing their social media has doubled from 2010 to 2011 and is expected to reach 32% by the end of 2012.
By 2015, 50% of web sales will come via social media. That statistic alone should make you want to get into social media – NOW!
So should you follow trend and outsource your social media? Lets take a look at some of the benefits and risks of outsourcing.
Time is very important to a business. If you’re a small business owner, chances are that you have a lot on your plate when doing daily business activities. Do you have time to plan and put into motion a social media campaign? You can free up some time by outsourcing your social media, allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of your business.
You bring in an expert. A social media manager knows how to setup, handle, and manage the growing list of social media platforms. Not every social media tool is the same. Popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all have very different ways of being handled from where to post, when to post and how to post – one situation not handled properly could cost you potential business.
Outsourcing isn’t A. or B, it’s very flexible. Maybe you have a strategy and just need to get your campaign up and running or maybe you know absolutely nothing about social media and need all aspects of your campaign managed. Most social media companies can trim or add aspects to the social media package that best fits your social media needs.
There are many benefits of outsourcing, but just like any other business practice, there are risks that’s need to be taken into consideration.
You must realize that when you do hire a company to handle your social media, they aren’t experts on your company like you are. For example, if a potential customer asks a question through Facebook about your business or service and the managing company gives information that isn’t 100% accurate, it could damage your company’s reputation and you might end up spending more time and money trying to fix the situation than you intended to.
Making sure your social media voice is authentic can be a challenging one. No one thinks exactly like you and if you are outsourcing, the message you are trying to get across might not come out the way you want. Both sides need to completely understand key messages in your campaign so they are easily crafted. Inconsistent messages create a lack of authenticity that your audience will eventually pick up on.
If you have the resources available to you, outsource. If you don’t have enough time in the day to get through all your social media needs, outsource. If you want to promote your business through social media but don’t know how, outsource.
Social media has so many different levels which need to be managed. If you aren’t going to commit to social media efforts then you’ll just be wasting your time and money.
Realistically, unless you can multitask like this guy, you are probably going to need some help eventually. From my experience, it has always beneficial to work with a person or team with more knowledge than you in an area you need for your business. It helped me grow and I know it will help you and your business grow as well.
Are you still on the fence about outsourcing your social media? Why or why not have you taken the plunge yet?